As you’ll know by now, Stoma Chameleon is about highlighting the positives and staying away from the serious, gritty detailed stuff. However, there are times when a more serious post is called for, or a situation occurs which I want to share, that is positive but with a serious underlying message. Many people will have heard the phrase that ”behind closed doors everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about”, and you’ll all have seen it emblazoned on artfully posed pictures, aimed at making the observer stop and think for a moment. Personally, I’m not a fan of these so-called inspirational memes, as I always want to know the story BEHIND the quote. This piece illustrates an example of the phrase in action, and I hope people read it and take away something deeper to consider.
I have been an open book for most of my adult life, a veteran over-sharer of (my) personal information, due in part to my desire to control the information that floats through public life. If I share it first, there are no nasty surprises, and it strangely makes me feel in control. I am sure there are psychologists out there who could attach an “ism” to this aspect of my personality, but it’s this trait which has ultimately led me to set up Stoma Chameleon. And deep down, I don’t really care what people know about me, because every thing that has happened over my life has made me the person I am today, and I am happy with that narrative being in the public domain.
At a baby group 7 years ago, I met a lovely girl called Lucy, a gorgeous blond haired momma with an instantly likeable personality, warm and friendly, with a hint of naughtiness behind the deep brown eyes. Over the years I bumped into Lucy often, and we always had a great chat, our mutual interest in the great outdoors being a common topic of conversation. However, I always a sensed a stillness in her, a quiet part of her that was just out of reach. An impression that there was a part of her that was all hers, and which few people had accessed.
Over the summer of 2020, Lucy and I re-established more regular contact, as she was keen to take part in sea swimming, and as I am a regular swimmer with the local open water group I was happy to share advice on the best times to swim in local sea spots. In August that year I set up my website and blog, and since Lucy isn’t on Facebook, I texted her the details of the website for her to look at. As ever, Lucy was extremely supportive and very enthusiastic, giving me such a boost as it is quite nerve wracking launching such a personal initiative.
One day in early September, Lucy sent me a message explaining that she had been inspired by my own website, to set one up herself, to share her story. Her story? What story? I was intrigued and clicked on the link, which led me to her website - thatwildlass.co.uk . I couldn’t believe what I was reading at first. It explained the stillness I had detected in Lucy from the start, but also the deep thoughtfulness and care for people she naturally exuded. You will have to visit her website to find out her story for yourself, as it is not my story to share. Her website is beautifully done, with eloquent, strong pieces of writing on a range of subjects which so many will take hope from. The bravery it has taken her to set this site up is extraordinary.
Not long afterwards I recieved, in typical Lucy style, a beautiful card with a simple but powerful message inside. It is something I will treasure, knowing that my blabbing has led in some way to someone else taking that step to share their story, to overcome and take back control over trauma.
You truly never do know what people are fighting behind closed doors. Speak up and you may find you help those behind the doors come out into the light.
Please visit Lucy’s website: www.thatwildlass.co.uk.