Grateful.

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It’s been a while since I sat down to write and I want to say I’ve been busy with meaningful things but mostly it’s been lying in the sun, and the second season of Westworld thats been keeping me occupied. However, this week is pretty important to me because Trust Your Gut turns One. It’s been one whole year since I started plastering my life on the internet, and I had no idea it would turn out like this. I’ve had the opportunity of writing for all sorts of people from all over the world, been to charity balls and modelled in the name of stoma awareness, met some of the amazing people from the IBD community and been described as ‘’one inspiring 21-year-old,’’ by Women’s Health UK. 

So I’m dedicating this one to YOU. 

This is for all my followers. 

Everyone who has read, watched, liked, commented, shared my posts and blogs or messaged me throughout this year! 

I get asked a lot why I decided to plaster my life all over the internet. Some people think I’m mad to post photos and write blogs all dedicated to the world of poo. I was once ‘advised’ that this part of my life is probably best kept between me and my bathroom, but that’s the very reason why I share my story. I didn’t know anything about IBD and I didn’t know anyone who had been affected by it in the beginning; I actually thought that Crohn’s was an old-persons illness and I was the one-in-a-million to be diagnosed at 20. But when I searched the depths of social media, I found a group of strangers who had come together to discuss their bathroom habits with such openness and grace! It opened my eyes to so many loving, kind people and I wanted to join them!

I felt that, if one person felt slightly less lonely from what I was posting then the blog had done its job. I would be happy. But what I didn’t count on was finding so many people, all at different stages of the illness, all helping one another through tough times. Just being there to chat, moan, rant and laugh… All about poo! 

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So when I was faced with a surgeon, a scalpel and being colon-less back in January I didn’t cry. I didn’t get down on my knees and beg my GI to give me more medication and keep surgery as far away as possible, I laughed. I nodded my head and I said ‘ok, when can we get on with it?’ My GI was not expecting me to be so cool about it because I saw the look of horror descend over his face, he turned grey and looked as if he was about to burst into tears. And there I am sat opposite him thinking about lunch. I’ve come to realise I was only able to be so relaxed about it because of all the people I’d found through social media. I was seeing girls and guys from all over the world undergoing surgery and being given stoma bags so I knew that if they could do it, then so could I.

So this is a thank you to all of you that follow me and my little Rosie. I didn’t think I was interesting enough for anyone to follow but I guess I underestimated how much you all love hearing about someone who sh*ts into a bag!

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Throughout this whole thing I’ve had my Instagram family grow and grow into a lifeline – a little army behind me – every single one so supportive and willing to help in any way they can. I am so grateful to every single one! I want all of you to know that you aren’t just followers, you are a like a little family! A group of people who mean so much to me because you all offer me support, kindness, and the confidence to keep talking about poo! 

So here’s to you! A group of strangers who have become so important to me! I wish I could thank every single one of you in person but there isn’t enough Billie or Rosie to go around, so I’ll do this as my universal thank you. 

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You are my lifeline in times of crisis. You have given me the confidence to show off my bagged stomach and keep writing about the taboo of poo. You are the reason I keep going and you are the reason I’m proud of myself. I am reminded of strength, pride and courage from all of you every day. 

Here’s to the love and support you have shown me.

Thank You My Insta Family, Id Be Lost Without You.