Finding your own limits
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Joseph Greenly champions the importance of using your own experiences to take ownership of your stoma
In this article, I hope to use my own experiences and journey to guide new individuals who are living with a stoma. As someone who has lived with a stoma for half of my life, starting at the age of 17, I have faced many challenges and obstacles with my stoma and my confidence. Understanding what it means to find your own limits is important.
When people first receive a stoma, they often look for answers and support. This is where you may have found this article, and in your search, you may come across many helpful tips and people’s experiences. However, it’s crucial to remember that everyone’s journey to living with a stoma is unique, so while it’s okay to take inspiration from others, don’t let it define your own limits.
Joseph enjoying a burger
For instance, one of the first things people are told when they have a stoma is not to lift heavy weights. As a powerlifter who lifts double my body weight, this rule doesn’t apply to me. If I took it as my limit, I would never have discovered a sport I love. This doesn’t mean you should go and lift heavy weights, but it shows that you need to try things for yourself. You should be your own scientist and experiment with yourself first. Trial and error is your friend when it comes to finding out what food you can and can’t have. Start with the information given by experts, but then go further and learn more about yourself by trying new things. For example, I can have strawberries as a snack without any difficulties, but I know someone who can’t have them due to the seeds causing blockages. Through testing new things out, we both discovered what works and what doesn’t. You may find that the world is more open to you with your stoma than you initially thought. You may discover new passions and find that your stoma doesn’t hold you back. You may gain confidence and make new friends and even find a new career. All of this comes from trial and error and taking ownership of your stoma.
Joseph as a teen vs now
It’s up to you to weigh the risks and set your own limits. Do you want to try sports like powerlifting, kickboxing or rock climbing? Do you want to be a chef and need to know if certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts work together in a dish? Only you can decide the reward and risk values for what you want to try. By setting your own limits, you take control of your disability and dictate what you do with it, rather than having it set by someone else. Your limits will expand as you continue to question and experiment, so perhaps you never truly find your limit. This article isn’t about finding your limit, but pushing it and using your own experiences to take control of your stoma, which can be one of the hardest but most rewarding things a person can do when faced with living with a stoma.
Joseph Greenly offers advice on pushing your own limits with a stoma