I often talk about my food intake, my weight, my exercise, but I rarely talk about the mental part of this journey. My least favorite comment is the one made by someone who has either never considered the choices I have made, or cannot comprehend the fight I endured that led to my choice of surgery: "You are doing great, but it must be so much easier now."
Yes, the weight is coming off much easier than it ever did in the past. I don't have to worry about how much I'm eating because my stomach takes care of the for me (if I listen), and while it's still difficult to stay motivated, I am much more active than before. But, the battle is really in my mind now.
Three days after my surgery, I had a break down. I hated that I had done it, I was in pain, I was angry, and I was in Mexico, far away from my friends, and family (Thank goodness for my friend Penny who came with me, and helped me.). I had never in my life felt so angry, scared, lonely, and desperate to feel like my normal self. The rush of emotions that came over me is hard to even explain.
Two days after returning home, I got so dehydrated that I passed out, and broke three of my ribs. Now, I was really feeling sorry for myself. I was hungry (yes, hungry, some of us still feel hungry), and in even more pain. This was officially the worst choice I had ever made. It was a mistake I couldn't take back, and I hated my life.
One more day, and my husband left to go to Washington with my friend Penny to stay with her, and her husband for two weeks so I could heal, and take care of myself without having to take care of him (If you don't know, my husband has CMT, you can read his blog about it here: https://moabdave.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/mowho/). While logically I knew this was the best choice, I felt a little abandoned. Actually, in my then current state of mind, I felt totally abandoned, and I blamed him for it. This started the phase where I was angry, and sad at the same time.
I have to admit, when he came back home, I was not in a good place. I was physically starting to feel somewhat better, but I was still mentally in a bad place. Things got rocky for a bit. I'm just really glad that my husband has the patience to deal with me. I'm not going into detail here, but I'll just say it again, it got rocky, and the anger, and frustration continued to be aimed, and mistakenly so at him.
Looking back now, I know that a lot of what I was dealing with was the hormonal changes associated with my weight loss. It was like a month long raging PMS cycle. Maybe it was longer than that, honestly, I might be giving myself too much credit here.
So, now that I am 5 days shy of my 3 month surgiversary, I can honestly say, I feel much more human. But, that doesn't mean the mental struggles are over... that was just the hormonal changes....
Now, daily, I deal with the pictures I see, and the woman in the mirror. I am over 100lbs down (not all surgery loss), and when I look in the mirror, or try on clothes, I still see all those pounds looking back at me. I struggle to see the changes in pictures. logically I KNOW my body has to be smaller, but my brain struggles to see the difference. Oh whoa is me when I look in the mirror naked! I see the hanging skin, and the scars, and I wonder if my body will every seem at least a little normal. I'm not sure the cost of surgery is in my future.
I also struggle when the numbers on the scale don't go down as fast as I think they should. I've had to break myself from weighing except for every couple of weeks. It was tearing me up. I'd be so happy one day, and the next feel like I wasted all my efforts, and this wasn't going to work for me. Putting that scale away for awhile has been a true blessing.
I know my journey is not over, not even close. I will still go through many physical, and mental changes. I hope that eventually my mind, and body will catch up.
I hope that this does not sound like a downer, I just hope that someone else in my place will realize that they are normal, and they are not crazy, and not alone. I am happy with my journey, I love how I am feeling, I know that the mental struggles are temporary, and I will make it through this, like I do everything else!