Sunday, 2 November 2014

Toot Toot

I’m generally not one for blowing my own trumpet. There are many reasons for this, one of which is being brought up in a small Scottish village where if you aimed for anything more than a job in the local corner shop you were getting ideas above your station. Another is having given up playing the trumpet when I was 8 to pursue a short lived career in running up and down hills with boys after school instead. But it’s mainly because I find the whole idea of drawing attention to myself completely and utterly abhorrent.

In this day and age of ‘selfies’ and social networking everyone seems to know everything about everyone else, including friends of friends, and people who are complete and utter strangers. I’ve met people in ‘real life’ and felt I already know them just from seeing their visage popping up on my computer screen, or from somebody I know having ‘liked’ something they once said. We make judgements on people from their ‘profiles’ rather than what they are actually like. Ideally I could just live my life without all of that, without Facebook, Twitter et all. Just live in the moment and enjoy looking at pretty things instead of my first though being what Instagram filter would look best on them. But in reality it’s one of my biggest vices. I’m embarrassingly hooked on it all. It’s the urgency and the validation; ‘15 people have liked my photo so I must be attractive!’ It doesn’t matter that the man I love and my Mum and Dad have been telling me that since day one.  
I hate the idea that validation of any area of my life from strangers seems more genuine and important to me than people who actually care about me. I’m certainly working on that, and I fear I am not alone in that way of thinking. I think it’s mainly because I’ve assumed that those who love me would perhaps bend the truth slightly to appease me or avoid hurting my feelings. Because they care they would say that I really do suit that pink shell suit, it brings out my eyes! Or that that piece of writing where I bear my soul about the devastation of living with a chronic illness isn’t actually that depressing to read.  

But what has all of this got to do with Crohn’s Disease I hear you cry, and not without good reason. Well mainly it’s my attempt to pull myself out of insecurity and into the real world where people are actually proud of their achievements. CAN YOU IMAGINE IT? It’s been brought to my attention recently that nothing in life ever came from sitting back and waiting for it to happen and recently I’ve fallen into that trap. The fact that I feel like I’m at deaths door a large chunk of the time definitely plays a part in that, but I am slowly learning to take my own advice and stop lying down to my disease. Literally, and metaphorically.
In the past year I’ve written a book about my life with Crohn’s. I believe it to be pretty good, but the more I’ve thought about the reality of people actually reading it the more I start to think it’s essentially 50,000 words of garbage. I’m now stuck in a terrifying limbo of having zero confidence in myself and taking the plunge and getting it out into the world. The thing is, I know that those of you who read my blog and tell me you like it don’t have to. You take the time to do so because you want to and that is very encouraging. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle it compliments over a phone or a computer screen but if you venture into telling me I’m a halfway decent writer FACE-TO-FACE I will go redder than my intestines after a scope and collapse into a blabbering mess about how daft you are and change the subject at the speed of light.

My blog is nominated for a UK Blog Award. I’m also nominated for 3 WEGO Health awards. This is all incredibly exciting and certainly flattering, but again I have zero confidence in winning. And that’s ok! In my case it genuinely IS just nice to be nominated. I feel my confidence build and start to believe I have some talent a little bit more day on day and that in turn helps my health. If I’m anxious I’m ill. If I’m stressed I’m ill. So I’ve decided just to enjoy the ride and see where it all takes me without worrying about a thing. Focusing on what’s important, and that isn’t winning awards, its reaching out to people who are struggling and helping in any way I can. Amazingly this blog has given me an incredible platform to do just that and for that alone I am extraordinarily proud. I’m polishing up my trumpet in the event that one day I’ll feel confident enough to blow it.

P.S. Thanks a million if you have voted for me so far. I genuinely haven’t felt this thrilled since I won a pair of 40denier women’s tights for my Mum in my Primary School raffle. If you haven’t voted for me, and that’s fine too, I’m not a violent person, and you can do so here:

WEGO Health Activist Awards (I’m nominated in 3 categories; Best in Show – Twitter, Best in Show- Blog and Health Activist Hero) –

UK Blog Awards 2015 (I’m in the Health & Lifestyle Category and public vote opens on 10th Nov) -


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