Rare and Resilient
Updated: Mar 16
Something amazing has happened, I'm officially a published author. It may only be a small piece amongst many others, but for an aspiring writer this is a huge achievement. It is made even more important because of the story I told. I was given a voice to talk about a condition I have hidden from the world my entire life. A silence I have held due to the stigma surrounding the condition. No one wants to hear about an Imperforate Anus or your ongoing struggles with your bowels. It's never considered polite to talk about poo so, like many others with this condition, I kept it all to myself. I suffered in silence.
To now be given the opportunity to tell my story to the world and know other people are reading it and finding out they are not alone is an incredible feeling. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to write a short piece for the anthology which has just been released called "Rare and Resilient", which has been put together by a good friend of mine Greg Ryan. This anthology contains the stories of over 100 people from all over the world. All different age groups, nationalities and experiences. It's an incredible achievement by Greg to have collected so many stories and given a voice to people who have never been heard before.
I was also extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to help edit a number of the stories from other contributors. This was an incredible experience from me and one in which I learned a lot. Editing another persons work is not an easy task but these stories are extremely personal and emotional, so keeping people's feelings in mind was important to me. I felt a massive responsibility to respect the writer and ensure their personal voice shone through. I am so grateful for the experience because I believe it has made me a better writer.
It was a difficult experience as well because it brought up many memories from my past I had buried deep and forgotten. I initially read many of the stories thinking how awful and hard these peoples lives had been and at some point I stopped, almost shocked, realising that so much they had been through, I had been through too. This brought up a massive amount of emotion for me but I think it was healthy, I think it will enable me to help my son through the journey he has ahead of him better than I otherwise would have.
Writing my story for this anthology has given me a confidence to start telling more of my story and more of my truth. The truth about how difficult life has been and life is for not only me but for my son. Many people struggle with silent and invisible ailments and it needs to be OK for these people to stop suffering in silence. It needs to be OK for people to talk about their problems and tell their truths so they can feel more OK with who they are.
This anthology has meant so much to so many people and I hope many people buy it and read our stories and hear about our hidden suffering. I don't want to suffer in silence any longer and I don't want others like me to feel as alone and isolated as I have my entire life. This book has been cathartic and freeing. Here is the link to purchase the book through amazon. Please consider buying it and sharing our stories with as many people as you can. All proceeds from the sale go towards raising money for the One in 5000 Foundation run by Greg Ryan.
Please share this with as many people as you can. It's not just about me and my son, but about so many of us finally being heard by the world and no longer feeling ashamed of being born the way we were. I am proud to share my story and I welcome anyone who wants to talk to me about it. Thank you for reading this and I hope you can spare a bit longer to read a bit more.
Below is the first time I have posted an actual photo of me on my site. This book means so much to me and I had to have a photo with it!