Born a queen. Yup, that’s the Blanksn necklace I choose when choosing between inspirational quotes ahead of the Models of Diversity catwalk show. That sentence immediately stood out for me, it meant so much more than just a bunch of words. That line told a story, my story.
My name is Natalie-Amber, and I am a Crohns warrior and survivor. I was misdiagnosed for 7 years and in December 2017 my body finally had enough, I collapsed went blind had sepsis and kidney failure and was rushed to hospital where my parents were told I needed lifesaving emergency surgery and that they should prepare for worst as the chances of me surviving were very slim. I woke up with my first vague memory with what to me seemed like a day later but was actually was a week later. I was in intensive care. A week after that, I was moved from intensive care to the surgical ward. I found out that I had Crohns Disease and had now been left with a huge scar down my belly and a stoma bag. This stoma bag was temporary although none of it sank in for a long time. When it did sink in, I was adamant my career as a dancer and model was over. Who would want to book somebody with this ugly thing down my stomach? I looked at my stoma before my scar. I later found out after I had been discharged from hospital that I had also had 35cm of my small intestine taken out, this destroyed me. It was like I was grieving. A part of me had died on that operating table. I suppose it’s like God gave me a second chance at life, I was reborn. This time as a strong warrior queen.
I went through a tough time when it came to my self-love journey and accepting myself. I hated my new body, I hated how skinny I looked due to malnutrition, and I hated this scar down my belly, why me? I would cry and cry and convinced myself God had gave me some sort of Karma for the past. I had a trauma councillor and yes, she helped but I felt nobody truly understood what I was going through. At the time I was in an emotionally abusive relationship where I was told by my abuser that there was nothing worse than having a stoma bag and if I moved on don’t poo on anybody. As a newly diagnosed patient with crohns disease this made me more ashamed of having this disease and yet again my mind took control with the thoughts that this had to be some sort of punishment. I found it hard to accept my body because I never saw anybody in the modelling industry, on the tv on any of my favourite shows that looked at all like me with a scar. There was a huge space not filled and it wasn’t until I had a disability I realised this was truly invisible to the outside world.
It wasn’t until summer of 2018 that I truly had a breakthrough, I had finally got free from the toxic person I had in my life, but I also was at my all-time lowest. I have never ever known what being suicidal or not caring about your life felt like until that summer. As I write this blog tears do come to my eyes as I remember it in full detail. I didn’t go out, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I had a stoma bag still and I suffered from constant leakage. I didn’t brush my teeth or wash my hair I was truly at the bottom of the rock. I binged watched the whole entire series of gossip girl and it took me back to my happy place, New York city – it took me away from the world. I still go back to gossip girl when I feel myself slipping, it truly is my escape. Then one random day towards the end of that summer I found myself googling for quick fixes ‘magic’ as such to try and get out of this hell I was in. I came across The Law of Attraction and it changed my life for the better.
For those who don’t know what the Law of attraction is it means the power of positive thinking. Your thoughts become things. Your energy is like a magnet, if you let off positive thoughts and gratitude, it comes back to you. I started to then realise how grateful I was. I was alive and able to now eat all the things I couldn’t again with no pain, some people were not as lucky as me. I had supportive friends and family. Yes, I had a scar and a stoma but these two things were not the enemy they were my saving grace, they saved my life. I then made a YouTube video explaining that I had a stoma bag and I cried but it felt so liberating I felt free! I was no longer lying to the world or the people I had told I didn’t have one too. I started to post my scar and stoma on social media, and this was to help women and men out there know it’s okay and nothing to be ashamed of. I vowed never ever to let any women or man feel the way I did again. I post to inspire; I post to be that guardian angel that I never had when I was diagnosed for those who need to see there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.
One of the reasons I adore Blanksn as a brand is because Jessica the founder has the same morals as me, she believes in empowering and uplifting others. We as women need to be more supportive of one another instead of tearing each other down especially in the generation we are today. Jessica is a black business owner, and she has worked so hard and followed her dreams. She is everything I stand for and will always stand for.
I love the empowering messages on all her necklaces and how contempary and stylish they are.
So now you know why ‘BORN A QUEEN’ meant so much to me. I believe everything happens for a reason; my story was not actually God punishing me but him putting me on the path I needed to be on. My true calling - I shall continue to help and inspire other women out there and I will also make a change for IBD sufferers like myself.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Lots of Love