Longing for the Ocean: Finding Purpose and Hope

Feb 21, 2023 12:49 pm

Sitting on the beach sounds heavenly, especially for someone who lives in North Dakota. I moved to Arizona after college and started what I thought was my career forever. Only 1 year of working and I was diagnosed with cancer. I tried to work as much as I could after recovering from my surgery, but eventually the effects from the radiation consumed my life and I nearly died many times. It was then, we moved back to my home state of North Dakota. Being on disability with 2 ostomies, chronic pain, amongst other ailments that caused me to be in and out of the hospital for most of my young adulthood was what I had in store. I was 27. I was unable to have children and it's always just been my husband and I. At times I feel incredibly lonely, sad, and wondering what my purpose in life is. I don't like being a stay-at-home wife, as cooking and cleaning has become my new "career." I live in the worst place where winters seem to outlast the summers. There's nothing to do here as far as activities. No support groups. I have yet to find 1 person around my age with ostomies. I always ask my doctors at every visit, "Is there anyone new yet?" Since the age of 27, I've been told they only know of elderly people. Again, what is my purpose? My husband and I go on vacations every year, always to a place near the ocean. It has now become my goal in life to move to Florida one day. I feel a need deep within my body to be near the ocean, listening to the waves crash, feel the sand beneath my feet, the warmth of the sun on my skin. Until then, I sit and wait for my husband to retire. He's 56, I'm 49. Daily, I find myself looking for the best places to live in Florida and even secretly apply for jobs for my husband in the hopes that one of them will be an offer he can't refuse. Until then, I'll visit every year to be near the ocean and patiently dream of living there one day, and every day ponder over what my purpose in life is. Did you know your brain needs to see water? A study showed if you just walked past water near where water is visible for 20 mins, it can immediately improve your mood. Plus being around water will improve your physical state like lowering your blood pressure and your heart rate. I ask myself, how can this not be true for someone who lives in the tundra with rarely any sunshine? I will cherish that day. Until then, I will exist as a stay-at-home, childless wife, cooking and cleaning. Only existing was not supposed to be how my life turned out. Every day I will continue pondering the thoughts of, "What is my purpose?" Every minute, every second, every day.

Feb 21, 2023 1:03 pm

Life can be a bitch, but you're one of the lucky ones. Some people don't make it. Keep looking for that special place and you will find it one day. I hope it's sooner rather than later. Good luck. Regards, IGGIE

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Feb 21, 2023 1:20 pm

I'm sorry you feel that way but have you thought about starting a support group for other ostomies that feel like you? We all need a shoulder to lean on. You can be the shoulder but you might just find a shoulder. I wish you nothing but the best of luck!! God bless

ron in mich
Feb 21, 2023 2:00 pm

Hi Cappabarstar, your winters sound like ours here in N. Mich. 9 months of winter and 3 months of mosquitoes, except we do have Lake Superior surrounding us. In the 30 some years of having an ostomy, I know of only 2 other people that have them, no local support groups, and doctors and nurses that didn't know a hill of beans about ostomies.

Feb 21, 2023 4:42 pm

Except for 14 years in Utah, I'm a lifelong Floridian.  If you get serious about moving down here and have any questions, let me know.  Stay well.  HenryM

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Feb 21, 2023 5:39 pm

I have a friend who lived in North Dakota for a while - she was not happy there and told me she had to get to her car one day in a heavy snow and had to wrap her hands around the clothesline to make her way to her garage....she lives in Arizona now. If you must wait 'til retirement to move on, I hope you will at least get a sun lamp - it's almost as good as water and let the sunshine in, let the sunshine in. jb

Feb 21, 2023 7:31 pm

'Avast, ye landlubbers! Turn into the wind! Hoist the mainsail! Long John, to the foredeck! Your affinity for the sea is matched by many, including me. Its lure has woven its magic on numerous people. I knew a girl in England who said she could not live far from the sea, and there are many like that on that jeweled island. May your wish to be close to the sea and hear the waves crashing against the shore come true soon. Best wishes.
'I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.'
John Masefield.

Feb 21, 2023 8:42 pm

Hi Cappa, hang in there, and you will get to the ocean one day. Forty-nine is pretty young after all. Keep up your dreams and work towards it, and you will make it happen. I have lived near the ocean all my life, and have always known I just couldn't live anywhere else. I am not surprised to hear it actually lowers your blood pressure. Anytime I'm asked to imagine the most relaxing place I could be, it's walking on a sandy beach, or sitting on a log, looking out to sea. It's my happy place, and my place of peace and contentment, no matter what may be going on in my life. Think positive, keep those dreams alive, and make it happen.


Bob 48
Feb 21, 2023 9:56 pm

I would love to move to Florida someday. We almost did a few years ago but had to change plans. Hopefully, my wife and I will be snowbirds soon and move there sometime down the line. I love the water.

Mar 29, 2023 2:12 am

Being near water (and sunshine) is really good for me too, and I live in one of the worst places for sunshine... We have so much cloud cover here. This area is where they hid ammunitions/weapons during WW2 - wouldn't work with today's technology, but the cloud cover worked fine back then.