Nov 02, 2016 6:20 am

The worst of times has got to be
when first you find your ostomy.
You can no longer hide away
it’s on your side and there to stay.

It shakes you to the very core
and makes you feel that you deplore
the very thing that helped you to
avoid the brink and then pull through.

In those early days you’re stressed
and easily become depressed.
After your stoma comes along
you start to grow healthy and strong.

If you proceed I feel you’ll find
this will recede within your mind.
Then you may start to understand
as you take part and play your hand.

I found life’s game’s not done until
you’re underground and lying still.
Not much to be hateful for
but much you can be grateful for.

With experience comes a kind
of recognizance in your mind.
From introspective attitude
onto respect and gratitude.

I ponder problems that I had
and yonder trouble bad and sad.
I am now grateful to be free
from all that pain and misery.

It’s not just all the things you’ve got
but must include the grot you’ve not.
I now conclude my attitude
tries to exude my gratitude.

B. Withers 2013

Nov 02, 2016 2:33 pm

Simply well-spoken, beautiful, Angelica Marie

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Nov 02, 2016 8:33 pm
Thank you so much Angelicamarie. Feedback is always welcome and this is especially so when it indicates that someone has got something positive from the rhyming verses.
Best wishes
Nov 02, 2016 10:06 pm

Bill, I hope that the incredible volume of comfort, companionship, wisdom, serenity, strength, and love that you pour onto our community comes back to you one hundredfold. This hope is a prayer. Thank you for helping me through the most indescribable year of my life. Your words often gave me ideas for coping and healing strategies, and I especially loved feeling the power that came from knowing I was not alone. I am deeply grateful. All the best to you and yours.

Nov 03, 2016 6:25 am
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
Firstly, let me thank you for your comments. I usually read through most posts so I know that you don't write too often. This makes it feel all the more rewarding for me as I often wonder how those people feel who usually choose to read rather than reply. I feel I do not deserve the praise that you heap upon me and maybe now is a good time to try to explain why.
There are three fairly distinct facets to my writing rhyming verse.
First and foremost, this type of writing has helped me to overcome or manage my own feelings on those facets of life which tend to cause the most stress. My own perspective on this is that the process tends to be introspective and self-centred. Therefore, I don't really deserve praise of any kind because I am not trying to help others in this process of writing on stomas - only myself.

The second facet is when I share what I have written with others. In doing so, I am no different to anyone else(including yourself) who posts on MAO and I certainly do not think my contributions are any more valuable than anyone else's.
Normally, I publish my work and put it up for sale. This too, is not a selfless, but a selfish act and, in my 'book' does not deserve praise.

The third aspect is much more complex and difficult to explain. It stems from when I first started writing rhyming verse. This was prompted by people who I was supposed to be helping, who had unimaginably unresolvable problems in their lives and in their minds. For the desire and necessity to try to do 'something' for them, I plagiarised their stories almost word for word/ definitely meaning by meaning, and translated what they were telling me into rhyming verse, which I then gave back to them, mostly to show that I had listened to what they said. The process of reading their own stories through a completely different medium gave them another perspective on their own problems and often helped them to manage better than previously. One effect of putting in the effort to document their stories in this way, was to show to them that I had really listened empathetically to everything they had to say and I thought it and they were important enough to document for prosperity. In fact, this was about all I could do for them and most of them already knew that, which made them feel grateful that someone else 'understood' their position and plight.
For my part, I was relieved to have found some way to 'do something' in situations where I was floundering to do anything at all. So, in a sense, I could not help but think that I was doing this as much for my own benefit as for theirs.
Please don't misunderstand my ramblings above. I do really appreciate it when people such as yourself take the trouble to say that they have appreciated my contributions to life. However, the very fact that your comments make me feel 'proud', tends to make me feel as if I am being selfish, or at least self-centred yet again.
The problem with this, is that whilst I appreciate the camaraderie of being with people who have similar problems, who share with each other so that they don't feel alone, I do not really want to feel that I have anything in common with people who are self-centred and selfish, so every time I am reminded that there is this underlying tendency within me, I react adversely to it.

I hope this explanation is not too complex and unwieldy but I needed to get it off my chest.
Best wishes

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Nov 03, 2016 8:48 am

See Bill, I'm not the only one that knows you are talented. That was very touching, Bill. God bless.

Nov 03, 2016 2:09 pm
Thank you again Angelicamarie! for reading my ramblings.
Nov 03, 2016 4:02 pm

Altruism and empathy are surely admirable traits and aspirations. I wonder if the warm sense of "right" or "goodness" they invoke (pride?) in one's self are more attributable to a human fault or...option B... resonance with divinity? And if it's divine resonance, does that maybe suggest that a smidge of self-love (selfishness) is critical? Can you tell I'm writing to myself as well? Thank you for opening this door, Bill. I'm working every day to experience and love this life. I'm not good at knowing myself, and I blame my distraction and worrisome spirit for my physical ailments. Your written words give me solace, and if that makes you feel good or happy, then I expect it will keep you writing and helping me. It's not duplicity. I think it's one of the best things about humanity. Thank you and all the best to you both, Bill and Angelicamarie.

Nov 03, 2016 5:07 pm

Thank you, Brill. Keep it flowing!!!!

Nov 03, 2016 8:12 pm
Hello Lemonlimevoilet. You open up some interesting points of discussion which deserve a little more airing than we probably have the time or expertise to do justice to. However, I'd like to try to respond to your comments from my own perspective and see where it takes us.
Empathy, I have virtually no problem with as it is all about seeing from another's point of view.
Altruism, gives me some grief because it is often viewed as people giving freely without receiving any reward for themselves. The very act of altruism often carries it's own rewards and can be addictive for some people for that very reason. When this is so, it surely loses the essence of altruism which is based on selflessness.
Self-love, I view as more like narcissism than selfishness but sometimes the two are so intertwined that they can be indistinguishable.
As for knowing myself, as soon as I think I have an answer or an explanation for a part of me, I either change and the process starts again or, I begin to doubt that what I perceive about myself, would not bear any resemblance to what others may perceive about me. I then come to the conclusion that I can only do what I think is right for me (and others) at the time that I'm doing it.
I also have a theory about 'blame'- which goes something along the lines of 'blame is a form of bullying and it's the biggest bullies that tend to make their version of blame stick the longest'.
When people blame themselves, (according to this theory) they are simply bullying themselves as others might also bully them.
I try not to let the 'blame' culture into my world, for so often it distorts the truth, whatever that may be. Have you ever noticed that invariably 'blame' will fall on those at the lower end of the hierarchy and completely bypass those at the top? My own empathy lies with those unfortunate souls who cannot avoid the blame that other people deem to heap upon them. I also feel for those who heap that blame upon themselves without fully considering where it truly lies.( or at least emanates from)
Best wishes
Nov 04, 2016 3:14 pm

Hi Bill. Fascinating analysis. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It feels true-blame is bullying. Is it wrong to bully a negative force (Worry) in order to dominate it...eliminate it? Heck yes, it's wrong! For me, for sure. It's all so negative. Blame, Bully, Dominate, Eliminate. All horrible. Doesn't matter if I think the enemy (Worry) is the big usurper of my health. Have I been bullying myself for a trait that is just intrinsic? Seems so obvious (now) that the variables for this equation are much greater in volume than just a) submission or b) blame. What to do....what to do? Love (again seems the obvious answer).
And realizing Worry isn't just an unlucky accidental trait that I've come to identify as my genetic handicap - there's definitely a component of selfishly weighing events exclusively within my individual perspective. So maybe in one way, Worry is the price to be paid for being selfish. Wow, this is tricky. I'm considering how to do something for someone else this beautiful afternoon so I feel less selfish. Which of course immediately felt like a selfish plan until I thought about your conclusion of doing what I think is right for me and others at the time I'm doing it. Thank you for that. I can definitely work with that today. All the Best, Andrea

Nov 05, 2016 8:12 am
Hello Andrea.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this way as it gives me an opportunity to respond with some of the many other theories I've had to develop on thee types of issues.
Firstly, I agree with you that it's 'tricky' in that it involves so many different facets of humans interacting with their environment. However, in order to make some sense of the complexity I have tried to simplify some of it in order to help with understanding and moving on.
Things that we have come to call worry, anxiety, panic etc. can all be subsumed under the heading of 'fear', which in turn is one of several 'emotions'.
My theory states that 'emotions' are indistinguishable from 'instincts'
Many people believe that there is no controlling instincts because they are part of the natural order of things that one is born with. I agree that they are a part of the human condition but strongly disagree with the notion that they cannot be managed and controlled. My theory, based on years of practical study, is that Humans 'learn' most of what will be useful to them throughout life, before they reach the age of five years. It is then that we learn to walk, talk, think, eat, defecate. This period, so early in life, is crucial to learning how to control our instincts/emotions.
Those who are fortunate enough to have had good teachers, learn to control emotions quickly and effectively and carry on with their lives practicing what they have learned and get progressively better at it as they grow up.
Those who did not learn self-control at that early age, have few skills to practice and therefore are likely to muddle along in life with their emotions/instincts controlling them, rather than them controlling their emotions.
This can be a recipe for disaster in some cases whereas in others, it just makes life uncomfortable at times.
My working life was very much concerned with helping those who became mentally ill because of this problem of not being able to control their emotions/instincts, so it was necessary to devise some techniques for helping them learn what they should have learned before the age of five.
Some people have an entrenched attitude that 'you cannot teach an old dog new tricks' but anyone who knows anything about dogs will tell you that this is simply not true. Once people become aware that this is a problem of learning the basic skills necessary to control their emotions, then the path is set for them to catch up on what they failed to learn as a child.
I will not go into the multitude of reasons why some children are not taught these skills properly because that is often very specific to each child. 'Learning' at such a young age is primarily down to who is doing the teaching. Suffice it to say, that if the parents did not know how to control their own instincts/emotions, how on earth would they be expected to teach these skills to their offspring?
I would therefore urge you not to think of 'worry' as an unlucky , accidental, genetic trait/handicap as that carries the implication that there is nothing you can do about it. It helps if you perceive the problem as being, that you probably did not learn the skills necessary to manage your emotions/instincts during the under five years. This difference in perspective will hopefully show you that there is still plenty of time to acquire those skills, if you put your mind to it and practice, practice and PRACTICE SOME MORE.
One of the most powerful tools I found for counterbalancing emotions is 'logic'. That is: thinking things through, without the encumbrance of emotions.
The posts you have made on this so far, indicate to me that you are already beginning to think logically about the problems and how to overcome them. If you keep at it in this way I feel sure that you will soon compensate for your inadequate childhood learning by teaching yourself.
In my case, I spent a working lifetime sharing my own self-organised learning with others, so that they too might unburden themselves of the stress that uncontrolled emotions place upon them. This was my technique for practicing controlling my own emotions, in much the same way that writing rhyming verse continues to help me now.
Best wishes
Nov 05, 2016 11:17 am

Good morning Bill, how are you today? I see you saw me that wonderful poem, but no message. Did you think I need to read it again!!! Angelica Marie, have a great day Bill.

Nov 05, 2016 11:17 am

Typing errors should be sent!!!!!! Angelica Marie

Nov 05, 2016 11:46 am

Bill, that last comment wasn't meant for you, my fellow ostolate. Do forgive me.

Nov 05, 2016 12:02 pm

Witty it was for you

Nov 05, 2016 12:02 pm

It was for you, Bill, because I wanted you to understand and not with errors.

Nov 05, 2016 12:45 pm

Bill, it should be wonderful not wonder!!!

Nov 05, 2016 1:01 pm

Good morning Bill, how are you today? What are you doing today? Just wanted you to know that a fellow ostomate thought of you. Have a great day!!!!!!! AngelicaMarie

Nov 05, 2016 2:49 pm
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thank you for asking how I am as if offers the chance to say that I am much better for reading your comments as they cheer me up no end. Firstly, I am surprised that anyone reads the rhymes at all and as for reading them twice, it would seem a little like flagellation. I do like to see spelling mistakes made by others because that makes me feel better about making them myself and, after all, is it not the meaning behind the words that counts most?
I have been busy gardening as the weather forecasters tell us we are about to have the first real frost of the winter season, which means all the summer flowers needed taking out, to be replaced by spring bulbs which, hopefully will brighten everything up after a bleak winter. Now, it is time to put my feet up and have a rest before starting on my evening writing quest.
I hope your day was also filled with all the things that you would wish for yourself.
Best wishes
Nov 05, 2016 4:15 pm

Thank you, Bill. You are a very kind soul!!! Angelica

Nov 06, 2016 9:08 am
Thank you so much Algelicamarie for your kind comments.

I kind of think, that I'm the kind of person, who responds in kind to the kind of person who is kind to me.
Nov 06, 2016 9:08 am
However, sometimes I'm completely different and can be a right 'dink'.
Nov 06, 2016 9:33 am

Bill, what is a dink?

Nov 06, 2016 9:33 am

No one is perfect, so when you accept one, you accept the good and bad. I can be a pistol if I'm pushed. I don't like to, but I can be.

Nov 06, 2016 9:39 am
A 'dink' is literally the reverse of 'kind'.

Forgive me for making these 'kinds' of words up but that's what writers and poets tend to do.
It's our prerogative and it's how languages stay alive and grow.
Best wishes
Nov 06, 2016 9:46 am

Bill, you haven't been a dink to me, Angelicamarie, and you're forgiven.....

Nov 06, 2016 9:51 am
Thanks Angelicamarie. You sound like my kind of person!
Nov 06, 2016 10:07 am

Go to sleep, Bill. Are you a night owl? You just woke up at 4:00 am, so I'll be up for the rest of the day. Have you been to sleep, Bill?

Nov 06, 2016 10:49 am
Despite the late night fireworks to celebrate November 5th. I had plenty of sleep and have been up now for almost 5 hours. The time here is 10:45am and I am looking forward to Sunday being a day of doing all those things that I never seem to have time for during the week. Being on the other side of the Atlantic I think makes us a fair bit ahead of you in terms of time.