A Bad Day Doesn’t Mean A Bad Life

Nathan A Bad Day Doesnt Mean A Bad Life


With the recent events in the media surrounding mental health and tragically losing Caroline Flack, I wanted to share my thoughts about my own mental health struggles since having my ileostomy. 

The thing that I think a lot of people forget is, it’s not only the physical changes when having surgery, it’s also the mental side of things – that can sometimes take a lot longer to adjust to. This was certainly the case with me! 

I had stoma surgery back when I was 17, it was very sudden. 

I had never heard of ulcerative colitis or the word ileostomy before! I hadn’t been suffering for long, in the space of a month my life was changed forever. I didn’t have that time to process what was going to happen to me. All I knew was that I was ill, and something had to be done! (If you’re facing surgery, take a look at the advice SecuriCare has to offer regarding what to expect.) 

Once all the surgery was done and I was healing, it was a case of getting my head around what had happened. This was the hardest part for me. I completely accept that I have a ‘bag for life’ now, but there was a spiral of emotions that came along with it that has taken me years to adjust to. 

A big taboo subject is antidepression medication. 

I myself thought it was a big taboo and I could NEVER go on tablets. Well, I am not ashamed to admit that I am on antidepression medication and have been for over five years now. 

It all came about because I would find myself crying randomly. Just uncontrollable sobbing, without anything triggering it. It was really intense. I remember being in my bedroom and calling my mum just to say I had no idea why I was crying, but I wasn’t feeling right. 

I went through all the emotions of feeling alone, feeling angry, the constant questioning ‘why me?’. So many things just weighing me down because I really thought the world was against me. I was so scared of the world, and feared that something else would happen to me (and this is still something I deal with now). 

I have never been the most confident guy, even at school I always suffered with low self-esteem. 

I was the fat, quiet kid that hated sports, that hated getting dirty and would NEVER put my hand up in class. Having the ileostomy made me grow up, but it wasn’t until I accepted what had happened to me and went to therapy and went on the antidepressants, that I really saw a change in myself. 

From the guy that wouldn’t even walk to the corner shop, I now go travelling around the world. 

I can go to London by myself and not think anything of it. I have the best group of friends, people I can rely on and they know all about what I’ve been through. I have the most amazing family that has backed me no matter what. 

The point of this post is just to show, I was at that low point that many of you may be feeling. I wanted to kill myself. I know that sounds really harsh and awful, but I wanted to. I’m not sure I would have gone to that stage of actually doing something – but I certainly felt like I was a burden on people around me. I thought life would be easier without me. I had some very dark thoughts but fast forward five years, and I can honestly say, I love my life.

Sure, I still have dark days, we all do! It’s a dark world out there and I try to just focus on myself and surrounding myself with things that keep me happy. 

Obviously, this is not always possible and as they say, life is a rollercoaster – you have to take the highs and lows but enjoy the ride! 

Please remember, if you are EVER feeling lonely, there is always someone that would listen to you. There are helplines, forums, chats, ME! All my socials are on the site. I would rather listen to your problems than you not enjoy life. Every day is a new day. One bad day doesn’t mean a bad life! I promise you! Let my story be proof of that. 

I hope this has bought a smile to your face! Never Give Up! 

Until next time

Nathan x

“My illness was very sudden, in the space of a month my life was changed forever.” - @thatsnathan

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As Nathan says, please do not ever feel that you are alone. If you are experiencing concerns about your mental health or suicidal thoughts, please reach out to your GP or you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123, or email them if you’d prefer on jo@samaritans.org . If you just feel that you would benefit from some additional support and ongoing advice to handle living with a stoma, our team at SecuriCare would be very happy to help – find out more about Our Service and what we offer. 

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by Nathan Wheeler

Nathan Wheeler

About the author

Hello - I'm Nathan Wheeler! I'm a YouTuber and I've had an ileostomy since 2007 when I was just 17, so I have a pretty good idea about how to deal with the struggles of a stoma! I want to share my experiences with you and bring a light-hearted approach to all the questions that no one wants to ask! You can follow me an Instagram and YouTube.

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