Perception, the way you’ve changed

Those of us who have had bariatric surgery have read many a story about the post op patient who has lost their weight, lost their mind, and found their mid life crisis. We have also heard many a story of those who have been there, done that, come back, found level ground and who live a happy sane life.

From MY personal perspective, there is a whole lot of unearthing of crap when you go from this:

to this:

Outwardly, it is easy to look at an image, or a facebook page, or a blog and think to yourself ‘Wow, she must be so happy!’ or proud or whatever. And to be clear, as for the weight loss, I AM! I am thrilled! Lets not be vague about that! Not for one second! I am happy and proud and giddy about the fact that I am no longer swallowed up by layers of my own fat.

However, those layers of fat gave me shelter. A reason to hide from the world. In my mind, I didn’t want to be exposed to judgment or hurt, harsh words, looks, etc. I didn’t want to feel the let down that I had felt in the past when I had let people in. And so my fat protected me. It was my shelter.

I recognized that my unsocial behaviors were neither who I use to be or healthy. I realized that my unsocial behaviors impacted my children. And just as my tendencies to feed my fears with food were slowly killing me mentally and physically, so was this hermit lifestyle. I was simply a fragment of the person I use to be. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Sadly, those behaviors quickly defined who I was. The perception was that I was this person who didn’t have an outside life. I was the person who threw herself into her children and her husband, her family and nothing more. This perception is not incorrect, but this is not who I was. The vibrant girl I was before, was lost and the memory of her was lost as well. But she was still there, inside of me.

I decided to make these changes. I knew that with the change that weight loss surgery offered, there would be social changes too. I knew the statistics, I knew the crisis that hit damn near every one of us. I read and reread and thought I was prepared. Really, I thought I could handle it. I did.

Here I am 13 months post WLS. I have a whirlwind around me with fragments of two worlds spinning around. I am grabbing what I can, and trying to piece together, redefine rescue, the person I know I am!

I don’t have my shelter of fat to protect me. My guard is down. There is a ton of hurt, while I dig through this rubble. Accusations of “I don’t even know who you are anymore” and I understand that, because for 9 years I didn’t know who I was anymore either. I had to learn to trust people, and in doing that, I had to accept that sometimes people let you down, and sometimes people hurt you. And I fight myself, to not crawl back into that hole. I fight, and I reach, and I struggle. Because I KNOW who I am… or at least I know who I am not! I am NOT that person who sat by herself in sorrow for 9 years. I am NOT that person who guarded her wounds like badges of honor! I am NOT that person! That person was unhealthy and not somebody anybody should ever strive to be! EVER.

I am trying to grow from the damages I have caused myself over the past decade. I am trying to plant my feet firmly in the aftermath of the storm that I created in my own life. And I accept that people who knew me when I was fatter and more sullen are confused as to the changes they are seeing. I understand that this may seem sudden, awkward, manic, or out of the blue. I get where it will be perceived as a side effect of rapid weight loss, but I assure you, this is simply one of the steps I have to take, for myself, in addition to the weight loss. This is part of my process, and I hope you all make it through this with me.

“Nobody loves me, nobody cares,
Nobody picks me peaches and pears.
Nobody offers me candy and Cokes,
Nobody listens and laughs at me jokes.
Nobody helps when I get into a fight,
Nobody does all my homework at night.
Nobody misses me,
Nobody cries,
Nobody thinks I’m a wonderful guy.
So, if you ask me who’s my best friend, in a whiz,
I’ll stand up and tell you NOBODY is!
But yesterday night I got quite a scare
I woke up and Nobody just WASN’T there!
I called out and reached for Nobody’s hand,
In the darkness where Nobody usually stands,
Then I poked through the house, in each cranny and nook,
But I found SOMEBODY each place that I looked.
I seached till I’m tired, and now with the dawn,
There’s no doubt about it-
NOBODY’S GONE!!”
Shel Silverstein

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6 thoughts on “Perception, the way you’ve changed

  1. Great Blog, Michelle! Nice to see you blogging again (I know you haz been busy) You hit really well the changes we go through. You will also see and I would love to see your viewpoint as you see not only that you may have to go through different processes, but also add the readjustment of others in your life who have to readjust to. Sometimes we get pegged, in our certain circles I know in my case being one of the last of my friends to have weight loss surgery, that I was supposed to be the “fat” friend. Sadly, as you can see already not only does the surgery process force us to look at the good and the bad of ourselves, we also have to look at the good and bad, and reevaluate some, if not all our relationships because not only sometimes while we change, our relationships do, and it’s ironic while people who are usually hypercritical when we are fat, they are the last people to be happy for us when we lose weight.
    You are a very smart and inciteful woman, I don’t think you needed me to tell you this, I just look forward as you get further in your journey of hearing your perspectives on things. I admire you a lot…..

    • Ahh yes Lisa, it seems as though that ( the other relationships) have been the catalyst that caused me to spiral into this blog. They are not of the ‘fat friend’ variety, but more of the ‘WTF is up with you’ variety. Concern and hurt over suppression. But yes, it’s happening, it’s difficult to deal with. I’m raw emotionally. Fragile and vulnerable.

  2. Michelle you are not alone in what you are steering through right now. Alot of truth came as my fat shedded off. Truth about relationships. Truth about the role I played in my family. Truth about myself. Most of it wasn’t pretty. And although I lost way more then fat. I walk today through life healthy both mentally and physically. And with truth comes happiness and freedom from fat and expectations. Find your life and live it. It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it. I’d be so happy and willing to talk more about this if you think it would help. @mytinytank37 aka Tracy

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