In the current running theme of my world, I wanted to let you all know I had a breakthrough at therapy on Monday. See? Told you everyone should go.
I’ve seen “the new normal” quite often as a trope associated with any ostomy – the idea that things have changed massively but humans are great at adapting and resilience will carry you into a new normal. I strongly believe this even if I do spend so much time whinging and tend to get a bit negative (thanks anxiety). I’ve stressed and anxiously waited for things to go wrong on this journey but when actually faced with every twist and turn I am generally pretty good at copping it on the chin and moving on. Moving on to my new normal. And so, I figured that after this surgery I’d be the same – I stressed so much but now it’s done I will get back on the horse and return to normality.
That didn’t quite happen though, did it? Yes, I guess I responded pretty well and have been recovering nicely. I’m used to how things work and get a little more confident every day, but holy shit my mind is a mess. Pretty obvious from the last post but I think the term I was looking for is lost. I’ve just had surgery that’s effectively cured my disease and I feel healthier than I have in years – but I’m lost? How does that work? The more I have fought it the deeper I’ve dug into this little messy mind conundrum of mine, pulling strings while trying to make pieces fit back together again. And then I went to therapy, oh bless you therapy. It’s incredible how a few good questions can make you honestly assess your situation and lead you to find the answers to all your own questions. And that’s the key – I already knew what I needed and what had to change, I just couldn’t find it. A good therapist can bring that out, hallelujah.
So, what is it?
Well, it’s normality.
But I thought normal wasn’t working?
Yeh it’s not!
My normal before surgery was a fucking mess. I worked a job that had a day’s notice whether I was working or not, and what shift that would be if I was required. Can you imagine that? You get a text message at 3PM on Friday afternoon telling you that you’re working both Saturday and Sunday evening. You have to ask your manager for every single miniscule amount of time off. And I don’t mean to go on a holiday. I mean hey it’s a friend’s birthday can I get next Tuesday night off? Sticking your neck out and being a burden every week just to attempt to have a life. Doesn’t sound ideal right? Well, I’ve done that for eight years. Eight fucking years. I had three months off between being too sick to work and then having this surgery which has opened my eyes to just how bonkers my life has been. I’ve had no routine, no consistency. No wonder I feel like shit most of the time!
Oh, and guess how much social life I’ve had over those eight years? Yeh, not much. Planned time for myself? Nada. I’ve been attached to this life and this break has cut the cord completely. So maybe there’s a little positive in getting so sick that I’ve needed surgery – it could’ve been a huge sign that I’ve been missing, telling me to get out and start fresh. A sign I’ve been ignoring for a couple of years that in the end decided to take a drastic measure to get me to pay attention. Well, okay, thanks – I get it now. I am committing to myself that I will never let a job dictate my life to this extent ever again. I won’t be trapped by money. I won’t allow myself to settle for a job that doesn’t allow me to live.
I won’t let my work disrupt my peace.
And hey, while I’m at it, there’s more that I want to change than just work right?
I have wanted to have a morning routine for years. You know how many times I’ve watched someone on Instagram or TikTok show off their peaceful morning routine filled with relaxing sounds, warm drinks, and meditation? God I’ve been so envious of it. There was a couple of weeks there before surgery where I kept having the same recurring dream of my own morning routine: I wake up and shower listening to whatever record is my current obsession – followed by getting dressed in a really good fit, Instagram worthy, a key part being the comfy Birkenstock and wool sock combo – drinking my delicious hot chocolate (I’m a child I know) while I do some breath work before starting my day. That’s what I want!
I’ve been tumbling through life missing that, missing a routine and a schedule. All I want right now is the ability to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. To feel well rested and have time to check in on myself each morning. To have the energy to prepare nice healthy food, run with the dogs, and love my fiancée each day without fail. To have set time where I can just focus on my hobbies and interests. To have nights and weekends free to see friends, catch all the gigs I’ve been missing, meet new people and truly love life deeply again. Has my work stopped me from doing all this entirely? Hell no, but it’s definitely made it harder, and I definitely needed this kick in the arse to make me see what life could look like. I am more impassioned than ever – to make those changes and live a life worth living. To chase the things I really want, to create, to enjoy, to love and to see this life for what it is; a massive gift that I have been taking for granted for far too long.