As I've gone through this whole "guts falling out, sew them back in" thing, I've been learning about myself. I'm kind of a wuss. I can handle all sorts of physical pain, but mental/emotional things just work their wicked voodoo on me until I turn into a pile of weeping mush.
Anyone who read here with any kind of regularity knows that I have been struggling with injuries for a few months. I tell ya, it seems as though I hit my one year mark, and then all hell broke loose. If it hasn't been one part of my body staging a revolution, it's been another. This latest refusal to be good and not give me problems was hosted by my abdominal muscles. Oh sure, they hide under the fat and pretend to not be there... right up until the time that they stomp their little imaginary feet and spit on me.
These past four months have been very difficult for me. They have played upon my very real fear of being out of control. Then there is that pesky fear of gaining back all of that weight, especially knowing that I'm perfectly capable of packing on even more pounds. It's enough to send goosebumps up and down my arms and legs. As a person who has bounced up and down in weight, it can be very frightening to know that having lost the weight does not ensure that I won't again wear it all. For now, it's like a nasty little bogeyman, waiting just around the corner to grab me. This feels very much like a game of cat and mouse, with me trying to run away from the fat, pumping my chubby little legs as fast as they will go. So, when I can't actually run, it has proven to be difficult staving off the anxiety and fear.
Normally, I would try and get out of the house for a while and exercise when I was feeling overcome by my emotions. Whether afraid, sad, angry, or even happy- I would find some way to translate all of that into physical movement. When I've got so much inside of me, it needs to come out before I become septic. Happiness is easy to spill onto other people. The rest of it, I tried to take out on the treadmill and the weight room. Without having that available to me, I've become a bubbling cauldron of boiling craziness. Some of it has been rather positive, because I finally boiled over and was able to put a stop to folks using me up without giving back the most necessary things- love, affection, appreciation, and respect. Until I reached that point though, I just sat and bubbled under the surface, and kept stuffing food down my throat as though bites of bagel could sop it up and keep me from exploding all over the house. I had too much nervous energy before, but now I feel as though I can finally breathe again. That change has created a world of difference in my sense of peace, and how I handle food.
Now that I've gotten my insides all sewn up, I feel much better. I think that it is just a sense of hope that has made the difference. With the stress removed from my home life, and the constant burning pain removed from my abdomen, I am starting to feel well again. Of course, I am still not able to be very active yet, but at least I don't need that as a vent so much. I can enjoy a walk, just for the sake of walking. I don't need to run until I want to throw up, just so I can survive being at home.
I am certainly left feeling scarred though, both literally and emotionally. My bisected belly will heal on it's own, so long as I don't act foolishly and try to do things that I shouldn't. I have at least a month of restful recuperation before I can do anything more than walk gently. I'm not allowed to pick up anything more than 15 lbs. , and it stuns me to see how that changes my life. It stuns me to see how my sense of pride rears up and hates the limitations. The only thing that helps to keep my own dumb ego in check is that I know what kind of pain I'm looking at if I tear my stitches all apart and ruin my surgeon's good work. Heck, I thought that a sneeze was going to be the death of me last week! *laughs*
It does feel good though, to know a sense of peace, and to not be fearful. Yes, I've put on weight. Not only that, I've lost a lot of muscle tone, which has always meant more to me. I've gotten squishier through my belly region, and a bit on my hips. There is no getting around it- I've put on 14 lbs. since my insides revolted on me. Most of it is right there (*points*) in my abdomen, a roll at the top, and a flop on the bottom.
Now that I'm not a big mess of nerves, I can look at myself and actually breathe a sigh of relief. I know that belly fat isn't good, but it is also the easiest for me to lose. The stuff on my butt, hips, and thighs seem to be made of that same indestructible rubber as Goldie's Kong toy. I might need a jackhammer to get that stuff off, but diligent healthy eating and moderate exercise will help me to trim my waist. It's all about hope right now. Without the stress, I can see areas that I want to work on, without feeling so out of control that change seems impossible. I'm not depressed like I was, though I do get teary-eyed from time to time, missing my nephew. It's been real hard to have him suddenly gone, and the house is deafeningly quiet without him. The occasional bought of sadness isn't crippling like the daily depression though, and things are already changing for me. I can look at the bagels, cookies, and even the dimples in my rear end and say, "I'm not afraid of YOU!"