My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they choose to live it have really inspired me. Some are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and they are all special. I feel honoured and privileged that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!
Meet Krystal Miller.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in my humble opinion, having an illness, having a disability, or experiencing hard times do not make a person inspiring, but the way that person faces their challenges and triumphs over adversity totally does. I guess it’s not so much the cards your dealt, but the way you play them. Krystal is the perfect example of this. She’s not inspiring because she has a bag, she’s inspiring because she’s using her experiences to raise awareness, help others and change lives for the better. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Krystal Miller, 32 years old and married to Shannon. We have 2 gorgeous kiddies, Lukas (4years) and Arabella (4 months!) I live in Perth, Western Australia and currently a stay at home. I am the self titled Bag Lady Mama and I am proud of it. I have Crohns disease and a permanent Ileostomy. An Ileostomy is where the bowel is diverted from the anus to the abdomen and a bag is put over the top to collect the waste. The opening is called a Stoma. I wouldn’t normally define myself by my disease and my “baggage” but I found myself recently embracing it in the hopes to help someone that doesn’t have the same strength that I now have. I used to feel like I was constantly fighting myself and my body over control, but these days I’ve learnt to share these feelings loudly and proudly. We are not alone in our struggles and my dreams is to ensure that we can all come together to support and love our battle wounds.
Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not.
I AM Strong, loving and loyal
I am NOT making enough money! hahaha. NOT always confident, NOT quiet enough.
Complete this sentence, ____________________ changed my life. How and why?
Meeting my husband changed my life. My life was so dramatic before I met him! OMG, it was ridiculous! It still remained a fair bit dramatic in the first year and then after has settled. He has balanced me out, calmed me down and shown me that good things can happen to me not matter what my fears are. Hes also shown me that fairytales are what we make them. My love for him didn’t start like were lead to believe in the fairytales. Our love is everlasting and is amazing but I had to let go of all I thought love should be and enjoy the love I had right in front of me.
What has been life’s greatest lesson?
After almost dying when I had my son, Lukas and my bowel perforated. The lesson was to trust my instincts completely and to be more demanding on how I am managed and treated. I believe if I hadn’t relented, I would never have gotten so sick and wouldn’t have almost died leaving behind a 6 month old baby and a partner.
What is your biggest achievement?
I should say the cliche and say my family, which they are, but apart from them – hands down my blog!!! It’s been amazing and such a confidence booster! I feel like I’m changing the world!
What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
The toughest year of my life was after having our son. We were pregnant with our son very quickly and had to learn to love each other seperately to having a baby – which we did! However, being sick after having Lukas and almost dying, being in a different state from where we were living and needing such scary treatments – it took it’s toll. I was angry, sad and scared. We had couples counselling and I always maintained my love for Shannon. I always allowed myself to have moments of self pity. I believe I f*ing deserve them! But then I get my s**t together and keep on moving.
Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?
When I was first diagnosed with Crohns, I thought that maybe this was happening to me so that I could help someone else and write a book. Instead, I’ve written a blog!
What are your words to live by?
BEST WORDS I LIVE BY!! ‘The pessimist complains about the wind, The Optimist expects it to change, The REALIST adjusts the sails! I am a realist.’
I will not pretend that I have a long life ahead of me. Realistically my lifespan is quite small. Im living with 1.75m of bowel left and the immune system of a dead guy! But I will live what life I have left to the absolute FULLEST!! When I am dead and gone, my children will have a million photos and now, articles of their mama!
If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
I would choose two women. My adoptive mum Brenda and my Great-Great Nanna Dixie (who my daughter is named after!) Brenda is dying from MND and is the strongest woman I know. She is amazing and I couldn’t love her or her children more than I do. My Nanna Cram is 96! Now she is a fiesty and AMAZING woman!! She still drives, swears, loves her beers and had a boyfriend of 64! Shes the only one who’s ever made me feel worthy in my family growing up!
If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?
I had to google “play hookie”!! I would go shopping! I have a shopping addiction! I love browsing the shops but even better, I love to spend! I am obsessed with shoes and dresses!!!
You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?
I am a mother… Take care of myself?! what is this you speak of?! 😉 I do get my hair done every 3-4 months. But if I could do something regularly, it would be massages, nails, hair and being taken on a hot date with my hubby!
Thank you for sharing, Krystal.
Let Krystal inspire you a little bit more…
on her facebook blog
Find out more about Crohns disease here