23 Apr Happiness is Contagious
“It’s one thing to read it. Another to see it.”
Above is a paraphrased quote that was said to me by one lovely woman about Uncover Ostomy. She touched on the fact that it was one thing to read about what an ostomy was, how it saves lives, and how it is possible to live with one, but it is a different experience to see someone with one in person. Especially to see someone as happy as me.
I’ve shared my story online, I constantly write about my life, and I post pictures and videos of it all. However, there’s only so much that can be expressed through a computer screen. This is why I speak to individuals and groups alike with a giant smile on my face about how the ostomy saved my life.
Last week, I was lucky enough to have two very unique speaking opportunities to share that, as well as what Uncover Ostomy is all about.
The first speaking opportunity was to a lovely group a women in North Toronto. A number of these ladies had very little understanding of what an ostomy was, while others who had previously heard the term were shocked to see me, not only in such good health, but happy as well. After I recounted the tale of how I ended up with my ostomy, I shared the awareness efforts we have made, and the strides we’re making to spread awareness for the future.I was thanked with a roaring round of applause, and a great number of personal comments afterward. Many of the comments focused on the fact that they couldn’t believe how accepting and upbeat I was. I was happy to know that I had shown them the positive side of the ostomy.
A few days later, I made my way to London, Ontario, where I spoke to the members of the London and District Ostomy Association -quite a different crowd. I didn’t have to stand up and explain the ostomy, nor did I have to share much of what Uncover Ostomy was doing to spread awareness. Instead, I spoke of personal acceptance, and how they too, could be as happy as I am because of my bag.
Again, I was thanked with a wonderful round of applause and had the opportunity to speak to a number of great people who had the nicest of things to say to me. Many of these individuals shared that they were just as ecstatic about having their ostomy as I was. It was wonderful.
Despite Uncover Ostomy being an online awareness effort, I believe that there is so much more that can be done beyond the computer screen. This is why I make sure to take the time to speak to those, aware of the ostomy or not, about what we are trying to accomplish with Uncover Ostomy, as well as spread positive thoughts about the surgery. I can write, I can share, I can post pictures and videos, but I cannot reach people on the same level that I can in person.
They say that happiness is contagious, but I believe it is only so when shared in person. I want to share the happiness that I feel because of my ostomy with everyone I can.
Unfortunately, I am only one person who can only be in one place at one time. I can only educate others about the ostomy, answer questions about the ostomy, and prove, in person, how having an ostomy is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me, so much.
This is why I need all of you to help me out.
For those of you with ostomies, or even those without, I need you take all that Uncover Ostomy is – education, awareness, acceptance, and happiness – and share it with those in your lives, in your circles, and in your communities. I need you to take what we’ve built here: the support, the positive thoughts, the funny comments and stories, and let others know that the ostomy has been the best thing has ever happened to me, to you, or to others. The ostomy is a wildly positive thing, shadowed by an extremely negative stigma. This is why we need to share the happiness with everyone we can.
Friends: I need you to be my voice.
I need you to be my smile.
For questions or concerns about opening up and sharing your ostomy, or sharing about the ostomy if you do not have one, please feel free to comment here or on the Facebook page for some guidance and support!