Finding Healing and Connection in the Midst of Chronic Illness

Sometimes my fallibility and humanness catch me unaware. Being chronically sick for so long, was such a source of shame that at times I don't allow myself to feel. It is only when my body says lsquoenough' that my brain follows suit and recognizes it is time to stop.

Can you relate?

Oftentimes I will go back to my story and remind myself where I have come from, and where I hope to go. It scares me to think of what I went through and how disconnected I can be from my body. I felt that my body betrayed me, so having an intimate relationship with something so cruel doesn't make sense.

Don't get me wrong; it's great lsquo;doing life,' rushing from a to b and forgetting the pain and hardship I've experienced. Why dwell on a time in my life that was difficult? I never wanted to be seen as a victim, so it is hard to acknowledge that at times I was, and still am.

I tried hard to hide behind the mystique of lsquobeing fine' .. actually .. lsquobetter than fine' so at times I forget what it is like to not be fine, to not be ok .. to be tired, to ache and to feel sad.

Telling my story is a way for me to heal and I hope help others heal. It is a way to connect with my body and allow my mind to wonder.

There is a level of discomfort in being so open and vulnerable to the world; but I don't want to live in the shame that I felt being so sick, for so long, simply surviving with an ostomy. I am a survivor, but I am also a thriver (wow .. that is actually harder than I thought it would be to say (today))

I think I am not alone in struggling to be human. I imagine many others with an ostomy feel the same. I know others who suffer from chronic illness wake up some days, and simply roll over and go back to sleep.

I also know it gets better. I guess that is why I am doing this. To connect to someone hellip; out there hellip;. who has felt the same. Maybe commonality, a shared experience will allow us both to heal. Maybe someone reading my struggles with recognise it is ok to have theirs. I felt so alone at times, so confused, so lost that I just wanted someone to reach out, take my hand in theirs and never let go.

Take a moment with me. Place your right hand under you left arm pit and place your left hand on your right shoulder. Breathe. In through the nose, hold for 5 seconds and out through the mouth. As you breathe in, fill your lungs with a happy memory or thought. Hold that though, then as you breathe out, push out a negative memory or thought. Hold / Hug yourself in a blanket of self- compassion and love. Nurture yourself in this moment and remind yourself that you are human.

I maybe wounded but I am not broken.

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Reading what you've written here reminds me of me long ago. My surgery was in '64. You're going to be okay.
Hello Suzie. I can definitely relate to your post and the reasons for writing one's thoughts down. I tend to do it in rhyming verse but it seems that you are not 'unaversed' to doing the same - I quote " I am a survivor, but I am also a thriver". I will try to use this concept in a verse of my own as soon as I can put my mind to it. Best wishes Bill
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This speaks to me: But once we get the hang of it, we can control this "sickness" shit. It's then we start to feel alive and suddenly we start to thrive. I told you we would collaborate one day!!!! Thanks again Doc Le Brocq AKA Suzie

Hello Suzie. My daughter has just written to me to share an experience she had/has with one of her elderly clients, which also fits the 'survive and thrive' concept. So, I will share my rhyme with you to capture her comments. Best wishes Bill SURVIVE AND THRIVE 4. Sometimes we're lucky and we'll meet someone who's landed on their feet by sheer determination and the fortitude to make a stand. These people are an inspiration and without equivocation deserve our praise and admiration for their own emancipation. Anyone, of any age, can decide to turn that page, and change their lives from a bad place to occupy a different space. But many people don't do this and find their lives will come amiss because, whilst they are still alive they miss the point and fail to thrive. I know a centenarian who's an humanitarian and altruistic in her stance so, thriving isn't left to chance. This lady's a pleasure to meet, as she does not bow to defeat, but takes life's problems one by one and makes sure everything gets done. Manifesting independence with immense self-confidence, this lady is a role-model without a need to molly-coddle. She's an example to behold of someone who is brave and bold, showing that she has survived, but more than that, she's also thrived. Be Withers 2021
How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Hey Bill,

If I choose a certain verse, would you give me permission to post it to my Facebook account for my ostomy stuff? I will or will not credit you depending on your preference?


I couldn't get my left hand over to the right shoulder. Does this part matter much?

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