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Self-Image and Pity Parties

This weekend I've been dealing with self-image and a "woe-is-me" attitude. I've also been freaking out about every little change in my stoma, output, the appliance and my incision.

Firstly, I have NOT felt very pretty in over a year thanks to UC, the prednisone and now my surgery. UC, as many of you are fully aware, messes with your weight (I lost up to 20 lbs at one point making me look skeletal!). Then there's the prednisone... it really hates me. It makes my hair fall out. I get the moonface. I get the steroid acne. I get a fuzzy face and a fuzzy back. My eyes look "sunken in." It makes my belly swell (thereby making my jeans too tight for comfort). Now, because of the surgery I'm dealing with an ostomy and surgical scars. 

Go ahead and call me vain. I admit it! I am vain.

I've been throwing pity parties. Feeling sorry for myself. I started Colitis Ninja wanting to be a positive light for others. To cheer others on. Let them know that they are not alone and that they will make it through the struggles. I wanted to push them to keep fighting and encourage them to hold on for another day. Well, this weekend I have complained. I have wallowed in my own self-pity. I have snapped at my sweet husband. I have been ready to throw in the towel. I told my husband several times that I do not know how I'm going to get through this. I am, in general, a very independent person. I like to take care of myself. I am not accustomed to feeling needy and helpless and it frustrates me to no end!

I like having a plan. Right now, I can't plan. I don't know how I'm going to feel from one moment to the next. Not only am I trying to recover from surgery, but I'm also dealing with a prednisone taper (currently at 10mg!). I have cried several times. I honestly just want it to end. The pain. The weakness. The sleepless nights. I know, deep down, that things will get better... but until then, here I am. Weak and nearly at breaking point.

I wish so badly that I could rush past the pain and get to the part where I feel better. Then I think about it... I know it is better this way. Toughing it out despite the pain. I believe that my suffering happens for a reason. I believe that God is using it to make me stronger that he might mold me into the person he wants to be. I believe he can use my pain to help others. 

Some people question why God would allow struggles and pain. I would say without pain, sometimes we cannot "grow." We cannot develop what we need to go through life. If we want to be good people and we want to help others who are struggling and hurting, so we too must struggle.

Take a look at baby chicks as one example. They must peck away at their shell without aid. If you help them, they will not develop the neck muscles they need to survive. The same is true for developing butterflies. When they emerge from the cocoon, they must struggle to gain enough strength for them to fly. 

And so, this gives me hope. This helps me to hold fast to what I know: This struggle is giving me the strength to go forth in this life. This struggle is equipping me to help others in their struggle. The Lord has been good to me. I am truly blessed.

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