Post-op plum

Before I get started, I wanted to talk about my last post. I have been completely overwhelmed (in a good way) by all the feedback I received  - I never imagined when writing it that I would receive the level of support that I have, and I can't tell you how inspiring and encouraging that has been.

I also received some really touching notes from people who knew me at that time, including a few where people offered words of apology for not being more helpful or supportive when that was all going on. Before I start off tonight's topic, I wanted to take a moment to first of all, thank those people for the really kind and generous thoughts. But I want to make it clear that I don't believe that anyone then could have said or done anything that would have made much of a difference. Everyone who deals with any eating disorder is different, but I couldn't get better until I wanted to for me, and not for anyone else. I tried time after time to stop, to attempt recovery for my parents, my family, my friends - because I wanted to stop being a burden on the people around me. But underneath all of that, for a long time - as much as it embarrasses me to admit -  I liked being sick. I liked how it made me feel powerful, like no matter what was going on around me, I could reduce it all to my own perfect wonderland where nothing could touch me. It wasn't until I realized, years later, that I was tired of living in my own personal melodrama while life moved on around me, that I was able to actually take the steps towards real recovery - for me. So all that to say, I do not now nor have I ever subscribed for one moment to the idea that if the people around me had said different things or done different things that I wouldn't have stayed down there as long as I did. In reality, we were all kids. High school and college students are not equipped to take care of each other like that, nor should they expected to be. It's much too big of a burden to place on anybody. So if anyone should apologize, it should be me - because I did, many times, place that burden on my friends and on my loved ones, when the only person who was responsible for making me better was me.

With that said, let's talk about surgery! About a year ago, fed up with my PCOS, incessant weight gain, and the tolls these conditions were taking on me, I started investigating a surgical remedy I had read about online from a number of women who had many of the symptoms I had. Some of these women had seen a full recovery from all of their symptoms as a result of the procedure. Surgery seemed like (and still does) a pretty drastic step, but after reading more and more of their stories, I decided to meet with a surgeon in NYC who specializes in this type of metabolic surgery. He told me that the reason this particular procedure saw such great success in women with my type of history is because unlike most traditional metabolic surgeries, this one is focused on removing the part of the digestive system where my hormones are being overproduced, leading to issues like my weight gain, fatigue, pain, and basically everything that was making me miserable. By removing that section of my digestive system, many of those symptoms would hopefully be able to resolve themselves naturally. 

It took me a year of doctor's appointments, including monthly check-ins to monitor my blood levels to make sure I still qualified for the surgery, and lots of going back and forth in my mind before I finally bit the bullet, got approved by my insurance, and scheduled the surgery. There's been a rush of emotions throughout the process, but the biggest, most unwelcome one has been shame. It feels a lot like I'm giving up. I think this probably comes from my history of wanting to control everything, because accepting that I needed this surgery felt like admitting that I wasn't in control, and that I wasn't strong enough to manage things on my own. As I type this, I realize how utterly silly that sounds, because why should choosing health feel like giving up? I shouldn't feel ashamed for wanting to take back my life. So I decided, fuck shame, and I went ahead with it. I'm writing all of this four days post-op, feeling like I've had my ass handed to me, terrified of how hard the next few months will be, but excited for what's to come.

Monday was rough. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say anaesthesia really did not agree with me. I spent two days in the hospital before being discharged, and I'm home now, surrounded by my pets and getting lots of encouraging texts from friends and family (thanks guys!) I'm in a decent amount of pain - nothing unexpected, but it has laid me out a bit and I'm getting so bored with the limitless options of TV and movies I have at my fingertips thanks to Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, and Amazon Prime - seriously guys, there is NOTHING to watch. (No seriously, there isn't.) So today I got tired of looking at my ashy face and greasy hair and decided to take a shower and play with some make-up. Hence, finally, the look this post is named after: Post-op plum.

I call this look "post-op plum."

I call this look "post-op plum."

Here's my cake-face confession: Pulling out my eyeshadow palettes, cleaning my beauty blender, and playing in front of my vanity mirror totally pulled me out of my post-op funk. Even though no one except my dog and cats saw this look (and, well, I guess everyone now reading this,) it reminded me that even though I'm feeling far from 100% right now, make-up still makes me feel pretty. And human. Full look below: