Contributor - Dana Marie Gatziolis, Living with an Ostomy Since 2012
Another year, another time to gather round the table. Another season beckoning us to slow down, reflect and let go. I’ve always thought that Thanksgiving is a beautiful time for gratitude. It’s placed at the tail end of Autumn, a season naturally enticing us to let go of what no longer serves us. Just as the leaves change and fall to the ground, we are invited to put away our summer t-shirts and exchange them for cozy sweaters. We’re invited to let go of what we don’t need to make way for new, fresh (and crisp!) air.
A friend of mine once told me that “everyone has an ostomy,” something that they are ashamed of or feel they have to hide in order to be accepted by the world.
Whether you’re currently going through a health crises, or you have overcome it all together, I want to invite you to join me in furthering your practice of gratitude this Thanksgiving.
I hope that by sharing what I’m grateful for and what I’m releasing this year, you can be inspired to do the same.
On December 7th, 2012, I underwent a 9-hour surgery that left me without a colon and with a permanent ileostomy bag. To say that I was faced with a HUGE mountain to climb is an understatement; a mountain that may sound familiar to you. At the time of my surgery, I was 24-years-old, single and completely overwhelmed.
I knew that I had a choice to make. Was I going to lead my life from a place of fear and feel like a victim to my ostomy? OR would I use this mess to create a message and transform my pain into purpose? I was determined to find meaning and let this battle propel me into helping other people. That decision has made ALL the difference. I let go, and a spirit of joy and purpose swept in.
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my ostomy because …
Click here to learn more about diet and digestion with an ostomy.
A friend of mine once told me that “everyone has an ostomy,” something that they are ashamed of or feel they have to hide in order to be accepted by the world. When we embrace our ostomies, the people around us are liberated to embrace their “ostomy,” too.
I hope that this has inspired you to think about your ostomy in a whole new way, as a GIFT. Have a cozy, delicious, hug-filled Thanksgiving with your loved ones.
IMAGE CREDIT: Elyse Bullard Photography