She Needed a Hero - So She Became Her Own
Recently, a lot has been talked about how Blake Beckford - ulcerative colitis advocate and model - was refused entry into a toilet at his local shopping mall. It has been published all through the UK, USA, and even all over Australia. He's even been on TV talking about it. (PS - The UK is so much more publicly open to these discussions.)
His ostomy/pouch was leaking and he needed to change the bag/pouch.
A few questions were never asked, which bothered me. Did he end up speaking with a manager? Did he end up being granted access?! Even the television interviews never answered these.
We've all been there
My thing is, you're desperate. You've managed to spark up the courage to ask to use the toilet and they've refused. You go on further to explain how dire the situation is and then you walk away?! Hell, no! If they STILL refuse, you demand to see the manager. If there is no manger, then you advise them that they have an option to let you in or they'll be the ones cleaning poop off their floors! No one wants that!!!!
Having a bowel disease is so d*mn hard. So many crappy situations that you are in - literally and figuratively. So, why do we make it harder for ourselves?
Before I was even diagnosed with Crohn's disease, there were so many times that I didn't make it in time to the toilet. Horrible, embarrassing, and terrifying moments. I wasn't always home or even on my way home. Most of the time, passing wind was terrifying and I was always afraid that I would poop myself too!
I've been refused entry on numerous occasions and, when I've been absolutely fuming on the inside, I've taken a deep breath or bawled my eyes out like a baby and explained that if I didn't go at that moment, I would end up pooing my pants.That's the joy of Crohn's disease. It likes to torture you and humiliate you.
Advocating for yourself can be exhausting
It's also important to know that I'm not always strong or able to advocate for myself. I'm not always strong enough to speak. But I'm ALWAYS okay with however I am on that day because I know I'll get up eventually and that's ok too.
Being our own advocate is so exhausting and, when you're already exhausted, it feels impossible. But just like you get up every single day and keep going on, you need to do this for yourself, too. It's a hard journey and debilitating, but sometimes people are just ignorant or uneducated about others.
In situations like the one Blake encountered, it's important that we advocate for ourselves. It is important that we use these moments to educate others and open their eyes to the reality of others. Because if we don't, who will?
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