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19 years ago in The Leadmill…

19 years ago in The Leadmill nightclub in Sheffield I met Timm.  I’ve told the story before but I had seen him the week before and not had the confidence to say hi, then I spied him in the DJ box working, my friend Liz went and said to him “my mate fancies you” and the rest, as they say, is history!
Sam and Timm Cleasby

I can’t believe we’ve been together so long!!! I don’t feel old enough to have been with someone for 19 years. I’ve been with Timm for longer in my life than I haven’t.

Its not been an easy ride, he worked away as a tour manager for the first 12 years of our relationship which took its toll. It’s hard to stay close when you’re apart for months at a time but we got through it.

We had three kids in 4 1/2 years so there were manic times where we barely had time for one another but we had a blast. We’re not perfect parents, we rarely do things by the book but we love our babies more than anything and we are a great team.

Sam and Timm Cleasby

Timm was my first love, I was only 17 when we met and my life was chaotic, we had a crazy couple of years of fun and silliness before we had Charlie in 2000, followed by Ellie in 2003 and Thom in 2005. We’ve had 6 houses in that time, job changes, times when money was tight, travels around the world, good times and bad.

We married in Las Vegas in 2004 at the Viva Las Vegas chapel by Elvis and renewed our vows in 2014 at home in a garden ceremony with all our family and friends.

Sam and Timm Cleasby

The past few years have been the toughest of our lives, my ulcerative colitis really took hold of my body and I had my first surgery in 2013 to remove my colon and had my first ileostomy. Since then I’ve had 4 more surgeries and Timm has been my rock.

There have been times when I’ve told him to leave me, when it’s been so hard that I couldn’t bear to put him through it any more. But he’s always been right by my side.

We make a good team, Timm and I, and though it sounds cheesy, we are closer and more in love now than ever before. Something happens when you’ve been together so long, you know eachother inside and out and the level of comfort and safety really kicks in. That’s not to say things are boring, nor do we take eachother for granted but life just becomes easier.

Of course we argue, we fall out and disagree, there are times when we scream and shout, when we get the face on and ignore eachother. I don’t think anyone can be together for so long without there being times of conflict. But we are learning all the time how we can best sort out our arguments.

Everything honestly is better when we are a team, when we fall out, it feels like life is just tougher to deal with. When we are side by side, I feel I can take on the world.

19 years have passed in a heartbeat, I still remember the feeling of butterflies in my stomach as he handed me this chipped Leadmill mug of champagne all those years ago.

Timm, you’re my everything. I wouldn’t be here without your continuing love, support and piss taking. You make me laugh, you deal with all my illness and surgeries with a shrug like it’s no big deal, you hold my hand when I’m struggling and you listen to me when I can’t bear to say things to anyone else.

 

We joke that some things are NSFT (Not Safe For Timm) because he cries at anything remotely emotional. I take the piss out of him for this but I secretly love it. As he has got older he is so much more open with his feelings, he has dealt with a lot during the past few years and sometimes I forget just how hard it has been for him. But it has made him softer and more loving, and that has to be a good thing.

family photo shoot with teenagers in Sheffield urban kelham island

 

We don’t always do gifts but this year I saw this and couldn’t not get it, from The Night Sky who create star maps of certain locations and times, this is the night sky over Sheffield 19 years ago today, these are the stars we looked at on the night we met, the night it all began.

The night sky Sheffield stars

I  so lucky to have grown up with my best friend, 19 years of laughter, being proper daft, of loving and crying and facing all the shit that life has thrown at us.

Cleasby, happy anniversary bubs xxx

18 years ago today…

I was in the Leadmill with my friend Lizzy, her boyfriend was the DJ at a new club night and she’s got us tickets.  I wasn’t going to go out but she really wanted to see her fella so I agreed. 

We went and danced and partied and I was glad I’d made the effort to go out.  She went to see her boyfriend whilst I went to the bar and as I looked up at the DJ box for her, I spied a man with long hair wildly dancing hanging off the booth whilst taking requests and was just a little bit smitten!


I recognised him as the bloke I’d seen a few weeks earlier in the same club skating in and dancing with friends. I’d wanted to speak to him then,  but bottled it.  Lizzy came down and I asked about him, she said he was called Timm and that I should come meet him. 

I know people may not believe this but I used to be so shy and unconfident and I was too embarrassed to speak to him. So she dashed off and jumped up to the box and called the immortal words “HEY! My mate fancies you!” 

I was mortified. 

He looked down and said “the one with a skin head?” She nodded. “Bring her up!”  Shyly I went and said hi and he handed me some champagne in a chipped mug. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! 


One thing led to another and 18 years and three kids later, here we are! 

Timm is my best person in the world, he makes my life happier, fuller and better and I know it sounds cliche but I genuinely love him more with each year that passes. 
I worry about him. I worry that all the stress and hardships of my illness will be too much for him.  He’s a good bloke though and I know he’d never just walk away but this makes me worry that he feels stuck with me, that I’m a burden to him. 


I worry that he has turned from my partner to my carer and that I make him unhappy.  Often people think so much about the person who is ill but their partner is expected to just cope with it all.  Timm’s had to do so much for me in the last 13 years and the past 3 years and 5 surgeries have put so much strain on him. I feel sad that the cause of his stress is me. 

Timm makes me feel like the best woman on earth, he tells me I’m beautiful even when I’m in pyjamas and unable to shower and haven’t slept for two days.  He says I’m the best even when I know I am further towards the worst.  He makes me laugh even in my darkest hours. He listens, he supports, he makes everything better. 


I thought I loved Timm when I was 18. And I did! But the depth of my love for him now at 35 is so much more than I could have ever imagined.  It’s a love that comes with time, he knows me better than anyone else in the world, there’s no facade, no fakery, nothing hidden.  

He is my everything. And though I struggle with feeling that I’m a burden to him, and worry I’m not good enough, he has my heart and always will. 

Happy Anniversary of when a skin head’s friend told you that she fancied you. 

18 years bubsy xxx 

Happy birthday to my Jpouch!

I can’t believe my jpouch is one year old today!!!!

A year ago on 14th May 2014 I had just been through a really tough surgery. I had woken without my Ileostomy bag and was facing my first day for nine months without pooing through my stomach!!

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I was exhausted, terrified and in an awful lot of pain. I had a large tube in my bottom that would have to stay there for ten days and I also wouldn’t eat for almost two weeks.

Those first few days were bad. The pain, hunger, fear and emotional turmoil were so tough. To be honest the first few weeks were really awful, I was incontinent and taking so many drugs and learning to live with a pouch.

For the first few months I asked myself on a daily basis what had I done?! I had been warned that the recovery was brutal and would take 2 years but it was worse than I could imagine.  Everything seemed so much harder than with my stoma and I doubted my decision all the time.  Learning to use my pouch was like a toddler learning to use their bowels.  For the first weeks I had to go to the toilet every two hours, even through the night, setting an alarm.  This is because my pouch was made in a two step procedure, step one was colectomy and ileostomy and step two was pouch formation and reconnection – some people have the operations in three or more steps with the pouch being formed but not connected and then another surgery to connect it up a few months later.

The two hours was stretched to three and then four before the long  period of trying to ‘hold it’ for as long as possible to train the pouch to hold more stool and teach my body to go for longer periods between toilet visits.

The past year has been a huge learning curve.  There have been really difficult times where I have barely left the bathroom, there are times where I have had pouchitis, tummy bugs, butt burn, incisional hernia, surgery and so much more.  I still have ‘flare ups’ where my joints are so painful and I feel exhausted.  The fatigue hits hard at times.

But I can say, one year post surgery that I am really glad that I went ahead with the surgery.  My life is improving all the time, I can go longer between toilet visits and I am learning what food I can and can’t tolerate.  I rarely have accidents and I do feel that my health is improving all the time.  There are times when I don’t even think about toilets!!! It has been YEARS since I could say that!

sam cleasby so bad ass blogger

So happy birthday to my jpouch, it has been a crazy year! Here’s to the next one!!

 

Sam xx

 

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 11th wedding anniversary!

We married in Las Vegas in 2004 and renewed our wedding vows last year and I couldn’t be happier.

Life isn’t always plain sailing and we have had our moments of struggle, but we came through everything stronger than before and that Cleasby bloke and I, when we are together, we are a force to be reckoned with.

Over the last 2 years of surgeries, recovery and change, Timm has been my rock. The one person I can tell it all to, the one to hold my hand, to make it all better and to love me harder than ever before. He became my carer for a while and did it with love, sensitivity and respect.

sam cleasby timm cleasby

People tell me I am strong. But I am only strong because Timm is my roots, he holds me tall and supports my growth.

When life is good, he walks by my side, both of us smiling into the sun. But sometimes life just gets so heavy, my shoulders aren’t broad enough to carry the weight, that is when he steps in and scoops me up. When I need him to, he will carry the weight of both of us and does so with a smile. Then as it gets easier, he sets me down and we carry on our path together.

 

 

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I just hope that when he needs me, I will carry him in the same way.

Happy anniversary to my favourite person in the whole world.

Sam x

Happy Anniversary

15 years ago today I met my amazing husband Timm in the Leadmill when my friend told him ‘my mate fancies you’

15 years and 3 kids later and the rest is history. Timm you are my best friend, I love you more than ever. You make me so happy and I couldn’t imagine life without you. You are awesome!

I’m so glad to be Mrs Cleasby xxx

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Love Sam xx