There’s folks who won’t come close to me

because I have an ostomy.

That does not matter in the end

where that person is not a friend.

But when they were my friends before

this is when it hurts me more.

One would expect a friend to stay

from the respect we had one day.

Linking back to when things were fine

thinking that these were friends of mine

I have to question reasons why

friends from my past would pass me by.

Maybe it’s me made the wrong call

and they were not my friends at all.

Nonetheless it hurts inside

that they give me a birth so wide.

Although it gets to me a bit

I don’t want to dwell on it.

I’d like to concentrate upon

my new state and moving on.

Here my tale has not yet ended

for there are people I’ve befriended

and they can empathise with me

because they have an ostomy.

From now on I won’t pretend,

I need to redefine ‘a friend’

as someone who can really care

and when you need them they’ll be there.

Someone you can rely upon

not have to ask them why they’ve gone.

This sort you’ll find that in the end

ought to define what is a friend.

B. Withers 2013

life lover

That is true, Bill, and I agree. But the sad thing is when it's your family! They take advantage and call me a 'freak'. Sisters who don't understand; being emotionally weak. Yes, I know your pain when your own sister steals away relationships for her own gain! But just remember, Bill, when one door closes, another will open wide to people and friends who want to be on your side. It's true, due to my abusive sister and past relationships, my trust is still off the track. But with wonderful people like you, I can be assured that I'll get it back!!!

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Hello life lover. Thank you for reading and responding to this verse. It means a lot to know that someone, somewhere gets the gist of the sentiments within the rhymes and then on odd occasions someone actually understands and can empathise with those sentiments. Trust must be something that is earned over time and many human beings have a knack of destroying any trust that we might have had in them. However, as you rightly say when one door closes another may open. I tend to think of individual people in terms of having many faces some of them seemingly incompatible with others. Thus they might be able to be trusted in one situation or at one level but not on another. I have found that it is very rare for individuals to be trustworthy in everything so I tend to be wary of trusting them with anything until they can 'prove' themselves as worthy of that trust. Of course that can lead to having a somewhat isolated existence at times and yet I have never felt 'lonely'. Especially as every now and then there's a feeling of having 'soulmates' out there in cyberspace that can be trusted at least with the more sensitive aspects of coping with an ostomy. Best wishes Bill

My lovely poet Bill, if my friends weren't my friends before, they can get stuffed now. LOL, that's my rhyme, that's my whinge. No, I'm not going on a drinking binge. Cheers and to life lover, you're not a freak, they are. And sadly, they have their heads up their butts. Maybe they are just hateful, as we know families are families. And maybe you have the attention in the family and sister don't. Oh hell, my sister did say a few times without thinking that she would have killed herself if she was me. But I know she meant she couldn't cope. But again, I took it really bad. She just would have to learn to live with a lil stoma. There's one way out, but that road shouldn't have to be taken unless it's a personal choice. Who knows? But we really know who our friends are, and our attitudes to ourselves can change others. Haters are haters, and if I have been called worse, it won't really bother me. As the blank was a druggie liar and so-called friend, I knew really wasn't just a bad influence and really a moron who really screamed for attention. God, I'm so glad a tiny mistake they made gave me the up yours and blank off. Life's better without some random people. I keep the good people close and the ones I never really knew apart. I know who my friends are, but I have my small walls to keep the shitheads out or as far as they need to be. But that's me. LOL XXX. Hope you're much better.

Past Member

Absolutely loved this, Bill. I had a lot of personal experience lately with these friends since we all came together for my 45th high school class reunion in July. When they hugged me, they arched their midsections away from me, some just stared at the area if they thought no one was looking, and others completely ignored me. I only stayed a couple of hours and didn't let them know how bad they were hurting me. I laughed, mingled, and left. I am in the process of closing the book on the former friends chapter of my life and have opened a new book with new friends who don't know or don't care about my stoma.

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Hello Mooza.Thanks for the post. There's a saying that you can't choose your family - but then sometimes family are are not friends as well. I've taken to the concept of not having 'friends' -- I only have people I know - and some I know better than others. Humans tend to so unreliable as friends that invariably people turn to their pets for the sort of friendship that the human species have so much trouble with developing and sharing.Best wishesBill
Hello octobersunrise. I too once went to a school reunion and can relate to your experiences. Ours was organised by someone who had done well in the world and simply wanted us all to know about it. Personally I found the most interesting of my fellow school attenders were those who had struggled through their difficult lives with very little material reward but a whole heap of essential experiences and survival-techniques. We, of course had a 'wealth' of things to talk about and share together, whereas the only thing I shared with the show-off was a long-distant memory of unhappy school days which I would much rather forget.Best wishesBill

Loved this poem mate, I am new to this site but as soon as I read this it rang true to me. I have had my ileostomy for 20 years and it makes me sad when I think of all those people who I thought were friends and have just passed out of my life and left me pretty much alone but I know they were never friends at all, as sad as it may be.

Hello Phil. Thanks for the supportive comments on the rhyming verse, these are always appreciated. It is a bit saddening to think that what seemed like permanent friendships gradually become somewhat transient. Leaving us with the feeling that perhaps they were not rue friendships at all. Unfortunately we seem to live in a world that encourages self-centredness and impermanence as somehow desirable so lots of people on on their own missions to discard what might have been for what might be in the future. Personally I thing that there is a lot of sense in the old sayings such as 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' and 'Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater' etc.Many moons ago I too used to be able to run long-distances - unfortunately age creeps up on us all and I am no longer able to keep up with such activities. What you describe as sadness is a feeling that tends to come with many of life's losses. The older you get the more they seem to pile up. Perhaps we should just enjoy those good experiences whilst they are there and then commit them to memory without the baggage of them sometimes being messed up towards the end.Best wishes Bil

Hi Bill, a lot of truth in what you say. I was also a long-distance runner and am still trying, but it is getting harder by the day - too much discomfort. Unfortunately, I think all the years of running were keeping me sane because of the natural high. And now, along with a few other things, as well as not running so much, I feel low. My problem is that those experiences I have committed to memory are what is bringing me down - totally irrational, I know. Regards, Phil.

Hello Phil. Feeling low is an emotional response. The key point about emotions is that in the main they are irrational! If they were anything other than irrational they would be called something different like 'logic' or 'thinking'. For many people emotions have never really been under their control, they feel them, and act upon them instantaneously, often in an impulsive and sometimes a compulsive way. Emotions are an energy force and, like any other form of energy, it can be 'dangerous' if it's not controlled. Long-distance running can be a technique of controlling emotions as well as getting physical exercise. If this avenue is now closing to you it might be a wise move to find an alternative technique. There are a whole variety of 'distraction' techniques that are quite effective but I prefer to face the 'problem' literally head-on and practice controlling every emotion as and when it emerges. I also believe that this type of energy has a way of keeping itself in a 'natural' balance. Therefore I try not to pursue what others call 'happiness' because it often tends to be associated with a 'high' in emotion which is then counterbalanced by a following 'low'. I prefer to seek 'contentment' which is what I call emotional 'flat-lining' (neither high nor low). I you are feeling low because of 'happy' memories then the chances are it is not the actual memories that are dragging you down but the feeling of loss that accompanies those memories. This is very similar to the effects of 'bereavement' in other circumstances. Sometimes people need space to grieve at what what they have lost. However, if this grieving goes on for too long and becomes morbid it usually carries the label of 'depression' and those people should perhaps think of getting professional help. I'm not in favour of drugs except in extreme cases but what they call the 'talking-cure' can go a long way to helping people keep their heads above the waves of emotion that might otherwise take them under. I hope you are able to begin to manage these emotions and take control in the near future.Best wishesBill
Past Member

Hi Bill, a wonderful poem yet again. Keep them flowing. All the best, Bev.

Hello cutycall. Thanks for the lovely comment - I do have a few more poems that have not yet seen the light of day on this site but I'm trying to slow down the rate of flow so that they will last a bit longer.Best wishesBill

Aw, Bill, you're spot on! My dog loves me, especially when he gets a walk. Lol! But human friends are a wonderful thing to have. Having been through hell and still being alive, I see what my former friends have been like. Screw them, make room for me, buddy! x x x x

Hello mooza. It's always great to read your comments so thank you for taking the time to reply to this verse. I like to hear you love your dog -- that might be worth a separate blog.Best wishes Bill
Past Member

Hey Bill, I really enjoyed your November 25th post on emotion. I am sitting here alone after spending the holiday alone this year. I've been thinking a lot about what you said on controlling emotions since you posted. I was alone Christmas Day and those sad emotions started creeping up. I took your advice and took control. I tuned in to a radio station playing Christmas music, cooked a turkey with all the trimmings, singing with the radio all the while, savored a lovely meal, toasted myself, the birth of Christ, and the close of 2014 with a glass of champagne, called all my relatives to wish them a merry Christmas, and then had a Hallmark Channel TV marathon. I just wanted to thank you for this lesson in controlling emotions. I've never tried it, thinking emotions were not something that could be controlled, only felt, and hopefully, dealt with successfully. I have often fallen into the black hole of depression from allowing my emotions to control me. So thanks, my friend. It worked. As I am closing the book on some friendships that I thought were genuine, but my health issues have proven this to be untrue, controlling my sadness made it much easier as I said a mental goodbye to these folks. I am excited about starting new friendships in 2015 and my doctor has encouraged me to join the Senior Circle here. I think I will. Hope you had a very merry holiday season and that the New Year brings you and yours all the contentment you so richly deserve. As I walked around my little nest today, saying thank you to God for all He has given me, contentment was abundant.

Hello octobersunrise. Thank you so much for your post as it makes my efforts in the arena of emotional control seem that much more worthwhile when someone appears to benefit. You are to be congratulated on the 'exercises' you have done as they are all what I would call 'distraction' techniques. That is they take your mind away from the potentially harmful emotions and channel them into something more positive. You have also described another very useful phenomenon which helps in emotional control -- that is that you found 'contentment'. People nowadays are encouraged to search for a very elusive emotion they call 'happiness'. It is my belief that this pursuit is encouraged by the vested interests of commercialism where people are led to think they can buy happiness by way of acquiring materialistic things. Invariably what happens is that this type of happiness is short-lived and they then have to chase it more and more in order to achieve the same transitory levels of elation. It's a bit like any other drug-habit in that respect. Whereas 'contentment' is just that. This inner-state can fairly easily be maintained without having to spend money or chase someone else's concept of a 'good' life. As for the 'black-hole' of depression, this is an interesting concept that has been used many times in graphically similar ways.'slippery-slope' - 'precipice' - 'whirlpool' etc. In almost all of these concepts there is a notion of being 'on the edge' just before being sucked into the hole. People actually know they are on the edge and yet still take that extra step to get themselves into the hole. This seems to me to be equivalent to emotional- suicide and I usually point out that if folks can take control at that point of being on the edge then they can simply turn away and take a different emotional route and leave the hole for someone else to step into if they so wish. When you say that you will be looking for new friends in the coming year this is a great example of taking an alternative route away from those things that might otherwise entice you towards depressive circumstances and relationships. My 'theory about emotions'(for what it's worth) is that they are really 'instincts' which are unlearned, impulsive, compulsive. They were very useful in primitive and more 'natural' times when to act on instincts often meant you stayed alive. In modern societies where almost everything is artificial those primitive instincts can often be inappropriate and need to be controlled in artificial ways. The artificial counter-balance/antidote to emotion is what we now call 'thinking' or logic. Unfortunately, in a commercial world, the powers that be are not too keen on people thinking for themselves or being 'contented' so educationally they are not likely to be teaching young people 'how' to think for themselves, but prefer to teach them 'what' to think in term of what they are 'told'. It therefore does not surprise me how many people do not think for themselves and allow themselves to be guided by others both in their thinking and their emotions.As this field of study has been my lifetime's work I could go on about it forever! so I'll curtail my enthusiasm here and simply say that controlling your emotions is a skill that can be learned just like any other skill. Once you have mastered it the modern world becomes a much more acceptable place to live. Largely, if you're like me, you'll tend to opt out of most of the commercial crap. Best wishes Bill
Past Member

Hi Bill,

You are so right in all you said. It is not just wanting what commercialism has to offer that corrupts our thought processes, it is also what we do to try to obtain these material things that ruins our health... overtime, long periods away from family in travel, and not being fully present for our spouses and children, credit card interest mushrooming with each passing day... all these stressors play havoc with our health. Our minds are diseased by the consequences of wanting, wanting, wanting. And it is not necessarily a selfish wanting. We truly feel our families would be better served with what is out there, so we work, plan, strive, and often kill our health with stress, ulcers, gut problems, heart issues, obesity, lack of exercise, and pain.

I spent myself into a hole trying to help my son. It didn't help either of us. At this late age, I have finally got it. My son has yet to learn even though he is only 45 and was in the hospital last month for over a week with diverticulitis. The doctors asked him why someone so young had such a severe case of it. You and I know the answer to that question.

Well, anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for your insight and the super way you presented it here. Gratitude for what we have at whatever stage in our lives is the only way to go. If my son could learn to control his emotions before it is too late and he winds up with a bag on his belly, God will have answered all my prayers. He does not listen to me. Maybe one day, he will see the change in me, notice my contentment, and ask how I achieved it. At that time, I will send him your post.

Take care, O Wise One. Keep writing about your lifetime's work. It helps more than you know.


Hello octobersunrise. I'm with you all the way in everything you say. so many children do not care until their parents are not there - They just want to live their lives until their judgment day arrives without heeding the good advice from parents who want to be nice. Best wishes Bill.
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