I need a break

I think I need a break…

I started this blog two and a half years ago and I have loved every second.  Starting from a humble desire to share my hospital visits and explain my illness to family and friends, it has seen me document every minute of my journey through ulcerative colitis, three surgeries, the loss of my large intestine, one stoma, two hernias and one Jpouch. As well as all the emotions that come with these huge, life altering events.

Today I sit here, awaiting my fourth surgery in two years and it’s a biggy.  They’re going to remove my Jpouch, form a permanent stoma and get rid of my bottom. They’re also going to attempt to sort out all the gynae problems that have been caused by all the surgery.  It’s a long and complicated surgery and I am very anxious about it.

I’m scared, angry and upset that this is happening. I’m so fed up of my body being this broken thing that affects everything. I’m tired of being a burden to those around me.  I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I also sit here feeling disheartened and disappointed in myself. I’ve spent the last 9 months working with an agent and many publishers trying to get my book about IBD, ostomies, disability and how to deal with the shit that life throws at you out to the public.  And yesterday I got my last ‘no’ from the 12 publishers we have approached.  And I’m crying.

I’ve worked really hard because all I’ve ever wanted was to use the massively shite life I’ve been given to help others. I love my blog.  I really do. Every message I receive makes me believe in myself a little more. Each one reminds me that as I sit tapping away in my bedroom, that millions of people in the uk and around the world are struggling too, and that my words might just help a tiny bit.

You can’t imagine how much that means.

But right now, between the stress, anxiety and sheer terror of facing this next operation and the utter heart breaking disappointment of not getting published, I think I need a break. We are dealing with a complicated house move at the minute too, which isn’t helping.  We’re hoping to move house but dealing with banks and mortgages when you are both self employed is so complicated and stressful and on top of everything else, I just feel so unsettled and without a solid base.

I feel like a failure. In so many ways. I feel my body is failing me. And I feel I’m failing my family and this wonderful audience by not reaching this goal of the book.  I struggle with the idea that I am ever good enough, the chip on my shoulder is that I’m not smart enough, that I don’t have a ‘proper’ job and that I just don’t have the ability.  I know that books get turned down every single day and that I am nothing special in that way, but the idea that I have wasted all these months hurts.

I feel so low that I can’t offer even a tiny glimmer of hope to readers at the minute.  I feel I’m in this dark place that won’t allow me to say something helpful, something inspirational, something positive.

And so I’m taking a little break from the blog and social media, I always think that if you’ve nothing nice to say, it is usually better to shut up.

My family put up with a lot from me, my illness, my inability to work, my emotions. I feel right now, I have very little to offer and what I do have, needs to be focused on them.

I’m sure I’ll be back. But for right now, can I thank every one of you who has read this blog, followed me on social media, messaged me, spoke to me, met me.

I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases and I hope to see you in the new year.
Sam x

18 replies
  1. Nathalie
    Nathalie says:

    Dear Sam, Good luck with the surgery & I can imagine the stress of it all is too much. I know myself & have very little support from anywhere. What has helped me is mindfulness meditation. Sending positive, healing. Long deep out breaths. Wishing you a speedy recovery Nathalie

  2. Lynne Gillett
    Lynne Gillett says:

    honey, do what YOU need to. Biggest hugs. But if you do want to re-visit the book thing, how about crowdfunding? Have a couple of mates who have produced small scale books…it would be such a shame not to use all your brilliant writing.
    Biggest hugs
    Lynne (FB friend) xxx

  3. Anika
    Anika says:

    Sam ! u deserve a break, don’t u think. Thnx for sharing all your stories and emotions with us. I know I could not do that so openly as u did. You are a wonderful strong woman who of course is “allowed” to be weak and hopeless at times as well. We are all human. Settle in the warm nest that is your family and friends and remember tehy all love you for you being you !!! ( ….with all the colors of emotions and moods the rainbow has to offer…. )

    It’s reassuring that you are able to say “no, it is enough at the moment” and you take a break. I learned to listen to my gut feelings…So, enjoy your break, the people you love and who love you.

    All the best for you ( and I keep my fingers xed for the surgery that all goes well !! )
    Oh, and the book will come , don’t stop trying…. and don’t beat yaself up over it ( although I get your point… )

  4. Maria Mansfield
    Maria Mansfield says:

    Hi, you take some time for yourself, you deserve it. I’ve loved reading your posts, andI’m sure you’re be back. Just an idea but have you thought about self publishing the book? Check out a podcast called The Creative Penn, loads of shows to listen to while you recover. Hope everything goes well, take care of yourself. xxx

  5. marie j
    marie j says:

    Oh Sam, I can’t begin to imagine how you must be feeling and I’m so sorry you feel so crap. I started reading your blog earlier this year My partner had bowel cancer and 2 years ago had the AP Re-section that you talk about above. You are such an amazing person and even during your ‘down’ times you have so much positivity. Even when you feel like you are failing, believe me, you are not. I guess it’s all about control and you must feel that you have no control over your health, your book etc. i think you are right taking time out, let go, release all the crap you are feeling, and stop trying to control what’s happening. It’s time to ‘be’ Sam, enjoy your lovely family.

    I wish you so much luck with the operation and the forthcoming months, you deserve it and you deserve to be happy. 🙂 xxx

  6. Toni-Ann
    Toni-Ann says:

    Wishing you the best of luck, you have worked tirelessly and selflessly to demystify IBD and to help those who suffer or who care for those who suffer.
    Hoping everything goes smoothly x

  7. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Sam – I just saw this post that Megan Starshak liked on Facebook, and I read everything you’ve gone through. In 2014, I wrote a book, a very different kind of book, but I wrote one none-the-less. I used LuLu to self publish – and the book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. Perhaps that’s a way for you to break into the publishing world? To get a physical copy into the hands of others, and to start from there? I’m happy to offer any help or advice – please let me know if I can brighten your sprits at all. Sending warm wishes for your surgery, the holidays, and a better year for 2016, Amanda.

  8. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    Hi Sam. I only recently started reading your blogs and they have given me great strength and a feeling of belonging. We all need to rest now and again and you need to focus on recovery and your family now.I hope all goes well with the surgery and the house move. Try to enjoy your Christmas and when your stronger again why not try to publish your book on amazon I am sure lots of people would buy it. Don’t stay away too long, remember there is strength in number’s and support from speaking to people who have some understanding of how your feeling, sending love and hugs to get you through xx good luck

  9. gill
    gill says:

    Sam ,you are amazing, and its good to know that even amazing people sometimes cant cope. But I know you will be back! Wishing you loadsa luck for the next op. xx

  10. Nit
    Nit says:

    Knowing when to say “no” is a skill that more people should learn. It’s about prioritising – putting yourself and your family first. There is absolutely no benefit in keeping on going full speed until you drop. Much better to drop down a couple of gears and take it slowly and steadily – tortoise and hare, and all that.

    I wish you all the best for your surgery and recovery. Have a lovely Christmas and know that the New Year will bring a new you and better health to come. xx

  11. Naomi
    Naomi says:

    Time out to heal your mind is a good idea.

    How many times was JK Rowling rejected? An absolute tonne. There are ways to get yourself published, I uploaded my ‘book’ to Blurb.com and set the price and people can order off there, you just have to buy your first copy. There are other ways too, I can ask around a few author friends to find out how they did it if you like? When you’re ready.

    I’m really sorry to hear about the big ops and all the stress you’re under. Nothing I can say will help you feel better but I can send you some love and healing. I really hope the ops are successful and you can feel a lot better than you do now.

    You are loved.
    You are valued.
    You are worthy.
    You will beat this!
    We believe in you.

  12. Dave Pawson
    Dave Pawson says:

    If all else fails, buy a web domain and ‘publish’ your book online.
    That way a publisher can see reactions to it.
    Far less hassle and you have 100% control.

  13. davina
    davina says:

    You will be back stronger. This disease is tough and lonely, thank you for being brave and sharing your story. You are definitely not a failure x

  14. tony Lumley
    tony Lumley says:

    HI Sam, just wanted to remind you that you have been an inspiration to a hell of a lot of people, my self included, so have your break, and then come back and do what you do best, Kick some arse, really hope you have a super Christmas break with all your loved ones, you are one special person, and don’t ever forget it, best wish’s for your op and speedy healing, Lum xx

  15. Swann
    Swann says:

    I always read your blog because you share what’s more authentic about you, and it makes me want to fight the hell that IBD make us suffer in life. I know the goodness I’ve felt reading your words will return back to you. I wish you and your family all the best, you deserve to be happy.

  16. Emma
    Emma says:

    Hi Sam

    I never opted for the JPouch but after having my daughter with a stoma I had the op you are about to have. It is scary but it was the best decision (even if I didn’t really have any other options).

    I hope things go well for you and it’s a long road to recovery but things WILL be better for you and your family. No more rushing to the loo, no more meds and a bum hole is sooooo over-rated!

    I am so much happier and healthier without it. You are an inspiration do keep going and best of luck.


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