If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve been avoiding this entry because it involves feelings and my feelings are raw. But raw is fine. (Why bother heating them? I can’t eat them anymore.)
I got through Christmas Eve, my family’s biggest holiday of the year, very successfully when you consider the fact that I was under the knife just five days before. After dealing with the frustration of a flat tire (and foolishly trying to help change it), I had a nice time with family. It was almost as if I was back to normal.
Except, of course, that I couldn’t eat. Anything. I couldn’t drink alcohol. Not a sip. I kept a one-ounce medicine cup handy, and ladled my approved drinks into it, slowly sipping down broth.
Christmas Day has never been a big holiday in my family. It’s always been sort of a quiet day of recovery. But I spent this one with family, not physically feeling great, but doing my best to feel like I was still part of things, like I belonged somehow. Mostly, I felt cumbersome and in the way of everything and everyone else. They ordered Chinese food, and I sadly spooned down wonton-less soup. I think that was the day when the scary reality of everything I had been through finally hit me, and when it dawned on me what the rest of my life was bound to feel like.
Feelings. They had to surface eventually.
I got home and sobbed. I cried because I was literally alone, and felt isolated. I cried because I didn’t know where my life was going from this strange, surgical crossroads, or what I was even doing at the end of a year that spun through my life like a tornado. I couldn’t keep those feelings at bay with so much as a glass of wine or a square of chocolate.
Like many, I wondered what the hell I had done to myself, and why. Though my physical scars were small, they still glistened with surgical glue over purple skin marker. They still marked the places where I would never be exactly the same. Those scars were nothing, though. That wasn’t where I really hurt.
I realized the real toll of this very elective surgery was ultimately emotional, and that I was going to have to be some kind of badass in order to get through through day-to-day bullshit without so much as a bite of a side salad.
Four weeks into a liquid diet, I’m finally dealing with pain that, like most people, I used to be able to snack my way through– or, rather, around. I don’t have a single vice left, so here I am, suddenly withstanding the feelings I’ve spent my life anesthetizing with food and alcohol. I’m essentially going to have to find other ways to deal with half my body weight in feelings as that weight comes off.
And the weight is coming off– I’ve been walking and taking in around 400 calories per day, so even with my sluggish metabolism, the scale is moving. Favorably. But I know what these pounds have masked for so long– every negative feeling I’ve ever had to carefully hide behind a cheery, merry and bright facade.
I know I made the right call, and I would still do it again in a heartbeat, knowing every single struggle, every pain. It has cost a lot already, and there are hidden tolls it will continue to take– but it was worth it just for the fighting chance to be the person I was meant to be.