Happy New Year badasses!
2015 was a crazy year for me with mega highs and terrible lows, I wrote 116 posts on this blog with over 2 million views, here’s a look back at my So Bad Ass year.
I started the year by giving up the razor, which I led me down a hairy path of self awareness and body love. I travelled around the country doing talks for Pelican Healthcare, Sunday Assembly London and Crohns and Colitis UK talking about confidence, invisible disability and overcoming tough times. I got mad about the show Too Ugly For Love, talked periods and got another hernia named Harry.
Well, it all went a bit crazy in Feb after I wrote a post about the lady who tutted at me for using the accessible toilets. This post went viral and went around the world being shared and viewed millions of times! I went on a ton of radio shows, in nearly every newspaper going and even went on the BBC Breakfast couch to talk about poo!
This led me to start the More Than Meets The Eye campaign to raise awareness of invisible disabilities. I worked with Scope to push the message that we aren’t alone and get people talking about the life of people whose illnesses or disabilities can’t always be easily seen but affect many parts of their lives. It was a brilliant campaign that I am very proud of.
March found me slagging off Katie Hopkins (standard) and having a crazy time with the media surrounding what became known as Tutgate!
I wrote a really popular post called ‘Ive been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis – Now what?’, talked about Feminist Underwear, Aiming High in life and had surgery to repair an Incisional Hernia.
I went viral again in April (I need to be more careful!!) with photographs of my #StomaSelfies going in the Independent and all over the internet. This led to some lovely comments and positive messages and also some dicks deciding to be horrible and others to attack me for ‘sexualising disability’! I also wrote a post called ‘Crohns and Colitis – More than just a poo disease’
I went on a girls holiday to Magaluf in April, it felt like a real breakthrough in my recovery, that I was able to go on a wild jaunt with great friends and not have my illness get (too much) in the way.
In May I got myself a literary agent!! I was over the moon and it was a dream come true, it has been a long slog and we are still working together to hopefully get a book out to market. It was also World IBD Day and I did a talk at the Seven Hills WI about body image.And my son got all his hair cut off to raise money for Crohns and Colitis UK raising £550!
I also started working as a contributing writer for the Metro, this was a massive thing for me, I have always wanted to be a writer and between getting my agent and starting to work for the Metro, I really felt like I was getting there!
In June I did some more talks for Pelican Healthcare about body confidence with an ostomy and also wrote a post that was very popular (and still is) called ‘What happens during a Colonoscopy’. I generally got pissed off about fat shaming with posts about that twat Steve Miller and the cringeworthy term Mummy Tummy.
I was struggling with the effects of Pouchitis and fatigue and not having a great time mentally and emotionally and so wrote about Going Dark and avoiding family and friends.
July was Tramlines, Sheffield’s inner city music festival, my husband is the production director for them and so July is a crazy busy month for us as a family. I was also out working for art group Responsible Fishing UK and worked away for most of the month. I did a couple more talks for Pelican Healthcare too.
August was Music in the Gardens time, where Crohns and Colitis UK were invited along to be their chosen charity, as a volunteer for the South Yorkshire group I went along with Timm and Charlie to shake buckets and raise money! We raised £2800 for the charity and couldn’t be prouder!
I wrote the post ’10 great things about IBD’ ,opened up about how it feels to have an absent father and was shortlisted as a finalist in the National Diversity Awards as a Role Model in Disability.
In September I attended the National Diversity Awards where I didn’t win but got very pissed off about the fact that they got the name of my disease wrong…
I’d been really struggling with my health for a while, but in October it was getting a lot worse and I had a particularly nasty time with Pouchitis which then cause gynae issues. I was struggling emotionally and had some big decisions to think through regarding the future of my jpouch.
I was invited down to Parliament in November by Crohns and Colitis UK to talk to MPs and peers about life with IBD, it was such an honour and a really proud moment. I also took part in the Scope End The Awkward campaign, in their A-Z of sex and disability, I was their I for Intimacy and did a few newspaper, radio and TV interviews about the brilliant project.
I was really struggling with the Pouchitis and ended up having another stint in hospital for treatment, this really cemented the decision that my pouch needed to be removed and I would need to have a permanent ostomy, it has been a difficult decision to make and to come to terms with. Surgery will be in January.
Oh, I also made the finalists of the Bloggers Lounge, Blogger of the Year Awards!!! It was all go in November!
December found me writing about body size, body hair, why wheelchairs aren’t a fashion accessory, and comparing ourselves to others. I also appeared on Sheffield Live TV and was discussed on The Wright Stuff!
I wrote a letter to Santa, had a bit of a breakdown with all the mega life stresses going on and then returned to fight another day.
So there it is, that is my year in (not so) brief… It certainly has bee a roller coaster, the ups and downs have been tough but I came through it pretty much unscathed.
Thank you to every one who reads and supports my blog, your messages and audience means so much, it genuinely feels like an honour to share my journey with you and I can’t thank you all enough.
Thanks for sharing my 2015 with me, I am awaiting my next surgery which is a BIGGIE and I am terrified/relieved/angry/over the moon… Basically a whole bunch of mixed emotions, I will share them all with you as I go. So please stay with me, keep reading, keep sharing, keep getting in touch.
Here’s to a So Bad Ass 2016!