Personal Growth As An Ostomate

Steve And Sally On Mat

Seems a bit ironic that you have to be at your lowest point you’ve ever experienced before you can improve your life. I’ve had my fair share of tough challenges, but I always try to tackle them to the best of my ability using my knowledge, experience and emotional intelligence. 

So what sort of things am I talking about?

Well, there was a guy who lied about having cancer, an alcoholic violent boyfriend, and then the end a ten-year relationship that had become so toxic it was the only way to save both of us. I’ve seen the death of my beloved animals: Max, my German Shephard who suffered a brain haemorrhage at four in the morning (I sat in tears cuddling him for hours before we were able put him to sleep), and my two beloved cats, Lucius and Tyler, neither of which were timely or peaceful deaths. Then there was the grief and trauma of losing the people around me through old age and illness.

So what was rock bottom for me? 

It was the moment I was fighting for my life, the moment I lay in a hospital bed signing a piece of paper preparing me for what was about to be the biggest test I’ve ever endured. Physically I was I completely screwed, but I was also going to be mentally destroyed. My brain couldn’t compute, and neither could my emotions. 

About six hours later I awoke to find tubes coming out of every part of me, rough is a slight understatement, I was battered. I couldn’t speak, see or move and I was about to realise why. OMG the pain! I’ve had some pain in my life, but nothing could prepare me for the excruciating agony I was about to go through - my bowels had been stapled together, I was pooping out my front and I felt like I had halved in size. 

I had a decision to make: do I give up and let the situation destroy me (always be ashamed and scared, never date and generally hate my life) or do I pick myself up, dust myself off and keep fighting? 

I’m fortunate that through most of my experiences I’ve been able to extract the positives, used them to calculate my approach, never let life beat me and never dropped my expectations or values and I certainly wasn’t going to let this one beat me.

I have the cutest pup who I love more than anything in the world and she kept me going.

I won’t bull and tell you it was easy because it really wasn’t, never have I had to fight so hard and endure so much. At times sh*t everywhere, leaking bags, poop explosions constant pain, constant anxiety… they told me I couldn’t train for 12 weeks, but I started at six. I DO NOT recommended this, but I knew my body and as a qualified and experienced personal trainer, I felt it was time for me to get back to my passions. 

Every influencing moment would be a learning curve, at first tears and pain and then eventually jokes and laughter. Don’t ever think you can control a fart!

All of the bad played a part in helping me become stronger, gaining a deeper level of emotional intelligence. Every action, every emotion, every response is influenced by what we’ve experienced and the reality of human existence is that there is no instruction booklet. You just have to do your best. And as for my fears about dating, I knew I would find a man that loved me for who I am, not what I am, and I did. 

Life is about learning and growing, even from our bad decisions we can extract the good, even if we make a mistake or choose the wrong path we can still learn and develop. This is an essential part of personal growth. 

How has your journey impacted your outlook on life?

by Steve White

Steve White

About the author

Hey guys, I’m Steve - a Northern lad who moved to London to start a career as a Personal Trainer. An accident led to my temporary stoma and I had quite a traumatic time, but I'm doing what I can to help others. An important fact about me is that I am blessed to have the most adorable, loving cockapoo called Sally. Follow me on Twitter @SWfitnesslondon or find me on Instagram.

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