Here's another musing that just popped into my head. How do we see ourselves? It's an interesting question. I think our view of ourself changes as time goes on, I know mine is doing that right now. Hopefully this will be a pick-me-up to those who are new ostomates and struggling with their new self. When I got my unexpected front-butt back in 2014 I was devastated. I mean I had issues with Crohn's and was in a lot of pain, but I hid it well and maintained a pretty normal life, with the exception that I always had to know where the nearest bathroom was. But other than that, and the errant bowel obstructions (and all that goes with that), I was a pretty happy camper. Then I woke up one day in the ICU with my new ab-ass. And my nice semi-normal world came crashing down. And not slowly. I view life as a sine-wave.....it has it's ups and downs, but keeps going. When I hit rock bottom I'm glad, because I know the only way to go is up. Similarly, when things are going just great I start to prepare for the downturn. But I never could have prepared for my front-butt and the pity party I'd be having after that. A pity party I didn't think would ever end. I mean, how could it? But that saying "Time heals all wounds" is right-on. "All" wounds is the thing people overlook. I've been luckier than most in that all my medical issues before my ab-ass were Crohn's related, so when they cut out all the infected bowel ALL my issues, from the major to the most minor went away. Which brought with it a whole slew of new issues. But truthfully, I'm now healthier than anyone I know. That's all good and everything, but this physical deformity hanging off my waist tends to be a game changer, if you let it.
So slowly I've been making ground on getting my life back, or at least as much of it as I can. And I'm in a good enough place now to be able to look around and see most everyone else is having issues of their own, so the bar has been lowered, so to speak, in my age group. I decided to get back into the dating game right as COVID hit, and because of my interaction with Military folks I need to not get the damn virus, so I've been vigilant in minimizing my contact with the outside world, and have been lucky enough to avoid the virus so far. But that makes online dating more of a chat room than a place to make contact and then move it outside. So I haven't had to deal with the realities of "normal" women's reactions to my shitbag yet. But I'm expecting the worst and hoping for the best.....and that won't deter me. The whole underlying point to dating is you like what you like, and there's really no getting around that. If at this point in our life you still think you can change someone, or make them like you......you're just an idiot. Sorry to be so blunt. But while I can't really go out on dates, it has given me time to reflect on who I am and what I have to offer. I think we all need to have that conversation with ourselves from time to time, even if not dating, to maintain perspective.
So where am I going with this? Well, I'm at a point, very recently, where I'm becoming OK with myself again. I'm not going to appeal to every gal, never did , never will. And yeah, some won't want any part of an ostomy on anyone, so I get that. It'll make finding that perfect gal a bit more daunting, but I'm always up for a good challenge. The dating pool is shrinking, but it's still a pool. Or maybe a pond. But the important thing is I'm liking ME again. I'll never like the fact that I have an ab-ass, but I can look past that now and see the sun still shines most of the time and the majority of life around me couldn't care less if I shit in a bag instead of a toilet. IT'S JUST NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL!
I couldn't see that earlier, so I suppose many of you newer ostomates can't see it now either. But rest assured you will. And it's kind of liberating!! It's no longer the only thing on my mind, which allows me to think of much better things. And you'll get there too. I'm sure many who read this that are well past where I'm at are yawning or rolling your eyes.......and that's fine. But I'm also sure you can remember back to what it was like early on. And it wasn't fun and can be a bit disorienting. So to anyone reading this, today or whenever, know that things DO get better. It's NOT the most important thing in your life. And most importantly......you'll be ok. So at least when you get hit by that bus........you won't be worried about how full your bag is!
Onward we go!