Surfing the Waves of Life with an Ostomy
When you got your ostomy did you think you’d never be able to do or try certain things?
Mine was surfing. Now I live for it!
“Surfing the Waves of Life” (see below) is my article that explains how surfing went from my “mission impossible” to “newest passion” as well as the different mindsets I had to address. It was published in the 2020 summer edition of the national ostomy magazine “The Phoenix.
Having any health issues can lead you down the rabbit hole of desperation and giving up hope. You may find yourself even resisting the idea of ever feeling good again.
Exploring resistance is a way to reveal fears. Most people with health issues are typically trying to get through each day. It’s challenging. I get it. There are legit reasons to be afraid. But living in fear is distorting and disturbing the health of your body.
Most of us have old stories that we play over and over in our heads such as when a needle gets stuck on a record.
The more we replay our “perceptions” of old memories, the more we are enforcing them and thinking they are true. But that’s not always the case.
Life with an ostomy or a dis-ease can do the same thing. As I explain in my “Surfing the waves of Life” article, I thought it would be impossible to surf with an ostomy. I believed that for a number of years. That belief was based solely on my fear of swimming for any length of time.
Debunking my belief
I had a realization which was that I have a choice.
- Live in fear and not try, or
- Give it a go and see what happens
The worst that could happen is a leak or my appliance loosing adherence. But both of those things have happened when I’ve been doing nothing! So what the heck.
The result was that I debunked that belief. Nothing went wrong when I stayed in the water.
What is there to gain?
I gained a renewed sense of vitality, achievement, confidence and a fantastic passion of surfing.
The joy and empowerment I feel is multiplied because I do this with an ostomy and a kick-ass attitude. The exhilaration is beyond anything else. And believe me, I am a novice but I feel like a world champion when I catch a decent wave!
Finding ways to nudge yourself
Can you find ways to nudge yourself into trying things? Remember it’s important to take baby steps and not to give up after just one attempt. Consider these questions:
Where is your resistance to trying things?
How is your resistance holding you back?
What would happen if you lean into your resistance?!
Life’s an adventure. Go for it.
If you are still struggling with ostomy life then check out the ostomy programs page and download your free guide “3 simple ways to eliminate fears about your ostomy”.
Phoenix Magazine for Ostomates is well worth subscribing to as there are always useful articles. https://phoenixuoaa.org.
To download the PDF.