Posts

Feeling like crap but carrying on regardless

It’s ironic that today on World IBD day, I spent the morning at the GP surgery. For a week or so I’ve not felt quite right, increased toilet visits, urgency and a couple of accidents. I have also been struggling massively with joint pain.

I had a Twitter chat with IA Support (isn’t social media brill?!) who suggested possible Pouchitis and recommended I visit the doctors. I put it off as my anxiety over being taken back into hospital kicked in and I wanted to hide from any medical professionals but then yesterday my son held my hand and it hurt so much I had to let go.

I realised it was probably time to call the GP…

So with a temperature, bad joints, increased poos with urgency and blood and feeling like I have the flu I am so fatigued, my dr thinks the same and I have some big boy antibiotics to try and kick this bout of pouchitis in the ass.

Yet it is world IBD day which means though I’d rather be in a duvet den I am actually on the bus into Sheffield ready to go on BBC radio to talk about IBD!

Because though I am a BIG fan of listening to your body and stopping when you need to, today is just too important to me to cancel. I do everything I can to keep raising awareness, to #stoppoobeingtaboo and to help as many people as I can. And I do it all whilst fighting my own battles.

I know today I can reach a large audience of people with IBD, as well as carers, family and friends of those with Crohns or Colitis. And so I will carry on regardless because it means EVERYTHING to me to make a difference.

This shitty disease that keeps knocking me down every time I am feeling better. It has to be for a purpose. I have to believe that my life isn’t a struggle for no reason, and I choose to believe that reason is for this Sheffield lass with a big gob to help others.

And so Ill keep going today, through running to the loo and grinding aching joints and I will make a difference.

(Let’s not even DISCUSS my day trip to London tomorrow for business meetings!!!!)

Luckily I am going on holiday at the end of this week with my lovely Timm and the kids to see my fab in laws in Lanzarote. Not great timing as I’m worried about ruining the trip but at least I have some down time and can relax and rest.

Love Sam x

If the Kardashians are your role models, then you have problems

I do not watch the Kardashian telly programme, I saw it once and Kanye West was ordering the Kim one to lose weight and only to wear clothes approved by him.  I thought it was a parody of an abusive relationship but apparently it is all for reals…

I try to avoid these Karkrashians as much as I can, but my twitter, Facebook and newsfeed is filled with their boring stories of how much they weigh, how big their arses and lips are, who they are dating and what tat they are promoting.

And they are Karkrashians… that car crash TV that you know you should look away from but your eyes are drawn towards the drama and chaos that surrounds them.  I bet they are actually nice women, but we don’t ‘know’ any of them, all we see is the brand that they push into the limelight.

A story popped up today about the Khloe one who has posted a photograph of her weight on Instagram and how she is promoting dangerous ideals to the kids who look up to her as a role model.  There are two things about this story, one… no shit!!! Is anyone surprised that these women whose ‘talent’ is their looks are promoting unhealthy body issues?  Secondly, if you or your child have a Kardashian as your role model then your problems run deeper than her weight.

The family’s fame comes from the fact that one of them made a sex tape.  Let that sink in.  Your child’s role model is a woman whose notoriety comes from her having sex on camera.  Or even worse, her sisters who are using their sibling’s sex tape to promote themselves.  Their commodity is their looks and their family wealth and they have used these things to promote themselves into ‘business’.  Fair enough, but that doesn’t make them good role models.

If you must watch the show then I suppose that is up to you, though I can name a million ways that are a better use of your time.  But having them as role models for yourself or your kids? Fuck that!

Want to idolise some amazing women?

What about Emma Watson? UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and kick ass feminist, she is an actress who earned more before her 18th birthday than the rest of us will in a hundred lifetimes yet she strives to make a difference and use her stature for good.

inspiring women uk emma watson

Jennie Price is the CEO of Sport England and brought us the This Girl Can campaign inspiring women to get exercising and take control of their health.

Camila Batmanghelidjh has an awesome name… But she also founded Kids Company providing practical, emotional and educational support to the most vulnerable and deprived children in the UK.  (Note to add: I would rather dress like Camila than any of the Kardashian women… totally going to start wearing turbans!)

Camila Batmanghelidjh inspiring women uk

Baroness Doreen Lawrence took the most painful experience anyone can imagine, losing a child and used it to make a positive difference in the UK. She founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and received an OBE for “services to community relations”.

I know people say that these shows are light entertainment and that people like me shouldn’t get so wound up about them, but when they are filled with really damaging messages and their stars are becoming role models then it does concern me.  We are a famous for nothing generation with so many ‘stars’ who have never done anything worth applauding.  I am not a huge fan of some pop stars but at least I respect that they work really hard and have a talent.  Footballers may be overpaid (in my opinion) but their role model status is based on skill, training and years of dedication.

I know this is a bit ranty but seriously people, there are so many people doing beautiful, amazing and wonderful things to make the world happier, kinder and more filled with awesome.  This kind of mind numbing telly filler is wasting your amazing life.  Go read a book, watch a ton of TED talks, go to local events, spend a night playing cards with your favourite person, take a walk, hang out with your besties, play board games with the kids…

We are here once and for a very brief time.  Live hard, love a lot and laugh every day, fill your life with wonder and brilliant things.

 

Sam xxx

 

"She has a prosthetic leg anyway…" Disability shaming

The Avengers – Age of Ultron press tour has kicked off and some questionable comments from Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans are overshadowing the film itself.  When asked about Scarlett Johannson’s character the Black Widow they called her a “slut”, because this is acceptable right?

These actors discussing what is essentially a children’s movie calling a female character a slut and a trick shows the levels of sexism in our current climate. It has also been discussed that the female characters of many films are not promoted in the merchandise.

Sexism is rife in Hollywood and has been written about a lot but one comment that stood out for me was when discussing how the female character Natasha Romanoff has a romance with someone other than him, Jeremy Renner says;

“She has a prosthetic leg anyway”  The inference being that he wouldn’t want to date a woman with a disability.

*SLOW HAND CLAP FOR RENNER*

They may be joking but this easy sexism and ablism has an impact on how society sees women, especially women with a disability.  His laughter at the idea of having a relationship with someone with a prosthesis is offensive and reinforces old fashioned and ridiculous ideas that people with a disability can’t be a sexual being or be found attractive.

Watch the interview here…

Well screw you Jenner… Living with a disability is fucking hard and having over paid, ignorant men openly mocking it is wrong.  For those reading this with an illness or disability, don’t let it make you sad, allow yourself to get angry and speak out.  More and more I find myself championing campaigns for people with disability and I think we should call out people who use casual ablism, who make disability the butt of their jokes.

My campaign #MoreThanMeetsTheEye is about bringing disability into the public eye, about encouraging kindness and openness, about getting people to open up and talk to reduce stigma and getting society to understand.

I blogged last week about how I had been called out on “sexualising disability”, I argue that I am simply normalising illness, my sexuality is a part of me and my illness doesn’t stop that.  At a talk I did for the Seven Hills WI, a lady came up to me afterwards and said “you had your colon removed not your clitoris”, after doing a big spluttering laugh I totally agreed!

sam cleasby sexualising disability

But society doesn’t seem to want to see people with disabilities as sexual beings.  Perhaps it makes them uncomfortable?  I came across a great bloke on twitter called Andrew Morrison Gurza who runs a campaign called #DeliciouslyDisabled getting people talking about sex and disability.  It’s amazing and I implore you to go follow him on twitter now!

#deliciouslydisabled

 

The more we allow these sorts of comments to slip, the easier it is for society to make people with illnesses and disabilities feel like outsiders, to isolate them and create an environment where it is ok to mock those different to us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Sam x

#stomaselfie – going viral again!

I am very proud of the photographs I had done with my stoma and ileostomy bag and last week, they went viral!  Appearing in the Metro, Daily Mirror, BT online and The Independent as well as media outlets around the world including lots in Scandinavia, my photos went a little crazy under the hashtag #stomaselfie.

stoma ileostomy femininity #stomaselfie

The purpose of the photographs were to lift the veil, so to speak, on what is under the ileostomy bag.  When I was in hospital before my surgery to remove my colon, I googled images of stomas and I was horrified, all the images were very medical, many stomas that were having issues with prolapse or infection and my fear was intensified.

What I wanted was to show stomas in a way I hadn’t seen before.  To show that my stoma didn’t remove me of my femininity, sexuality or who I was.  I wanted to show the world that it was nothing to be ashamed of, that I was proud of my ostomy and that it really wasn’t as terrifying as I had once imagined.

stoma ileostomy femininity #stomaselfie woman with stoma ileostomy ostomy stoma images

 

I have received many messages of support of these photos, telling me that I am helping to reduce the taboo and stigma.  For that I am very proud and though I was afraid to first show these, I am happy to know that by sharing the images, that I am making a positive impact to the lives of those with stomas.

I know it is a little controversial and some people don’t think I should be showing my stoma, some think it is akin to photographing your bum hole and so it is inappropriate.  Some think it is just a little gross… But the truth is that millions of people worldwide live with a stoma, and if me showing these photographs help just a few of them, then I am happy.

stoma ileostomy femininity #stomaselfie stoma ileostomy femininity black and white photography creative shoot

Unfortunately, some media outlets have got the information wrong and say I have crohns, a colostomy and that these images were inspired by Bethany Townsend’s bikini shots, the truth is I have Ulcerative Colitis, I HAD an ileostomy (I now have a jpouch) and these shots were taken and shared in October 2013 well before the shots of others with ostomy bags went viral!

Thank you to the Metro, Daily Mirror, BT.com and especially The Independent for sharing the photos and spreading awareness, pride and support for people with ostomies around the world!

#stomaselfie sam cleasby stoma ostomy photo shoots sam cleasby

 

Unfortunately, there have been some nasty comments, but I know that putting yourself out there with images like this will always divide opinion.  I know that showing my stoma will bring out the worst in some, but it is so important to share to try and change the opinions of those who think it is “disgusting”.  I receive thousands of amazing comments filled with lovely words and I know I make a difference.  I don’t do this to get attention or for likes on Facebook!! Hahaha!!! I do it to make a difference and I believe that I do.

nasty Facebook comments trolling internet keyboard warriors #stomaselfie

 

Nice, huh? But then you get comments like this that make it all ok…  

“Certainly brave, and since the photos have popped up online I’ve shown my son – 4 years old why he has such a large scar across his tummy and what used to be there. It’s not something I’d ever Google to show him, but because it had popped up I thought it would be helpful for him to see and understand why it’s there”

“The whole point of these photos is to empower and take away any found shame about having a stoma! People will never ever feel the depth of pained shame to having a stoma and just how much it affects people’s lives and how it affects confidence in relationships and families. Complaining about such fickle things as people’s levels of decency is, to me, insulting! … and above all ignorant!”

“a stoma is like having an artificial leg you would never turn round to someone on the beach and say eeww put that away…I’ve not long had mine and at the start I was devastated as I had always been aware of my figure but my stoma saved my life and when anyone says anything negative about it…I just think I had hours to live and that was my only option…it saved my life”

“Amazing wonderful beautiful strong brave are just a handful of words I would use for these people. Much more than I ever will be! Some of the comments on here are just disgusting, but I dont expect anything less from uneducated morons who havent got a slightest clue on what a “real” issue really is! The models in these photos are heroes in my eyes!”

You can see more of my shoots here, here, here and here.  All photos are by Timm Cleasby at The Picture Foundry and are copywrited, please don’t use my photos without permission as it makes us a bit sad.  Get in touch and we can discuss usage terms.

 

Love Sam x

 

Exposed Magazine's Local Hero

Thank you so much to Sheffield magazine Exposed for featuring me in the April issue as their Local Hero.  I am blown away and so grateful that my work raising awareness and dropping the taboo around IBD as well as my campaign for Invisible Disability Awareness #MoreThanMeetsTheEye has been recognised.

exposed magazine local hero sheffield

 

I work really hard to keep spreading awareness, positivity, information and support and it means so much to be recognised for this.  All I have ever wanted is to make life easier for others and I try to do this by shining a light on my personal journey to lead the way for those behind me.

 

exposed magazine local hero sheffield

 

Thank you Exposed Magazine, it’s an honour!

 

Sam xxx

Why I feel sorry for Katie Hopkins

I am a fan of The Apprentice, I am interested in business and marketing and also like watching people doing ridiculous tasks running around London.  I adore Nick Hewer’s unimpressed face and can’t help but get drawn into the drama of it all!  The contestants tend to be pretty much the most egotistical folk ever and the quota of all the dickish management speak you can imagine is high.  It is all good, entertaining, finger pointing, you’re fired, TV fun.

Yet it spawned the most hated woman in the UK, Katie Hopkins.

For a few years, I have tried to ignore the woman, her pantomime baddy character seemed needy and pathetic.  I thought her brand of bitchy, sour faced meanness would quickly fizzle out, yet she is just getting bigger and more offensive as time goes on.

I strongly believe in kindness.  I think kindness is the key to a happy life and I don’t think we need to be hard faced bitches who slag others off to be successful, it pains me to write this post, as try as I might, I can’t help but resort to name calling as this woman is just so vile.

katie hopkins vile

I think you should ignore the trolls, and that is what Katie Hopkins is, a troll.  She is making a living out of saying the most controversial and hurtful things she can manage, she is a bitch for hire and it seems she will abuse anyone to get her name in the media. She makes money from upsetting people, which must be a bloody awful job, and this comes from a woman who literally talks shit for a living!

I have ignored her as much as possible, through her fat shaming, woman bashing and racist comments.  I have turned the other cheek when she has bullied, berated and hurt so many.  I switched off Celebrity Big Brother when I found out she was appearing on it and I ignore her twitter rants when they appear in my feed.

This week I have had to pay the deposit for my daughter’s school trip, our dryer broke and the scouts fees were due, it’s a tough month money wise and all I can think is that it must be the same in the Hopkins household.  The bank balance must be low and so Katie dips into her pot of insults, closes her eyes and then randomly points at a celebrity news story and comes up with some tweet to offend the maximum audience.

Where I grew up if you spoke so badly about those around you, you’d get a pasting! Has Hopkins never heard the saying ‘if you’ve got nothing nice to say, say nothing’? She seems to relish in picking apart the flaws of the rest of society whilst skipping along, ignorant of all of her own.

Her comments on overweight people are so simplistic, her ego filled rants of eat less, move more are just another slap in the face to anyone who struggles with weight due to medication, illness or disability.

Not only did she throw out some mightily offensive racially abusive stereotypes, she then turned her malice on Angelina Jolie.  Now I am sure Jolie isn’t sat in her multi million pound home, with her beautiful children and most handsome man in the world as her husband weeping about the words of a two bit troll, but Hopkins’ words really upset me.

Angelina bravely spoke out about her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed earlier this week, revealing that the mutation of her BRCA1 gene meant that she had a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer.  As someone who talks about personal health issues, this struck a chord with me.  I thought she was courageous to use her position to speak out about ovarian cancer and her words about her children were really touching.  ‘I know my children will never have to say, “Mom died of ovarian cancer.”’ she said in the NY Times piece.

Talking openly about illness and treatment helps so many people.  When you have an illness, one of the worst things is feeling isolated and alone and to be able to read about other’s experiences really does help.  I know this because it helped me, and it is the reason why I keep blogging, keep writing and keep talking about IBD and invisible disabilities.  I do it knowing that I open myself up to nasty comments, to judgement and laughter, but I will keep doing it because I know I am doing good in the world.  No one should try to shame you into staying quiet, don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others.

inspirational quotes

 

I suppose we could all make a lot of money from mocking others, I don’t think there is much skill in being a total bitch, just a huge lack of morals.  But at the end of the day, I know I do a good job, I help people deal with a really shitty time in their lives and I make a difference.  I am proud of what I do for a living, I wonder if Katie Hopkins can say the same thing?

It must be very sad and lonely to live your life making others miserable, I always tell my kids that those who bully and shout the loudest are usually those who are hurting the most and so I can’t imagine what pain Hopkins must be in to make a living out of vitriol and hate.  I feel sorry for the woman and hope one day she will realise that success isn’t about money, it is about happiness, love and respect.

Perhaps rather than regarding the woman with the hatred that she seems to thrive on, we should feel sorry for her.  

After all, it must be difficult to wake up every day and be Katie Hopkins.

 

Sam x

 

What a week!!

So, this week has been crazy!! After my post of the letter to the woman who tutted at me for using the disabled toilets went viral, the website has had over 2 million views and I have been in newspapers, websites, radio stations around the world and even had an appearance on BBC breakfast.

IMG_0395.JPG

I have been on BBC Sheffield, BBC WM, BBC 5 live, Spin 1038, Rother FM and Hallam FM.

I made it over to Australia and appeared on both The Telegraph and News.com as well as countless smaller news outlets.

Lots of Danish and Swedish websites ran the story too. Plus too many sites than I can mention have shared, reblogged and discussed the story as well as the Metro and Huffington Post.

I have been in the Sheffield Star, daily Mail and the Mirror.

IMG_0456.JPG

But please don’t think I’m bragging. I am just so pleased that my story, my little blog, my baby has made it into the lives of so many people.

From the start, what I wanted was to make a difference. To help those with Crohns and Colitis to not feel alone, to know there are others who feel the same, suffer in a similar way and that there are a community of people who care and want to make their lives better.

To know I’m part of that, that I’ve made people feel a little better is amazing. I am so proud.

Now, pride is a sin, (I remember this from my Catholic youth!) but I don’t care! I am proud that I have turned the worst two years of my life into something amazingly positive, something that has made a difference to people around the world!

IMG_0514.JPG

I have received messages from thousands of people telling me their stories. I am honoured that all these people feel they can share the personal details of their illnesses and feelings. I am reading every single comment and email and trying to reply to as many as I can.

I’m in shock to be honest, the past week has sent me from a blogger sat talking about poo in her office to the couch of the UK’s top breakfast show! I am a little overwhelmed by the attention but so blessed that this has happened.

IMG_0064.JPG

I just want to thank every one of you. Every single read, like and share is making a difference to millions of people. This issue is bigger than the IBD audience that I had originally planned it for. Messages from people with all manner of invisible disabilities have touch and I have learnt a LOT.

Moving forward from this viral publicity, I am more motivated than ever to make a difference. I am in talks with three different charities about how I can help to better the lives of my peers and I am so excited.

I know I come across as this confident, outspoken person who is fearless… Inside I am a 33 year old mum, I am a wife, sister, daughter, friend. I was a teenage mum and constantly worry and question myself. I have a chronic illness that will never leave me and I’m always exhausted. I worry people will judge me on my lack of further education and think I’m stupid. I’m a size 16 woman living in a world where women are judged my their size not their character.

But I’m also a writer.

I want to make a difference.

I want to change the world.

And so this past week has taken me, and all my flaws and weaknesses, and taken me one step closer to my goals.

Thank you so much. You’ll never know how much I appreciate every read, every like, every share, every comment.

You lot are awesome.

Thank you

✌️& ❤️

Sam xx

Your messages…

Thank you so much for all your comments, reads, shares, emails and messages. I am so overwhelmed by the outpouring and humbled and honoured to read your stories.

I am getting thousands of emails and comments. Some are deeply personal stories and are heart breaking.

I am trying my best to reply to as many as possible, please bear with me, if your issue is important and requires a reply and I haven’t come back to you in a week then please try again.

But please know that I am reading every one.

To be given the opportunity to have a glimpse into your lives and those of your loved ones is amazing.

Thank you so much. Please know that it means a LOT! I don’t take this responsibility lightly and I am very proud to be trusted with your words.

I’m learning a lot too, I thought I was well informed but your stories are teaching me so much and I’m sharing this knowledge with the world.

Every one of you is awesome.

You lot are so bad ass…

✌️& ❤️

Sam x

Too Ugly For Love? Why this isn't ok…

The people who brought you Katie Hopkins show My Fat Story have outdone themselves with their latest show “Too Ugly For Love?” a show about… well let me directly quote the TV channel for you.

“For most people looking for love can be daunting. But for singles with a secret physical affliction the search to find ‘the one’ can seem almost impossible.

This series follows 10 unique singletons,ordinary people living with extraordinary medical conditions, on their quest to find love. All these conditions can be kept secret during a date,and with that comes a whole world of dilemmas.  From alopecia, missing limbs and colostomy bags to medical anomalies such as hyperhidrosis (profuse sweating) and pyoderma gangrenosum (a rare form of skin ulcers), the singletons are agonising over the problems that these conditions are causing in their love lives.

How can you find love when you are hiding your true self? Where do you find the confidence to play the field? When should you reveal the truth to someone that you really like? And how will they react?

The longer you leave the truth, the harder it can be to come clean and the more dramatic the revelation. Follow the singletons through the ups and downs of the dating game as they adopt different strategies to hide their conditions.”

oh no she didn't

There are so many things wrong with this that I barely know where to start! So let’s begin with the title.

Too Ugly For Love? When I saw this yesterday and spluttered and swore profusely all over Facebook and twitter about it, a few people responded saying ‘Ahhh but see the question mark? They aren’t calling them ugly, they are just questioning it!’  Ohhhhh that’s ok then!! They are just asking whether the audience thinks these people are too ugly…

As I read the the biographies of the people on the show (all of whom I have no doubt are lovely, genuine people who I have NO beef with at all) I was just appalled.  There is a lady with alopecia, two gents with amputated limbs, two with ostomy bags (the biog of the show calls them colostomies but as we know, the media refuse to accept the existence of ileostomies and so who knows which they are!), a woman with keloid scarring, one with a disease that causes excessive sweating and a woman who was burnt badly.  As you read through that list, is there any part of you that would question their beauty based on their circumstances?

The title of the show is just to grab headlines, and I am not that surprised coming from a company who works with a woman who feeds off negative publicity like a grotesque leech, but I am so offended by it.

My blog is all about celebrating our inner awesomeness, about loving our amazing bodies whatever they look like and however poorly, wounded or damaged they have become.  It is about trying to show my audience that my scars, my ileostomy bag, my illness never defined me, I have openly written about my journey and how I learnt not only to accept the changes I went through, but to embrace and love my brave, heroic body that keeps going despite illness and surgery.

too ugly for love ostomy bag sam cleasby so bad ass

The idea of a show that labels people with an ostomy ‘too ugly’ is just heartbreaking.  We all have that horrid little voice in our heads, you know the one that tells you that you’re too ugly, too fat, too stupid, too (insert shit feeling here)… Seeing a TV show like this just makes me feel like everyone thinks that about me too.  The idea that it is a question makes me think “Do people think I am too ugly for love??”

As someone who had an ileostomy bag and now has a lot of scarring including large keloid scars, I hit two of their categories.  A little voice inside me thought ‘Blimey, am I doubly ugly?’

And that is when the anger struck… I am a confident woman who does this for a living, I write about body confidence, self esteem and chronic illness and so I KNOW there are so many people out there who feel crap about themselves because of illness, scarring, surgery and more.  I am so furious that there will be people out there now questioning YET AGAIN (because believe me, we do it ALL THE TIME) how people judge them.

I haven’t watched the show and I won’t be.  I know some people will argue that I shouldn’t judge a show that I haven’t seen.  But really, I can’t bring myself to watch it, I know for a fact that when they were asking people to apply they didn’t say “Do you want to be on a show called Too Ugly For Love?”  It just feels like a way to point at the people different to you, it is that sympathy porn of The Undateables, making struggling people easy fodder for the masses and it doesn’t sit well with me.

This line in the TV show’s bumpf gets me straight away…

“follow the singletons through the ups and downs of the dating game as they adopt different strategies to hide their conditions.”

I understand the feeling of wanting to hide your illness/disability away, but that is a negative thing.  To hide something means to be ashamed of it and not want the world to see.  Surely we should be helping others to learnt to accept the thing they want to hide, as a society shouldn’t we be saying ‘we are all different and that is a wonderful thing’ not watching people adopting strategies to hide their conditions!

And so I wanted to write about it, I have had so many messages on Facebook, twitter, instagram and email from people who are just disgusted by TLC UK.  I hope TLC will take on board the comments from people all over the UK who they have upset and offended by the title of this show.

And my message to anyone reading this who is less than perfect (that would be all of you!) is this…

We are all so different, some of us slim, some muscly, some obese, some carrying a few extra pounds.  There are those of us who have had surgeries that alter us in some way, who take medication that changes the way we look, there are those of us in wheelchairs, with ostomy bags, with scars.  Some of us have very visible diseases and illnesses and some have ones that are entirely invisible but make our heads and hearts hurt with the struggle…

Beauty is not perfection.  Ugly is not imperfection.

Our bodies are the only ones we have and they are with us for life, we need to learn to accept, love and celebrate the body we are in, no matter how poorly or broken it is.  I always think of my scars as the hieroglyphs of my journey, they don’t show weakness, they show what I battled through and that I came through the other side a lot stronger, wiser and filled with so much more empathy and kindness for others.

If you are surrounding yourself with people who question your physical appearance, or there are people in your life who believe you are ugly, it is not yourself you need to change, it is the people around you.

Nice, kind, good people won’t judge you for your difference.  Your true friends will love you for being you, your physical appearance means fuck all to the right people.

The person you want to fall in love with is out there, and they don’t care about whether your body is perfect, they care about whether your heart is true, your laughter genuine, your nature kind and your soul happy.  If you have to hide away who you really are, they aren’t the one.

We are all amazing beings and we need to learn to celebrate and love one another not point fingers and question their perfection.

If you are looking for perfection, you will have a long wait.  Every one of us has so many delicious imperfections that make us the person we are.

Fuck perfection.  Let’s celebrate the best parts of us and know that we are all a little broken.

I would LOVE to hear your opinion on all this, please leave comments.

 

Peace and Love

 

Sam x

 

 

2014 – what a year!

What a year! I started 2014 in Sydney with my sister and our families, we travelled up the coast and had an epic road trip.  It has also brought me a hernia, a house move, surgery to create my jpouch, a couple of weeks in hospital, a new life learning to live without my colon or ileostomy bag and one more hernia!

I have been on the radio a few times, done talks all over the UK, hit my 100K views on So Bad Ass (now up to 160K) and started a writing course.  I also visited my aunty and uncle in Spain and honeymooned in Lanzarote with Timm  I made a new friend who has a stoma… we made friends because we have no colons but stayed friends because we are awesome and he makes me laugh in a rather unladylike fashion and knows, like really knows…  I made new friends without stomas who I now feel like I have known forever and I hung out with so many old friends who made every tough part of my year easier and every lovely part of my year happier.

We bought a hot tub, I got a big tattoo, I met Chuck D and Flavor Flav, went on a nudist beach and my sister came over to the UK to visit with her family.

I renewed my wedding vows to the best husband in the whole world in the BEST WEDDING EVER surrounded by all my absolute favourite people and married by one of my best friends Violet.

2014 has had it’s ups and downs.  The wedding was amazing, it was just the most beautiful and perfect day and to get to marry my perfect bloke for the second time was the best thing ever and my total highlight of the year.

The surgery was tough, 10 days in hospital after a long, difficult surgery and now 7 months later I am still recovering and learning how to deal with my jpouch.  The past 18 months have been the toughest of my life.  Being so ill and having life changing surgeries have been at times almost too much to bear, there were times when I felt so low, so broken and in so much pain that I just didn’t know how I would cope.

I learnt that coping is the only option.  Every day, no matter how hard it is, you have to just keep plodding, just keep swimming, just keep going… Having fantastic people around you helps and I am lucky enough to have some of the best.  My amazing husband, family and friends make it all bearable in those dark moments and I can’t thank them enough.

This year has seen So Bad Ass turn from a small personal blog into something that is read all over the world and (hopefully) helps people.  All I ever wanted from this blog is to make a difference to other people, to use my pain and my journey to help other people with IBD, to use it to raise awareness, raise money for Crohns and Colitis UK and to help people everywhere to have better self esteem, body confidence and to love themselves.

You are all amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for every read, every like, every tweet, every share, every kind word.  You are awesome!

Enjoy and I will see you in 2015!

 

xx

ileostomy bag bikini swimwear beachwear holiday

 

ileostomy bag and fashion

 

bbc radio sheffield

 

 

 

 

 

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

 

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

 

Post Op j pouch ileostomy ibd surgery sheffield sam cleasby so bad ass

 

ibd ostomy ileostomy colostomy

 

sam and timm cleasby wedding

 

nude beach stone balancing so bad ass sam cleasby

 

ibd blogger office loo toilet ulcerative colitis

 

public speaker about self esteem ulcerative colitis crohns ostomies colostomy ileostomy jpouch ibd

 

sunday assembly conway hall london sam cleasby

scars from a ileostomy jpouch surgery

new house

 

sam cleasby

best friends photobooth

 

line drawing tattoo

 

photo booth booth brothers

 

sam and timm cleasby

 

hot tub

 

chuck d and flavor flav tramlines

 

cocktails

 

sam and timm cleasby

 

weight loss with jpouch

 

sam cleasby ibd

 

best friends

 

family

 

sam and timm cleasby

 

halloween day of the dead makeup

 

sam and timm cleasby wedding

ibd blog crohns and colitis uk

 

crohns and colitis awareness week

 

crohns and colitis uk

 

IMG_8755.JPG

IMG_6682.PNG

IMG_6991.PNG

 

 

Thanks again for an amazing year, if you fancy doing something wonderful please go to my Just Giving page and give whatever you can to Crohns and Colitis UK.

 

Have an amazing christmas and a brilliant New Year!

 

See you in 2015

 

Sam xxx

Feedback

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria