when you knock me down I get the fuck back up again Hercules mulligan Hamilton quote

You knock me down, I get the f**k back up again

Hello you lovely people,

Firstly, apologies for not being about for a while, it has been a tough couple of months and I just. haven’t been in the right head space to blog. We moved house on the 13th December which was manic just before Christmas, I left my job at Scope and I got my surgery date, this was all just after us losing our dog Lola at the beginning of December which hit us all hard.

Surgery number 9

So surgery. Number nine. FFS! I can’t bloody believe it. I am just devastated and it has taken me some time to get my head around it. It feels so unfair that this is happening again. I have two parastomal hernias and also then on my left hand side, the muscles have completely given up the ghost. There is a huge hole and it has been incredibly painful and difficult to manage.

Earlier this month I had botox injections into my abdominal muscles. They do this to paralyse the muscles. When muscles work they contract, for this surgery, they want my muscles to be as long and loose as possible. This technique is something I hadn’t heard of before and I couldn’t find out too much about it online. I’ll do a separate blog post to explain it in more detail.

Sam Cleasby blogger

I have to admit that the idea of yet another surgery has hit me hard. I’m angry. It has taken a while for me to even say those words out loud. The feeling of sinking back into a bad place, it all just felt too much. I decided to leave my job as I just felt unable to carry on being in so much pain all the time. I felt useless and worthless and just like a burden.

The bully

It feels like there is a bully standing over me who keeps pushing me down into the dirt. And every time I brush myself off and get up, there he is, pushing me down again. I really started to doubt myself, to doubt my worth in the world. This journey I am on, I started in 2004 when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. When I had my first surgery in September 2013, I genuinely believed it would be the one and only and that it would fix everything. How wrong I was.

Now, don’t get me wrong, when I had my large intestine removed and a stoma formed, it cured me of the years of diarrhea and bleeding that had marred my life. My ileostomy bag gave me back so much and I was and am still happy to have it. The fact is that without it, I probably wouldn’t be here. But I really wasn’t ready or prepared for another 7 years of pain, operations and hernias that have made it all difficult but in a different way.

But surgery number 9, are you fucking kidding me?

This is going to be a big operation, I have a specialist who has brought in a specialist! The botox is meant to help as they are putting in a lot of synthetic mesh. It is going to be several hours of surgery and I am scared. Im scared of even stepping through the doors of the hospital. Nevermind going through the operation itself. I am terrified of the pain and the long recovery. I’m scared of it all. I don’t feel brave. I feel overwhelmed.

Sam Cleasby disability blogger


I love the musical Hamilton, and there is a line in one of the songs by Hercules Mulligan; it says “Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction, when you knock me down, I get the fuck back up again” I must have listened to the soundtrack hundreds of times, but this week, that line really got to me.

I just suddenly thought ‘oh my god, that’s me!’ I have been knocked down time and time again, but every time I get the fuck back up again.

It’s not easy living with chronic illness and these ongoing complications of muscle problems and multiple hernias have certainly knocked me down a lot. And honestly, there have been times when I was down in the dirt when I thought I couldn’t get back up. That I was done in and had no more fight in me.

But you know what? As I sit there bloodied and battered, battle worn and exhausted, I use that time to sit back and look around me. I stop. I take a breath. And I see my cheerleaders, my support system, my friends, my kids, my husband, my family. All the amazing people in my life who love me. That time when I am down and flat on my arse, I use it to wallow, to heal, to re-centre. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and sometimes I cry. Sometimes I am angry at the amount of time I seem to find myself sat in the dust.

But you know what I do then?

I get the fuck back up again.

Sam xx

3 replies
  1. Judith Hunt
    Judith Hunt says:

    You are my hero Sam…. when I get down about my life, my ills and my woes…. my thoughts shift to you and remind me that shit happens to all of us and some worse than others… so know that you are wished every success for your number 9 and that new techniques are happening all the time and this time your number 9 will be the winner. Walk into the hospital with courage and strength to accept what is about to happen to your pained body but know that your magnificent mind will get you through the days and weeks of healing ahead. You are wonderful, beautiful and brave…. remember that always.

  2. Zeph
    Zeph says:

    I’d like to thank you for the way you express your feelings in words. Actually, it is a bit like you put my feelings in words. When I went up for my 5th surgery in a year and a half because of Crohn’s disease a month ago, I felt exactly like you said: “I don’t feel brave. I feel overwhelmed.” I’m so glad you said this, because from a lot of blogs and articles I usually get the feeling I should always be positive, be brave, be strong. I’m not a negative person, but sometimes when you’re pretty ill and it is the umpiest time you’ve got knocked down, you just don’t feel that way. It is nice to know I’m not the only one. I really appreciate how you give a realistic insight into your life with the disease, without being overdramatic. Thank you!


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