Surviving and striving

Things have been tough for the past few years but specifically the past 3 months have been absolute shit.

I feel like I’ve been in a really dark time, between work, moving house, losing my grandfather, kids and my health, everything has been so overwhelming.  Yet I’m starting to have hope that I’m coming through the darkness and like my favourite quote, I am remembering to turn on the light.

happiness quotes

No matter how tough life is, you have to just keep getting up every morning, you have to just get through each day.  There’s no real option is there? Everything that’s been going on has been so difficult, my last surgery was massive and such a bloody hard thing to come through.  But I survived it.

And that got me thinking about surviving and striving.  Survival is our basic instinct to get through shit times, it’s our fighting spirit, our adrenaline filled desire to live another day.

Surviving isn’t living though and it’s not enough for me. I want to strive to do more, I want to fill my life with excitement, happiness, laughter and experiences.  And the thing that stops us from striving for what we want is fear.

I have notoriously itchy feet, I am forever searching for the next adventure, the next job, the next event, the next wonder.  That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate what I have! I relish in my wonderful family, my exquisite friends and I find joy in pretty much every day I live.

But I think throughout my life fear has held me back.  The lack of a father made me fearful of not being loved.  I have a huge fear of disappointing those who I love, and sometimes that stops me from being myself.

I have a fear that people will think I’m stupid because I didn’t go to college or university and that becomes a chip on my shoulder that is forever with me and stops me applying for jobs, it stops me speaking to people I think are smarter than myself.

I have a fear of heights that stops me from doing the exciting things my husband and kids want to do.  That teamed with my fear of vomiting in front of others means scary rides, roller coasters, sky diving, all these exciting daredevil things, are a complete no no!

But overcoming my surgeries, surviving 4 operations in 3 years, standing tall after years of health horrors and anxiety filled mind fucks have actually taught me something.  It’s taught me that I have faced and overcome things that would break some people.

ibd warrior inner strength confidence ostomy ileostomy bag


It’s taught me that I’m braver than I believe, stronger that I could imagine and a tough old badass.

It’s taught me that if I can deal with the shit hand I have been dealt, then I have no need to fear all the other stuff.  It’s made me want to strive.

So this year (after full recovery, don’t have a fit Timm!) I am going to, more than ever, be brave. I’m going to strive to do more things that scare me, to enjoy more, to try new things and to embrace every new experience that comes my way.

This isn’t about being a daredevil. But about me stepping out of my own shadow and enjoying life. Because I could have died. I could not be here right now and I need to celebrate that I am.

I’m going to fully immerse myself in my new allotment, I’m going to try some classes, go to more galleries, find events that are interesting and try them.  I’m going to say ‘no’ less and ‘yes’ more.  I’m going to read more, go out more, call friends more. I’m going to be a better mother, a more patient person.  I’m going to try and be the fullest version of myself that I can.  No regrets.

I’m not just going to survive. I’m going to strive.


Sam xx

3 replies
  1. Laura Smart
    Laura Smart says:

    I read your blog entries and you write exactly how I feel…exactly what I want to say but can’t/don’t. Of the 23 years with Crohns and 16 years with a stoma the past 4 months have been the darkest and I have beat myself up about not being able to be as strong as I usually am! I’m worn out of trying to put a brave face on it but I know this is just a bump in the road and it’ll even out again once I am able to take control once again and be able to strive to my normal life.
    I only wish I was so good at putting it into words!

  2. Laura
    Laura says:

    Thank you for writing this. Last year was my anus horriblis starting with a hospital stay and ending with a miscarriage via some struggles with anxiety and depression.
    It was a dark time. I wailed a lot. But every day I just tried to wake up and move forward. It was slow and hard and even these days there are moments of anger, sadness and frustration.
    I was sick of UC holding me back so every moment I was physically able I pushed myself to do things that scared me. It made me feel alive!
    I too have grown up without a father and struggle with abandonment issues.
    I’m looking forward to hearing about all if your wonderful adventures to come.
    Time for a ‘Fuckit’ list!!!


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