When Doves Cry


This is a quick update for those of you who saw my Twitter post last weekend – I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of supportive messages when I tweeted that some days were harder than others and that I realised that it was okay not to be strong 100% of the time.  I’m conscious that as a very ‘glass half full’ person, most of my posts are upbeat and positive, I’m usually smiling in my photos, and there is a lot of talk of ‘Wonder Woman’.  And, I have to say that the positive days do very much out weight the negative.  In fact, I did an online survey this week about my general state of well-being and happiness, and I scored quite highly.

However, in the age of artificially beautiful social media personas, I feel that it’s important to give a very balanced picture.  It’s not all smooth sailing and I’ve had some really bad days as well.  By the end of last weekend, I was absolutely worn down by my situation.  Without going into detail, life with an ileostomy is not straightforward and I really hadn’t anticipated how tough it would be – mentally as well as physically. A lot of tears have been shed in frustration.  And I hate crying.  However, I realise that it’s probably quite a good thing to do.  In fact, I’ve been advised to really howl when I feel bad.  It’s all part of the process of grieving and moving forward.

So, I remain positive overall.  I’m genuinely happy with my life.  I am grateful that I feel well, that my surgeon was able to operate and remove my diseased colon and that I can still function pretty normally.  I love my life – my family, my friends, my job, and my 30% Club work.  However, I am going to openly admit that I’m fed up with my new low-fibre ‘beige’ diet of white carb easy to digest food and with the added hassle of everything that goes with having the end of my small intestine sticking out of my tummy.  And my control-freak nature hates the fact that I have no idea how this disease will progress, so I can’t make a plan for dealing with it.  And that’s okay.  I am learning to just live for the moment, to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and, if I shed a few tears in talking about it, please don’t worry – just don’t let me walk around with makeup running down my face.

14 thoughts on “When Doves Cry

  1. Oh my gorgeous Brenda. I didn’t see your tweet, but am grateful to read this latest post. True woman you are. Brave, real, uber-positive — super woman indeed. Sending huge hugs and love your way. XX India


  2. Darling Brenda. You are so right and I believe that sometimes admitting life is not as good as it looks in the pictures is important for those watching you go through it. Sadly there are no medals for being strong however there are rewards from the support given when admitting you’re having a wobble. Sometimes battening down the hatches, bed, book and a cuddle is the best medicine. Sending you lots of loveXxx


  3. Thank you for generously sharing your journey, your thoughts and being so open. It helps us to think of you and to admire you even more than we did before. Sending you a lot of sunshine from California. Anne


  4. Big girls don’t cry
    Well that is just a big fat lie
    I’m glad you find some times to laugh
    Even though you can’t see the all the way down the path


  5. Thanks for the update Brenda — your candour about the positives and negatives demonstrates your incredible strength and it’s inspiring. Thinking of you from Montreal xo


  6. Hi Brenda, thank you for writing such an honest and brave post, I wish I could reach across the Atlantic and give you a big hug. Let out a howl whenever you need to! Carpe diem.
    Louise 💕💪


  7. Love you. And you were my hero long before you got sick.
    The only people that don’t cry are sociopaths.
    But just like you to be thinking about the impact of your tears, or allowing weakness to show, on others.

    We accidentally started a pumpkin patch in our back yard. I got a rototiller but they kept spreading and growing ginormous fruit. So eventually one weekend we collected up all of the pumpkins, and as a science experiment (no recreational value at all) and blew them all up one by one.

    It’s quite rejuvenating. Perhaps a supplement to howling and crying?


  8. Oh Brenda, I read you often and you are beautifully authentic.
    Your positive attitude just needs to take a breather once in a while.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.


  9. It’s bloody hard to keep positive and you do a great job. I’m available for group howling whenever you need it, but blowing up pumpkins sounds like an excellent alternative Xxx


  10. Proud of you Brenda. Honesty and admitting to sometimes feeling ‘shit’ is all part of the process. That’s when the healing takes place. Love you dearly and you continue to inspire me with your extraordinary mental strength. Xx


  11. Hi Brenda, we don’t know each other but I follow you online. I wanted to say how much your posts have helped me in reflecting on my own health trials. A few weeks ago I was approached with an incredible work opportunity with another employer and, of course, set about telling myself all the reasons why I shouldn’t accept [not well enough, not good enough, etc]. It’s taken a few weeks, but I am finally getting around to giving myself the benefit of the doubt. So, thanks for that 🙂 I look forward to reading of your continued progress and hay making x


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