Friends, I’ve been riding the struggle bus for probably around a week now. No not with eating or anything like that but emotionally. Apparently though it’s starting to show on my face. When I went into the office on Wednesday one of my co-workers asked if everything was alright, I replied with my normal, ‘yep, it’s fine.’ She’s like are you sure? So I provided a little insight into the struggle bus and other things that I’m dealing with as my mom’s primary caretaker. I finally wandered into my supervisor’s office (we share a space), was working when my supervisor came in and asked if I was alright. Wow I didn’t think I looked that bad when I left the house that morning. I shared a bit of what I’m going through but sometimes it’s just really hard to explain.
The one person I know who has had weight loss surgery is dealing with her own life and drama (drama which quite frankly I don’t need in my life); so I can’t even really bounce the emotions off of her to see if it’s a “normal” thing. All of the research I did prior to surgery said emotions change, for a while you’re an emotional wreck. I was prepared in knowing it was going to happen I guess I just didn’t expect it to affect me so quickly.
This week my supervisor’s first book was delivered to my door-step (yay for coming out earlier than anticipated!), so once (ehhem most of) my work was done I dove into reading Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. It is filled with incredible stories that will make you relate, nod your head in agreement, laugh hysterically, and cry – yes even the dreaded ugly cry. This part really stood out to me (among many other things), “What have you been saying to yourself in the mirror lately? Honey, listen to me: if God were standing next to you when you were looking in the mirror, how would you conversation in the mirror change? (Ouch!)” I’ve always had self-esteem and body image issues, long before weight loss surgery. But can you imagine, standing there with God? Do you think we would still ridicule your body (his masterpiece), do you think we’d still turn in the mirror examining ourselves in every possible direction only to be left crying over what we see? This particular part of the book really made me think.
Yesterday I wasn’t feeling too well, so I curled up on the sofa to do some reading, journaling, and whatnot the television was on in the background, it was on My Big Fat Fabulous Life. Now, overall I was looking forward to the start of this show but it debuted the day I came home from surgery so I honestly don’t recall much of the first episode as pain medication kicked in and things got hazy pretty quick. Anyway, so my mom was over in her craft region of the room listening to the show and like I said, I was curled up on the sofa. In this particular episode (if you have no idea what I’m talking about just Google it), Whitney was leaving the groomer after dropping off her cat and someone said something to the effect of this – ‘Call Sea World Shamu is loose.’ My mom was stunned that someone would say that to someone else, let alone a total stranger. “It doesn’t surprise me at all mom. It’s happened to me.” She was gob-stopped, “REALLY?!” “Yep you would be amazed at what people think is okay to say to another human being.” It made me think back to all of the moments of ridicule from people I went to school with and people I didn’t even know. My heart broke a little in that moment.
Later on in the episode, or one after it (thanks TLC for showing the entire season in one day), Whitney’s dad took the sandwich she had made and replaced it with a ‘healthier’ one, he also tends to make comments about her weight, or she came home to find something like THIRTEEN different scales her parents had purchased so they could find one that would work the best for her. Now I get her dad is trying to support her in the most heartfelt way possible, I AM NOT BASHING him. I get him. I understand him. Why? Because my late grandfather did pretty much the same thing. Keep in mind for as long as I can remember we’ve lived with my grandparents (both passed), so my grandfather was a major father figure in my life. But as my weight kept creeping up he would make comments or “suggestions,” sometimes snidely about it. He wasn’t being mean, or un-loving, quite opposite really. He was doing what he thought would motivate me, because he wanted me to have a long, healthy, happy life. I miss him terribly and I totally understand why he would say/do what he did. That’s why I get Whitney’s dad. He’s just trying to help.
I do have to commend Whitney for pushing forward in life, even after reading the horrible things people said about her online. It’s tough to decide to put yourself out there, at any size, because there are always going to be people that judge, ridicule, and persecute you. But she has a pretty solid support group. Do you have that? Do you have a support group of people that are helping you get through whatever your journey is?
It isn’t always easy to find people to support you. People are generally more than willing to give you reasons on why you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. (Now if you’re doing something that is harming yourself or planning to harm someone else, I cannot support that.) I’m blessed that my mom and sister are 100% behind on the whole thing, as is my supervisor, and so many people I work with. I created, with some help from a few ladies I met at the monthly surgeon’s support group, a Facebook group for weight loss surgery support in the greater Toledo area. It’s not perfect, it never will be. Sometimes I feel like there’s more drama there than in high school, but I simply delete it. I don’t particular care if all of the participants like it, I have to do what is best for the group. I make sure that I attend the surgeon’s monthly support group. Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with feeling lonely, lost, etc. Every day is far from sunshine and roses, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up. So yes, lately I am riding the struggle bus of crazy emotions, yes I tend to shut people out during this time, however, I will get through it because I have a God that loves me and an incredible support system that He has brought into place.
We’ll get through this, one moment at a time and one pound at a time.