Celebrating our diverse disability lived experiences through the power of community

Diversability is an award-winning movement to rebrand disability through the power of community.

Katie Takes Over Diversability's Instagram

In case you missed it, we have been hosting a series of Instagram takeovers, featuring members of our community. Katie recently finished her takeover and took the time to answer a few more questions for us.

What is your name? Katie Vyn.

Where are you from? I live near Boston, MA.

Why did you choose to participate in your takeover? I wanted to share my story and passion for advocacy on a larger platform, specifically @diversability, because of its positive and inclusive message and energy. I also love learning from other people and being part of the social media advocacy community. It’s a powerful community. One of my favorite things about the takeover was being part of open conversations about our disabilities and how they unite us. It was healing and empowering to be a part of this, and it shed light on my own path.

What is something you wanted to share but didn’t get to during your takeover? I wanted to share more about my near death experience. I did one live talking about my surgery and being embraced spiritually with love and acceptance, but I didn’t talk as much about what it made me realize. And that is that we are all perfect the way we are. We are part of this grand universal love, God like energy. We are meant to see ourselves through this lens, rather than the stigmas and stereotypes. We are all needed as we are. As much as we crave perfection and acceptance, we are it. We are love.

What does Diversability mean to you? I’m a writer, so I love words. Diversability carries a beautiful message about not only how diverse and versatile we all are, and unique, but how our disabilities and abilities bring us together. It’s a word that inspires and guides us into moving together as a community and seeing the beauty in our lives.

This is the last day of my #takeover @diversability * Being on this page this week has opened my heart and mind more so I can continue on my path. * It's broadened my view of myself and the world, and strengthened my faith in community. It's made it clearer to me what our responsibility is and how important it is to take care. * Thank you! * Advocating for awareness, change, and acceptance has become essential for my mental health and overall wellbeing. * I won't carry the burden of the stigma against IBD's and ostomies. I lay it down beside me and see it as the lie that it is. * I started my online advocacy in hopes to help bring attention and awareness to invisible illnesses and disabilities, and through it I have rediscovered parts of myself that I had abandoned, or quieted. The voice of reason and justice. The moderator. The peacemaker. And most of all the woman who refuses to compromise. * It's been a challenge because I'm a naturally shy person. But that shyness can still serve me. * Mental health is central to all of our lives, and is often ignored. Hiding my stoma, hiding my disability, and not acknowledging and embracing who I am completely is over. * I've curled up in bed and sobbed, grieving over the pain and the sadness in remembering what I've been through. I've run my fingers over my scar and stood in front of the mirror and admired how my bag that saved my life rests against my bumpy belly. * It's a journey. * All of you inspire me to dig deeper, so what I share on here is as real as my story, as awakening as the near death experience that changed me, as joyful as the gratitude to be alive. * I hope you'll follow me on my page @mygrandcanyon so we can continue to share. * Love you all. * [Image description: woman looking at camera wears a brown top and blue pants with an elephant pattern. Arms are outstretched in happiness] * #diversability #ostomate #mentalhealth #awareness #ostomy #ileostomy #colostomy #colectomy #ulcerativecolitis #warrior #invisibleillness #invisibledisability #advocacy #effyourbeautystandards #bagsandscarsarebeautiful #redefiningbeauty #unapologeticallystrong #endthestigma #faith #selfcaresaturday

I had my surgery to remove my colon almost 19 years ago. * I had several complications following surgery. With each one, my life was on the edge. * I went from the hospital to rehab where, gradually, I was able to eat more and went through occupational therapy. * I remember leaving the rehab facility in a wheelchair, a bag on my side, knowing my life would be different. I had faced the fragility of life, had a near death experience that illuminated my path, and re-discovered my inner strength. * What had I learned? * In the midst of the pain and desperation, the hope that it would all be transformed somehow magically, I was given inner peace, and embraced with love and acceptance. * I'm still learning from my purpose. Sometimes I assume that once we know our paths, we also know automatically how to fulfill them. Instead, I'm realizing over and over again it's an evolution. We begin walking, trusting there will be a guide, and that the way will be clear, always. It isn't like this. It's a continual process of self-examination and asking for grace, strength, guidance, and the faith to listen. The hope to continue. And we make mistakes and lose sight. * Every day my purpose is clearer. And the more I share it with all of you, the more certain I am. * Thank you. * Love you all. * @mygrandcanyon * [Image description: (left) woman in hospital bed wears a flannel shirt and pants. (Right) Woman stands in a MMA stance, wears a sports bra and white pants] * #diversability #takeover #ulcerativecolitis #warrior #nevergiveup #faith #hope #purpose #throwbackthursday #tbt #loveyou #neardeathexperience #capoeira #capoeirista #martialartist #ileostomy #mulhernacapoeira @diversability