Author Archives: champagneshezza

About champagneshezza

I am a 40 something woman, with a love of champagne and Chanel and a lover of the gym! I had Ulcerative Colitis for many years before having emergency surgery to lose my large bowel but save my life., almost 10 years ago now. I want to give hope and inspiration to others who may be facing bowel surgery but also hope everyone else will enjoy my updates. I am just trying to navigate my way through life, with an honest and positive outlook and show that life doesn't stop just because you have a stoma. I hope you enjoy that journey with me.

Can you spot the difference?

Can you spot the difference?

I can, and when I look there are minimal differences, like in those really annoying spot the difference puzzles! But, I can pick holes in both. This isn’t just about the aesthetic (I am fully aware I have privilege when it comes to ‘how a body should look’ and this is not about a cry for compliments), I can see it emotionally. TBF, figure wise, I prefer me, on the right, (probably because I conform more to societies standards of how ‘women should look’) but – oh boy, is that shit hard, it’s getting up at 5am, it’s lifting heavy, it’s coming home to a protein shake and eggs on toast, it’s then planning meticulously the food for the day….protein sausages, veg, snack on cucumber and protein cheese and so on. I am not saying there is anything particularly wrong with that but it’s when it becomes disordered it becomes a problem. Especially when you just want to faceplant a croissant (which interestingly has less calories than a bacon sandwich, but at least there is protein in the bacon 😉!)

Right now, I love my life, but I am in a place where I am struggling to get back into exercise, have put on a few pounds (which for me is very difficult to deal with), can’t seem to get back into a healthy routine and I don’t know if that’s lock down fever, happiness of breaking free, the pleasure of ‘Jump the Queue guy’ or just a general ennui.

I mean, I love eating real food and remembering what that tastes like (I haven’t decided if I should be happy or annoyed with Jump the Queue guy?!)  but I do also like to be healthy, only so I can give myself the best chance at life. But, as we all know, it’s balance, and I am not someone that does balance. But are any of us, really? Now, at the risk of sounding smug, I can have chocolate/sweets/biscuits etc. in my house and they will be there for months BUT put some wine in the fridge (not so smug now) and that baby will be gone in seconds.. wine is my weak spot in life!

It’s cliché, but I think I am just trying to discover who I am at the moment. I was always ill with my Ulcerative Colitis, then hospital, then operations, then I got better but had to live with a stoma bag, then a second op to sew up my bum (please ask any questions, I am not shy about answering!), then I just wanted some drama free years, I in no way regret my relationship but I am only now getting to know me and myself with the bag and what that means. Am I a 6 day a week gym going Sherrill, am I lazing on the sofa, eating pizza, drinking wine Sherrill or somewhere in-between? I have no idea at the moment, all I know is that I need to delete the food delivery apps and perhaps sign up to a greengrocer app or something? Or maybe just take my lazy arse out for a walk, but I shall keep you posted! 😉

Rejection from women to women is so much worse than man to woman!

So as a single being (sort of lol. Jump the queue Guy is still very much in the picture!) I want to increase  my social circle. Admittedly, this is something I will openly admit to being really bad at, no  matter what my circumstance.

My absolute best friend Lisa and I have a typical ‘best friend’ relationship, don’t speak for months, but if you need each other, you are there in a heart beat, or, you don’t speak for months but when you get together nothing has changed. (She has cleaned my teeth for me when I was too ill to do it myself and in childhood, always wore the green nightie from the dress up box as I insisted on wearing the red one – that my friends is true love!!).

But over the last couple of years, I realised I had started to become insular and made less effort to make friends. My job entails me working from home, so I don’t even get ‘office banter’. I have been really lucky that my work colleagues are more friends (and I have said before) have helped me through these last few months, but we don’t live near each other so I can’t just pop to a garden for coffee.

I 100% wish my work peoples lived nearby as I know we would have an amazing group, but we don’t so hey ho! I didn’t go to uni, so don’t have those ‘life long friends’, I was bullied at school, so fuck keeping in touch with the wrong people (although I am in touch with some school friends, Laura Jones by far the best!) and I haven’t had kids so no school mum friends. Also, working from home makes it hard to meet people, although I have a very good relationship with the characters from Grey’s anatomy and the Chicago trilogy!!

So I am doggedly determined to meet new people and form new friendships. There is no Tinder for ‘friends’ (and why not??) so how, in this day and age do you meet people? But, have you ever asked out a woman (platonically) and been ghosted or kept on hold so to speak and it is sooooo much worse than if a man does it. Why? I am not sure but I am nothing if not persistent and I will keep exploring options. But, whilst I appreciate I need to make an effort, I will not be rejected more than once, for any sex, so I will keep you updated on my quest to find female friends! Finding men is easy, but finding your ‘crew’ is not easy but in the end so worth it! 😊

Any BTW, this picture is my female soulmate 😉 xx

Life update…

My last blog I spoke about the adoption of a cat, so what’s happened since I can hear you cry!

So ‘jump the queue guy’ is still very much in the picture, the meals he cooks me are epic, he even makes extra for the family and my ex (is it weird that my new squeeze makes food for my ex and his new GF?!). I mean neither of us think so, we are all benefitting ha ha.

I have said before, the ex and I have a great relationship which is really fab. It’s nice we are still in each other’s lives in such a lovely way and I always appreciate that as it can be really hard to have a good relationship after a breakup.

 I am also working on my holiday business which I love so much, I have my Greek that I continue to learn (plus my fellow Greek group friends), my blog, my family and I am making much more of an effort to be with friends (albeit, facetime, walks or social distancing coffees). I still need to work on this bit as I tend to get a bit lazy but it’s so important to me to do this and expand my horizons.

I do still have emotional days, it’s been 8 months since the breakup, but I avoided processing anything for a good few months, so, yes, it’s going to hit me here and there, it’s fine, it’s all part of the process. In fact, a couple of weekends ago I spent the whole weekend crying. It started with an episode of ‘The Good Doctor’ and ended with a ‘Star is Born’ (if you are feeling emotional, then go all out and watch something that makes you cry until you can’t breathe!).

So, ‘Jump the Queue guy’ phoned me on an emotional night, he wasn’t feeling well, but here is the lovely thing, he listened to my woes, didn’t try to take over the convo (in that competition type way!!) gave me loads of reassuring words and I came off the phone laughing and feeling better. He didn’t even try to do the ‘man logic thing’ of trying to solve the problem, he actually listened! So not only can he cook, but he also listens. I guess what I am trying to say is that he is patient and understanding, it’s refreshing.

As you know, I also have Binky Zazzles, she is now venturing outside like a brave little solder, first time she went out I was having many panic moments, but she comes home, so we’re ok! We have completely bonded and are incredibly happy! She is definitely my cat soul mate!

So my update is this, life is really bloody good, I am so happy, I am doing so much that I avoided before, I have everything I want/need, yes I have emotional/grieving days, it’s natural, but they will get less but on the whole life is good.

If you want to change something in your life, whatever that is, it is going to be soooooo hard and that is probably what is stopping you making the change, but nothing worth having is easy. It will be hard but you will come through it – it is so worth it! So, if you are thinking about – just do it, the other good side is waiting for you! 😉

We all knew the cat would come…

For those that have followed my (very varied!) journey will know how much I miss my cats, or ‘the babies’ as we referred to them. Now, bear in mind there would be no cats if it was not for me (long story), but the ex is very caring and loves them as much as I do that it made sense for him to have custody (fyi, their birth certificates are in my name 😉!). But I don’t need to worry about them as I know they are in great hands and I get visitation rights 😉. Of course, leaving them broke my heart, it still does, but knowing they are well looked after helps.

Anyway, I moved into my new house, got it all redecorated and refurbished, it’s pristine, beautiful and just so, so lovely. I was adamant I would not get a cat, I mean, I have paid a lot of money for new carpets, furniture, etc. I need a while before a cat comes and scratches it all……

I love living alone, I forgot how nice it was, how I sleep so neatly my bed covers barely move, housework takes 45 mins because there is hardly anything to clean, I only remember to put a wash on because I have run out of socks….but it feels a little empty. I remember renting many years ago and being desperate for a cat but couldn’t get one (due to said renting) but knew it would be fab to have a little furry purrer! Fast forward to meeting the ex and we had an adopted cat (you know, the neighbourhood one that touts its paws around town!) then we got kittens (aka ‘the babies’, still known to this day as the babies even though they are 7!).

Then, there I am, minding my own business when a friend messaged me on Facebook asking if I would consider rehoming her cat as she was moving and couldn’t take her, she wanted to know she would go to a loving home and thought of me! I asked for a couple of days to think about it, but within the hour I just said yes (I mean, I could have pretended to think for a day or two, but we all know I was going to say yes!).

So up turns Binky, the most gorgeous, sweet little thing, (there were tears on the doorstep from myself and owner, my god is that hard but she also gets visitation rights 😉!).  She is doing very well and is super confident already. (The cat, not previous owner!).

I have given her a middle name, ‘Zazzles’…. Why you ask? Well, myself and ‘jump the queue guy’ as I have mentioned, love The Big Bang Theory, there was an episode where Sheldon adopted loads of cats (he couldn’t understand he was feeling emotion so replaced his feelings with cats!) and they were all named after scientists, except one cat he names Zazzles because ‘she’s so zazzy’, well for some reason that tickled us so much and I said, if I get a pet I am calling it zazzles, so it was just apt that Binky got a middle name!

My fab work colleagues have heard all about the cat and they all refer to her as Zazzles which makes me laugh and is very apt! None of them were surprised that I adopted one either! Also, Binky Zazzles and Jump the queue guy have bonded which is a good sign and he really likes her lol.

So, I feel life is complete, new home, new start and now a cat which is my purrfect (sorry!)  match as she is very chatty, needs attention and likes the mirror – sound like anyone you know?! 😊

Wow this stoma is just disgusting…

(Disclaimer it isn’t),

There is a story circulating on social media (I will not link to it as I don’t think it is healthy to bring your attention to it, especially if you are facing/new to a stoma) about a woman who hates it as she experiences so many leaks and bag changes per day.

This is not the norm – it is a daily newspaper looking for headlines, for shocking stories, for making ‘disabilities’ appear so horrific we could not possibly cope if it happened to us. I would like to say with stomas, this is not the norm, you have options, different bag choices, stoma nurses to speak to, adhesive bands and removers, this woman’s problem seems predominantly to be a an adhesive one. I hope she can get it sorted, find a product that works for her, but I would just like to say it IS UNUSUAL.

Most of us with bags, don’t want them, (obviously) but find something that works and generally deal with them. Yes, there can be leaks and inconvenient moments, but on the whole you deal with it, move on and realise it happened because of an anomaly.

To roll out headlines about how horrific it is, just isn’t helpful. When I faced mine, it was almost 10 years ago (wow, where did that go!!), I knew so little about it, there was no social media about it and I genuinely thought I was dealing with the most horrific thing known to man, I thought I would be wheeling that baby about on one of those drip poles for the rest of my life!!

If I had known it wouldn’t be like that, that I could still wear the clothes I like, have sex, date, swim, wear cropped tops, lift weights, run (pushing it now…!) then I may have considered it before it was life threatening. I might not have been so ill, so near death, may have been saved from blood transfusions, life or death surgeries and many, many medications, then, I may well have considered it. (we’ll never know, I was never given the choice).

I have said before, nobody wants a bag, we don’t, if we could do anything but not have one we would. I miss some things about not having one (mainly my ability to eat sweetcorn and that’s about the only thing that springs to mind 😉!). Look, of course, there are things that change, but doesn’t life change anyway? Things happen to us that change us. Yet we adapt. I miss certain stuff, but, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s we can bloody well accept a change in life!

I have also said this so many times, but if a person you are dating can’t accept it, move on, if they are struggling to deal with it, chat to them, have an open conversation about how you can both accept it and move on (but always, always get rid it they use it to make you feel less then you are, have they been through what you have – no – so hello and goodbye!!).

But if we look at stoma’s (still in 2021 AND in a pandemic) then what hope does that give to people maybe facing a stoma or just living with one. And it is not just an ‘old person thing’ it really can happen at any age. Mainly due to debilitating bowel conditions (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, which usually happen in teenage/early twenty years as well as bowel cancer, to name a few)

It’s so hard to be out and proud with a stoma, but here I am, nearly 10 years down the road, I refuse to not walk around naked in front of someone, I refuse to cover it up, I refuse to not wear a ‘normal bikini’, I refuse to be silent about it, I refuse to try and ignore the sounds it likes to make, I refuse that someone won’t be intimate with me or not like me because of it.

Ok, it’s not all plain sailing, but we all have stuff that isn’t ‘plain sailing’, so can we stop with the sensationalist headlines and give people confidence that they will live a good life, they will find a ‘bag fit’ and facing a stoma really isn’t the worst thing it can be.

Surely, I am proof of that – I mean if you haven’t read my other blogs or followed me on social media (then why?!?!) then you will see just how much can be achieved and I beg you, do it, live your best life, don’t let that fashionable little accessory stop you 😉

Dating in reverse……

I have mentioned dating in my previous blog and I think dating in a pandemic is really hard! I mean, what do you do, wait for the pandemic to end before you navigate the dating scene or just give it a virtual try and see what happens??

If there is something I have learnt from the last few months, I DO NOT need a man for happiness, I have independence, my own home, a good job, a side business, amazing colleagues, supportive friends and the most delicious (in my mum’s words ‘dollies house’) house!! I am incredibly happy, so for a man to fit in, he really needs to enhance that experience, not just show up and expect me to be grateful!

Anyway, as I said before (being the independent woman that I now am) decided to go on tinder 😉 – it was an experience – BUT a guy slid into my Facebook DM’s (we already knew each other from years ago but hadn’t seen each other for years) and asked if I remembered him, what was someone like me doing on a dating app and he thought he would bypass Tinder and go straight for messenger to see if he could ‘jump the queue’. Well somehow, that made me really laugh and he had me at ‘jump the queue’ 😉

So we spent a good month chatting on messenger, then WhatsApp, video chat etc. We (socially distanced) met to see if we liked each other in person (I mean, we might have terrified each other in real life, so it was good to check we didn’t before we were down a rabbit hole of 6 months facetiming, later!) then I was quite clear that I would be bubbling with my sister for a while. So, queue yet another month or so of phone calls/facetime and messaging.

Of course, in lockdown, there isn’t much you can do other than video call, when we did, we would both pretty much be in casual wear or PJ’s, I think because we had spent so much time speaking and getting to know each other we were just that comfortable. Plus, I did nothing but laugh when we chatted, which was such a welcome relief.

I have spoken to a few other people who have met during lockdown and it’s a similar situation. I call it ‘Dating in Reverse’.  Normally you meet someone and it’s all awkward first dates, worrying about your outfit, what to talk about etc. it takes ages until you feel comfy enough to swap your skinny jeans for PJ’s, read your book in bed or just binge watch TV. But here we are in this pandemic and we are getting to know the person in depth due to the amount of calls/facetime etc. This isn’t something you usually do when you can date under normal conditions. It’s a while until you get to the ‘comfy’ stage.

So at the moment, we are (all of those dating) getting to the comfy stage really early, which I think is due to that phenomenon of actually getting to know someone! But it feels easy, comfortable and relaxed and I genuinely think that’s such a good thing. Plus, we have the actual dating bit to look forward to (dating in reverse!), wow, imagine, if you like someone with bad hair, PJ’s, a penchant for lazing around, binge watching TV (I mean this is just me!), how much better will they be when we are all dressed up with haircuts?! (Or maybe not, stranger things have happened to put us off people 😉!)

So, how are things going with ‘jump the queue’ guy, well you will just have to tune in for more, but he can cook – really well (more on that later), makes me laugh all the time and we are enjoying each other’s company and are both happy. Plus, we both have the biggest love for ‘The Big Bang Theory’, which I love as it’s one of my fave shows!! We will see how it goes and hopefully decent clothes and good haircuts won’t put us off! 😉

All I will say is that ‘Dating in reverse’ has taught me some stuff, it is so worth spending time getting to know someone, more talking, less ‘dating’, can you hold an 8 hour conversation (yes myself and ‘jump the queue guy’ have done that, I may also have had a little nap in the middle!)? But, if you can find yourself doing that, still laughing, still reluctant to put down the phone, then that’s only a good thing. 🙂

#Notallmen

I had to weigh in on this, I usually like to keep my blogs fairly light hearted but ffs hasn’t it been a heavy week for women. So much has gone on that has made our blood boil, made us despair, feel fed up, disappointed, angry and all we can do is share, share, share on social media.

#notallmen has been the biggest hashtag this week, which beggar’s belief and just goes to show how much men will come together when they think it is an attack on them. But what about when it is an attack on women, all day, every day, where are the men then? They are sitting there, not getting involved because they don’t believe it is them or their friends.

If men spent as much time advocating for the very basic rights of women as they do defending themselves, we might be in a better position. I do not dislike men, I like the company of men, but as I get older I realise that I don’t want to be around men that aren’t willing to listen, to understand, to educate themselves on the abuse against women by men.

Yes men get attacked but it is mainly by MEN – so when men say, ‘oh yeah but men get raped/attacked’, yes, but by WHO???? So why as a man are you still ignoring women or belittling their experience?? Have you not realised that is mainly men that are the problem?

I was catcalled at school when I was about 12 for the size of my boobs (I developed early), I’ve been wolf whistled and intimidated by men on the streets, I have been told to ‘smile love’, I have been physically attacked in a lift because I said I wasn’t interested, I’ve been touched when I didn’t asked to be, had my bum slapped, my vagina grabbed, my leg rubbed, I’ve crossed the street, walked a bit faster, ducked into a shop etc. etc. much like every other woman. IT IS NOT OKAY.

Now, on the basis of #notallmen I have had males that have looked after me, seen me safe, not taken advantage, checked I got home ok, but this is a fundamental human respect, not just a good guy mentality surely?

We really aren’t going to see a change until men start taking a stand, educate your fellow men, call them out, don’t engage in sexism/misogyny, read books or articles that give you stats and information. Yes, I appreciate that for men, it is nerve racking, that you might get called ‘a pussy’, ‘to man up’ or may get ridiculed etc. but to point out again, this vitriol is coming from MEN. Do you want these people in your life?? Also (as my work bestie said) the worst thing they have to worry about is being ridiculed, not actually being raped or murdered. I can’t tell you how many times my friends have taken the mickey out of me for the things I have said, but I have never worried one of them might actually attack me. Because I trust that they are good people!

Not all women are good either, I get that, I have been bullied by females- a lot, that is scarring, yes I could be attacked by a bunch of females but it is far less likely than being harassed/attacked/frightened by a male.

On my 40th birthday, I had a party in a pub that was 5 mins down the road. On the way home, my feet were in so much agony (from my stupid heels!), I sent my then boyfriend home to get my trainers whilst I perched on a wall. 3 women came out and asked if I was ok, did I need help, and they stood outside with me until my BF had come back with better shoes (I had explained the situation!) – I mean how amazing is that. Women surrounding me, to make sure I was safe, and didn’t get attacked by a man!

And if you are a ‘not all men’ man, ask yourself, how many times have you felt unsafe, worried about turning a man down, having to lie and say you have a boyfriend because they will respect a man more than your right to say no. If you are a #notallmen then for the love of god, stick with us females and call out the misogyny and harassment and help make the world a safer place.  

And let’s take a moment to remember a female, who did nothing wrong, who just walked home and got attacked and murdered by a member of society that is there to supposedly keep us safe #RIPSarahEverard

Dating with a stoma?

Dating is so much fun, like the funnest (not a word I know), you get all the good bits of someone and even if they are not that good it’s a funny date story to recall. So, if you’re lucky, you get chemistry, butterflies and compatibility. If you are not lucky, you find yourself squished into a plant hoping to get away…(yes I have done that!).

But it is fun, even when you are in a good relationship, I bet you still miss the heady feeling of a first date or the anticipation of what is to come, it doesn’t mean you want to go down that road, but you can miss it.

Whether you are new to a stoma, facing one, like me are entering the dating world after years with the same person or simply curious then hopefully this blog will help!

So, here I am, single for the first time in almost 10 years and it’s so fu*&%ng amazing ha ha! I love living alone, I love having control over my own life, I love knowing I can live how I like and just be me! That’s not to say having a partner isn’t great, but I am learning it’s not everything.

In a nutshell, you can 100% date when you have a stoma, it’s up to you when you tell someone and take it at your own pace. Personally, I like to get it out in the open straight away, I mean if someone is going to be put off by it, I would rather know straight away so I am not wasting my time. If someone is put off by it, it IS NOT a reflection on you, it is a reflection on them. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad person either, they just don’t understand it, but, whatever their reasons, you can make a swift and dignified exit.

I have never had a negative experience when telling men (I talk about men here as that is the sex I choose to date), in fact (and as awful as this sounds) I have used it to try and put men off! This was in the early days of having it, I would get chatted up in a bar and I would say ‘oh btw I have a stoma bag’ thinking they would do a U-turn, but nope, the usual reaction was either ‘oh what’s that then’ or ‘oh I don’t care about that’ or something along those lines. So, what you think is going to be really scary actually isn’t and I genuinely think most people aren’t that bothered.

So, I find myself navigating dating, not just for the first time in years but in a pandemic! Plus, I was always with the ex, before the stoma (albeit a few weeks) but he stuck around. So, it’s my first time dating with a stoma, so to speak.

Some of my best stories have come from the worst dates, and some of my best (men) memories have come from great dates, that may not have worked out but gave me a glimpse of what I would like. I mean, we are in the 21st century, so what if we date a guy for a month or two then call it a day, or a year, or a week, who says we must have a relationship for life? I am not just saying that because I am now single, but I remember always thinking that when I was young. (I also thought I would get married 3 times like Joan Collins, but I am yet to even come close to a sparkling diamond ring 😉 so I don’t think I will bother with that idea now!)

Confession time, now there is no urgent need to date right now, we are locked up, can’t go on proper dates and I have only been single for 6 months. However, one Sunday, I was bored, had devoured a glass or 2 of wine and thought I would sign up to a dating app! Ha ha, that was an experience, for me, it was a good one, (massive ego boost too, not gonna lie) chatted to quite a few men, but I soon got bored so came off it. Anyway, when I would speak to men (I am not talking about the ones that message saying ‘hi, how are you’ then never engage in any further conversation) but any that I might chat to for a bit longer, maybe going over to WhatsApp…. I would let them know that I have a stoma, personally I would rather they know, if they are put off by it then I can say bye and crack on with my life. But my experience, so far, really has been a positive one. TBF, there can’t be many people that don’t know I live with a stoma – for those who know me or follow me on social media, you will know I am very open about it, it is nothing to be ashamed of and I see no reason to hide it. But it is still a bit of a nerve-racking thing to deal with when meeting (albeit virtually right now!) potential new dates.

So, I guess what I am trying to say, is own it, be proud of it, think of what you have gone through to get to the point of needing a stoma, that makes you bad ass, any potential partner should realise that and be in awe of you. You will be able to date and kiss and have sex and everything else that people without stomas do.

Whether you have a stoma or not and are navigating the dating world, good luck, be safe, have fun and bloody well ENJOY IT!!

Coming out of the pandemic and feeling sad???

I felt compelled to write on this as I know I am not the only one feeling it. It sounds weird right? I mean, here we are excited to see family and friends and hug them, to live a ‘normal’ life, go to the pub, a nice restaurant, out for coffees, on DATES!!! Maybe, even a concert and fingers crossed A HOLIDAY!!

So why does the thought of coming through the pandemic and back to normal life fill me with some anxiety? It’s obviously become our ‘new normal’, we’ve got used to it even though we are fed up of it. We have laughed at the memes that come out 5 minutes after Boris’s announcements, have loved Chris Whitty ‘next slide please’, are we getting more furlough courtesy of Rishi’s sudden unlimited pot of money, the relief of not having to wash our hair for another day or squeeze into skinny jeans, eating crisps for breakfast (is that just me?) not feeling pressure to go to the gym or on a night out we don’t really want to?

Now, we are facing the societal pressures, the need to dress up and look fancy, commute to the office, bound in with our healthy salad and bouncy hair and quite frankly it just feels a bit too much to be facing. I liken it to a long hospital stay, it’s horrible, not a place you want to be, you want to leave and be in your own home, get your hair done and dance with the girls/boys, but when you are discharged, you feel a bit bereft, not sure what to do, someone isn’t tending to you 24 hours, you have to think about life again, and it’s all, well, a bit strange.

If you are feeling a bit anxious/sad/overwhelmed about coming out of lockdown, then please don’t. You are not alone and I think we all have mixed feelings. The best feeling in the world will be those hugs then swiftly followed by the condensation on a cold glass of champagne on a summer’s day 😉 (jokes it will be hugs, hair then champagne!). 

This third lockdown has got us all a bit feral and we will all come out a bit unkempt, unruly and please for the love of god girls, ditch the bras and the heels (if you choose, but really – ditch them 😉). I mean really, can we stand in solidarity on this one?!

Sure some people will come out with bouncy shiny hair and a six pack, but that doesn’t have to be you, your journey has been different, your life will have been different and if we come out alive (albeit looking like something that fell out of a Yeti’s mouth) then that’s a really positive thing. Your journey will change as we get through the ease of restriction and you will adapt again. And can we learn from it? Say no to things you don’t want to do, negotiate with work for flexi working, go for that promotion/new job, stay at home more if that’s what you want, maybe take the pressure off.

We’ve all been in some kind of bubble and sometimes that’s a sticky, stick to your lips and nose, pink bubblegum bubble and other times it’s been one of those bubbles you blow yourself and create pretty patterns in the sky, but it’s hard to leave a bubble.

All I can say, is life will change again, but we adapted before and will do so again and I always say this…. IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER!! So, if you are feeling in two minds (and even feeling a bit guilty about it, as I am) about the situation then I can recommend, putting on some cheesy tunes, just your underwear (you may want to close the blinds, but no judgement if not, it’s only bodies – we all have them!) pour a glass of wine and DANCE IT THE HELL OUT!!

See you on the dancefloor – June 21st 2021 (but can we keep the 10pm curfew for over 40’s please 😉)!!

Getting a Haircut During Lockdown | Haircut Meme on ME.ME

When you think your life has fallen apart…

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7 months ago I was in a solid (more on the solid later, different blog to come) relationship, no financial worries, a gorgeous house, on lovely furlough, 2 gorgeous kitties (that I adopted), yes we may have been in a pandemic, but life looked pretty good??

Well one month on from that I had lost my relationship, my home, my cats, my security, I moved in with my mum (not ideal at 41, but thank goodness for her), I had no idea if I would keep my job, let alone get another one, and no idea where I might live.

My ex and I were ok, no hard feelings but it was still a navigation. I didn’t grieve properly for a number of reasons, I got involved with someone I really shouldn’t have (massive rebound and avoidance of feelings situation) and that in itself caused more issues than I needed to deal with!

However, not all so bad as the gyms re-opened and I could get back to lifting some heavy arsed weights again! I even got some personal bests (not bad considering it had been so long!), think all the grief/rage/shock turned me into the hulk ha ha. So I started feeling like a real bad ass strong woman (physically) which I cannot stress enough does so much for you mentally too.

The ex and I owned a property together which we rented out, so after much deliberation on my part (buy somewhere new, live in the property etc.) I decided to move into the co-owned property. So we had to give notice to a tenant who had been amazing (which is really hard, although said tenant was brilliant about it all). Of course, Covid meant 6 months’ notice (do not disagree with this) but suddenly my 2 months with mum felt like it was going to be a year! Anyway, let us fast forward and the tenant found somewhere and could move out early Dec. So, cue me, going into project management, take after my mum, practical mode.

Book decorators, book electrician, book carpet, blinds, order new furniture (yes everything, I took nothing, not even a bin) co-ordinate it all to turn up in practical arrangements. Of course, Covid had other plans, my decorator got Covid, so that had to be put back, which meant everything else had to be rearranged (obviously completely acceptable lol!). In the meantime, furniture was turning up left right and centre, some at the new house, some at mum’s and some at the ex’s! Phew was that all stressful!

I think in 3 weeks I had all furniture arrive, electrics done, maintenance, heating and gas repairs/new things, new blinds, new carpets and flooring, decoration, flat pack assembled, wi-fi and all technical stuff, plus I packed up from two homes, moved it all with just myself and mum (Cue ‘mum, I appreciate your help but it’s easier if I do it on my own!! I am bad ass remember’!!). Majority of things unpacked all rooms looking gorgeous and cosy. I then spent three weeks on my garden sun lounger in my living room whilst I eagerly awaited the arrival of my new sofa! Anyone else done a Microsoft teams meeting from a sun lounger?!

So yes, you could say it was a stressful time and when I look back I am WTF??? But I have said this before I am my mother’s daughter and roll my sleeves up and get done what needs to be done. I also had some very supportive friends and family that helped. My female work colleagues were also my biggest allies despite us living far apart.

So 6 months on, I live in my gorgeous (very elegantly pink) home, with everything I have chosen myself, with the things I have wanted for so long. I LOVE my new home, I live alone but have found a happiness I didn’t think I could get again. My ex and I are on really good terms and have a really nice relationship which I hope (I am sure we will) will keep,(he has also been very generous and supportive and I love him for that)  I am far more social than before (albeit distanced!), I have my Greek and my Greek group, I have started a side business in travel, I am in fact super productive*

Oh and here is something that has surprised even me….I eat food, not shit diet food, but proper food, I am enjoying food again, you know, not a low calorie meal or a ‘substitute’ I am actually eating food and ENJOYING it, who knew!!

I still miss the gym and can’t wait to pick up some heavy arsed weights again but how the hell I ever got up at 5am most days is beyond me!

But the moral of my story is….  You can have the shittiest time (and please don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or professionals if you are) but that life can turn around in just 6 months! It does get better, hang on in there, look to the future with a positive vibe, get help if you need it but just know that life does and will get better – that I can promise you.

And, if you are wondering what this has to do with a stoma, the F* all but it’s just another thing you have to deal with in the literall shit storm of your life – but even that can be navigated! And if you are wondering what happens when a long term romance breaks down and you have stoma, what next……I have good news for you but you’ll have to tune in again 😉

(*Disclaimer I also spend a lot of time on the sofa eating carbs and watching rubbish TV!)