It was early on following my irritable bowel disease (IBD) diagnosis and I had been unwell for some time. I had been in hospital and was on a new drug to try and settle things down. I was feeling really good for the first time in a long while. My partner and I were going to a ball. I had splashed out and bought a fantastic dress that I would probably never wear again and would be paying off for months to come. I just wanted to go, feel great and look fantastic. I wanted to be a normal person for just a few hours.

I was having a great time when all of a sudden it hit. I had to make a mad rush for the bathroom. I didnt think I was going to make it. I rushed in the door of the bathroom and it was filled with young glamorous girls doing their makeup, checking hair and gossiping amongst themselves. With the door of the toilet closed I tried as hard as I could to hang on. I remember repeating the words over and over in my head – “please, please, not here, not now”. I was biting the inside of my cheeks to try and stop the inevitable from happening until everyone had left the bathroom. There was no hope, you have no control.

You dont need me to tell you the kind of disgusting noises that go along with chronic diarrhoea. I was horrified. There was a short silence and then the laughter. Ill never forget it, first slowly and then louder and louder. I felt 10-years-old again, scared and very, very small. So you do what you have to do. You clean yourself up as best you can, wipe away the tears, wait for the place to clear out and then leave. I remember walking out of the bathroom. Agroup of three girls were standing close by, just waiting to see who it was – and again the laughter. My partner was close by and was on to that fact that something was wrong. He took my hand and I whispered to him to get me out of there. I didnt need to say anything else. We jumped in a cab and he handed me a tissue. I had blood on my mouth. I had bitten the inside of both my cheeks until they had bled.