Going through the changes you have been through is not just a physical, but an emotional challenge as well.

Adjusting to a new life situation can be challenging. This is true for most everyone – not just for people with an ostomy. Most people see their body as their physical identity, and when that changes radically, as with ostomy surgery, it can shake up your understanding of who you are overall.

Dealing with negative emotions

Allow yourself time to grieve

A physical change like having an ostomy can create possible feelings of alienation, and most people will have some level of struggle with accepting the ostomy as a part of them.

With time the feeling of alienation should go away, but until it does, it is important that you allow yourself to grieve over what you have lost. Grief can be a positive and necessary part of the process – and not something you need to suppress or fear.

Of course, if you are experiencing extreme stress or a feeling of hopelessness, you should seek professional help immediately. If you are unsure of what to do, call your doctor or ostomy care nurse and let them know as honestly as possible how you feel.

How can I be myself again?

When you are going through the emotional healing process, it is very normal to begin to worry if you will ever be able to free yourself from negative thoughts.

Try to allow yourself some mental rest by not putting pressure on yourself to feel a certain way, or expect to feel like yourself again in a particular time frame.

The mind is a strong and beautiful thing, and it can heal in extraordinary ways if we let it. But just as the physical healing process after surgery took its time, so does the emotional healing. You will be yourself again – albeit a slightly different version, perhaps even stronger than before.

Are you making progress?

If you feel you are not making progress, you should consider seeking professional medical support. Your doctor or ostomy WOC Nurse can help point you in the right direction.



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