TRY EVERYTHING is an ongoing series about ostomates who wanna, well, try everything!
On July 13, 2018, I had ostomy surgery to save my life. I spent a lot of time contemplating whether or not I was even going to acknowledge this day, as it's also a reminder of the violent assault which led to my permanent colostomy. I spent years battling depression and suicidal ideation, thinking that my life wasn’t worth living.
I found the courage to go through with surgery after meeting some amazing people at the St. Louis UOAA support group and talking with the incredible medical team at Washington University Hospital who contributed to my care. If it weren't for them and my husband's love and support, I don’t know if I would've made it through this transition or survived PTSD and depression. I can honestly say that I truly forgive my assailant for what he did because his hate led me to find the most unconditional love I’ve ever felt.
Until two weeks ago, I lived with so much anxiety about strangers noticing my bag or having it leak in public. I just accepted that I'd never swim again. But after attending Youth Rally this year, the amazing campers and counselors encouraged me to try new things and not let my colostomy control my life. What I love most about "Rally" is how we all come from such different circumstances yet share so many similarities, and nobody judges anyone.
So, this past weekend I challenged myself by working on the water rescue team at Savage Race 2019 in Chicago. I jumped straight in the water and pulled six people from the obstacles, and not once did I let fear or anxiety get in the way. I had so much fun realizing I could do anything.
Never let anything hold you back, TRY EVERYTHING!