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Lucky Louise – Enable Magazine

Lucky Louise – Enable Magazine

Lucky Louise – Enable Magazine

Louise Thompson starred in the reality show Made in Chelsea for eight years. Since appearing on the show, she has gained more fans thanks to her honesty in documenting her experiences of birth trauma, living with ulcerative colitis and having a stoma. She spoke with Enable editor Melissa Holmes

Photos: © Will Chamberlain/Maddy Shipman

Q: First of all, congratulations on the release of your book, Lucky. How does it feel to have a Sunday Times bestseller?

A: It’s such a surreal time. It’s overwhelming, but it’s also brilliant because it means I can close one chapter and open the next. Now that what happened to me is out in the open, I feel like I can move forward in my mission to help people. It took me a long time to feel brave enough to share my story.

Q: Your book focuses on the traumatic birth you experienced with your son, Leo, which led to PTSD. In the book and on social media, you write so eloquently. Does writing feel like therapy?

A: When I was younger, I was terrible at writing. I was always told I wasn’t very creative and English was my worst subject.

After I had my son, I had horrible flashbacks and was caught in a state of hypervigilance for long periods of time. I couldn’t communicate. In those really dark moments, I wrote. In the beginning, it was incredibly simple—just handwriting in journals—like, “What did I accomplish today?” “I stayed alive.”

It built from there. It’s almost like I accessed another part of my brain where I was truly authentic. Even sharing things through Instagram felt good – connecting with people at a time when I couldn’t really accomplish anything.

Picture of Louise, her fiance and her son Leo sitting outside on the bench.  They look happily at each other, with their arms around each other.  The background is of what appears to be a rustic barn, but is not fully visible.
Louise, fiancé Ryan and Leo

Q: You were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2018 and had stoma surgery in January 2024. The way you documented your experience really opened up a conversation. How does it feel to know that you helped normalize ostomy for people?

A: It is very kind of you to say that I am helping to normalize the situation. A few years ago, I would not have been able to handle the situation I am in now. But with everything I went through with birth trauma and the resilience I built up, it led me to this place where I was able to handle the surgery much better. Because now I truly know the difference between life and death. I came very close to dying, so I know how much I want life. I know what I’m willing to sacrifice – I feel like having a gray bag attached to my stomach is such a small price to pay for that.

Q: The way you shared your experiences of having a stoma really makes a difference to others…

A: If I can destigmatize it so people can see it through a new lens—just coming out the other side of the surgery and being alive is pretty impressive. People get in touch all the time, like the amazing girl who lived with a stoma for many years who messaged me to say she’d never worn a bikini before and now ordered four. It is a privilege to be in a place where I can interact with these people.

Q: Given your many health issues, do you consider yourself disabled?

A: I see people who are much worse than me and I feel like I couldn’t live up to that label. When I was at my worst, when I couldn’t go anywhere without pooping my pants, I was really limited. At the time, I felt this had a huge impact on my life.

Adjusting to life with a stoma hasn’t stopped me from doing everything I want to be able to do. I am very fortunate to be able to control many areas of my life – I have created a life that works very well for me.

Louise is sitting on a brown couch holding her new book.  The book is green.  She wears a white blouse and blue jeans.  Her hair is pulled back in.  She smiles at the camera.
Louise with her book

Q: What was the best thing about sharing your story?

A: It’s nice to know that I don’t have to explain what happened to me anymore because everyone knows. In addition, I realized that I spent a large part of my life doing things that were expected of me, instead of doing the things that I really want to do. I am a much more serious person than I thought. I was never able to take advantage of it, and now it feels encouraging to be able to talk about serious and interesting things.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I had a meeting with a birth trauma charity yesterday. I’m really excited about the idea of ​​making a change so that trauma doesn’t happen to people in the first place. For now, I continue to raise awareness and work for different campaigns. In the long term, I would like to set up facilities such as a mother and baby unit, or a safe space for women suffering from very poor perinatal health.

Q: How does it feel to get such amazing feedback from readers?

A: I feel privileged. It’s nice to know that I turned something really negative into something positive. There really is no better feeling than helping others. People just want to feel seen and know they are not alone.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Follow Louise on Instagram at louise.thompson.

Louise is an ambassador for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

Louise’s book ‘Lucky: Learning to Live Again’ is available from all good booksellers.