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Post-Op Head Games

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:30pm
So I have the surgery; my health is improved. Not only that, my confidence and general attitude are definitely better. Still a little shy, I think from some residual confidence issues, but overall so much better. I'm living my life now, instead of living vicariously through others. In fact, just last weekend I physically showed my daughter how to use a slip-n-slide! I have returned to school and I feel fantastic about LEADING my life.

I look in the mirror I see improvement. I don't see perfection, but that's OK because perfection is not what I'm looking for. I watch for changes that will motivate me. I take time to notice them and I enjoy wearing flattering clothes, the freedom of movement and every single "WOW" moment I experience. Those are the things that keep me going.

Here's where I seem to have a problem, and I know this is going to sound crazy... but I guess this is part of the post-op head game.

If I look in the mirror and I say, "Hey, you look good, you're feeling good and you've come such a long way." that's fine. But why is it when other people say, "Hey you look amazing!" or just *gasp* when they see me, I get very, very uncomfortable. In particular, I get mad with my family, especially my Mother, when they make such a fuss. I literally just cringe inside when anyone says anything overly positive or are overly animated about my progress.

I know I have such a long way to go to yet, so I thought, "Well, maybe that's why it bothers me"; since I'm still so far from a healthy goal weight.

Of course with my Mother, I figured it was resentment after all those years of telling me how fat I was and how I needed to lose weight. But I really thought I got past that when I learned my weight didn't define who I am as a person. Unless I just don't really believe it in my heart.

I see other post-ops who seem to enjoy and just bask in the glory of their success. Make no mistake, I'm extremely glad I had the surgery and got my life back. But in some form I feel like a farce when people say, "What are you doing to lose weight?" and I reply " right and exercise". I don't want to be known as "Donna, that girl who had RNY", so I don't really share it day-to-day. I don't hesitate to share with someone who brings up the option of surgery, but I just don't bring it up as part of casual conversation.

I know the discomfort does nott stem from thinking "Well I was still me even when I was fatter... why didn't they see ME then." - I know a lot of post-ops who anguish over that. I do smile and say thank you to each and every compliment, but regardless I still cringe inside and it is still painful. Makes me wonder, perhaps, that while I felt I deserved this second chance to live my life, do I really feel like I deserve the success? It goes back to feeling like a farce. Of course I know I am not -- this is by far the hardest thing I've ever done!

I bring this up because I'm going back to NJ to visit my family the end of June, and they haven't seen me since I was 2 weeks post-op -- I've gone from a size 26 to a 16/18, so there is a noticeable physical change.. I love my family and I don't want to hurt their feelings and crush the excitement they feel for me. In a way I don't want to be selfish and say "Hey, don't share your happiness with me, it hurts." Especially when I can't define why it makes me hurt.
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