Whether you’ve just had ostomy surgery or you’ve been living with an ostomy for years, there’s bound to be some emotional ups and downs. They’re completely justified feelings, but the key is figuring out how to get back into life as fast as possible.
Why not give these ideas a try?
1. Find A Support Group
Within an ostomy support group, you’ll be able to make connections with others who have gone through the same challenges you’re facing. Talking to other ostomates in person is one of the best sources of comfort and encouragement.
"I found a support group that met two weeks after my surgery. Despite being really cranky and down on myself that particular evening, I went. I left feeling a million times better… turns out I just needed some human interaction after spending so much time alone! The group was incredibly welcoming and willing to answer any questions I had. It’s days like these, meetings like these, and people like these that make me so proud to be a part of such an incredible family of ostomates." - Karin Miller
The Do Plan: Talk less to people who don’t understand. Talk more to people who do understand.
2. Listen To Inspiring Music
Music is a great way to feel better, instantly. Songs can heal, put you in a better mood and help you feel less alone. It can shut off the negative voices in your head, temporarily anyways. Our mind’s dark place is nowhere to stay.
"Summer 2011, I was recovering from surgery, had an ostomy, was feeling insecure. Lady Gaga comes out with an album all about loving yourself. I listen to it all summer much to the annoyance of the rest of my family. To this day I maintain that Lady Gaga helped me recover and I would probably cry if I saw her in person. Okay, it’s not as simple as I just made it sound, but I think you get the picture. At a time when I was probably the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been with myself, my favorite artist tells me it’s okay. Like the lyrics said: 'I just want to be myself, and I want you to love me for who I am.' Silly as it sounds, I owe a lot to Gaga." - Emma Chapple
The Do Plan: Turn on a great tune the next time you’re feeling blue.
3. Give Yourself Some Quiet Time
When things in life seem almost too much to handle – stop for a few minutes and take a few long, deep breaths. Sort of like a mini-mediation practice. It’s a great way to help calm both the mind and body.
"So my therapist said, in order to keep moving through this stage in my life where everything sucks, I need to get uncomfortable and break out of habits and patterns. Even good patterns. I need to change-up my life. So she gave me a task of being uncomfortable for the next month. And in reality, it will probably be longer than a month. But she encouraged me to go to things alone, try new activities, and generally just do things that are way out of my comfort zone in an effort to connect with myself. To hopefully stop torturing myself with all my processing and analyzing and perhaps even learn a thing or two. There randomly is a Buddhist monastery by my house that teaches meditation on Saturday mornings. I can’t think of a place that I belong less than there, so I might try that." - Jackie Zimmerman, Founder of Girls With Guts
The Do Plan: Be still. But if that doesn’t work, be funny like Jackie.