It feels now as if the world falls into three sometimes overlapping categories. The first is that of friends and neighbors, many of who care for me a lot, who are concentrating on the outer aspects of this thing I'm going through. They ask, quite sincerely, how I'm doing, tell me I look thinner already around the face and belly(and I do) and inquire if I am feeling better yet, any healthier, any more energetic, any thinner yet.
I am smiling at them, to the best of my ability, and saying the correct things, thank you for complimenting me, for the support you offer, no I'm not feeling more energetic or healthier yet, but that will come, I know. I'm working at it, eating as best as I can, riding my exercise bike. All this is true, plus it is what they want to/expect to hear. And I truly know they are working hard to be supportive and I honor them for it.
The second category is those who recognize that I have been through a physical trauma, and will continue to suffer pouch pain and vomiting for months to come. I was not a great candidate for surgery (most gastric bypass patients aren't) with my added problems of 30 years of diabetic damage, heart condition, and need for oxygen, I did not exactly bounce back, In fact, I have just moved from dragging myself across the floor on my hands and knees to lurching upright into a stagger. Adding small bits of food one at a time has been a difficult problem which has left me with belly pain almost full time, and I am not close to my food and water requirements yet. But I'll get there.
Most of these folks have had major surgery of some type, or chronic pain, and I do appreciate them a lot, because they "get" how wearing pain and exhaustion is over any length of time. I am still not sleeping well, and every excursion-to Wall-Mart or a doctor's appointment- sets me back on energy reserves.
The last category is a small one, consisting of the few people who realize that I am not just wallowing around in misery, but slowly and in my own obscure way processing a loss as big as the death of a beloved spouse. Most people don't get that I love food on many, many levels, and that in many ways it worked well for me. It looks and smells and tastes good, it is a center around which people gather to socialize, to connect with each other, to cement bonds.
It also worked extremely well for me emotionally. It calmed me when I was enraged, comforted me when I was sad, filled me when I felt emotionally empty, soothed me off to sleep, pacified the pain of life-both physical and emotional, and enabled me to keep on living when times were really bad. Even being fat, then obese, then grossly obese was not a deterrant.The fact that I knew it was killing me didn't matter for a really long time.
I would go back to eating in a minute if I could, and live obese and deal with the prejudices and rude comments and negative judgements, except I don't want to die yet. WLS is the only tool available to me to force me to move away from my addiction to the way food makes me feel. And I am already getting pressure to accept the changes, and move on.
This is what few people get.. It take energy to move on, and I am teetering on the brink of an energy abyss. The best I can do now is get up in the morning and take my meds and force down two tablespoons of egg or yogurt, and deal with the physical pain, and sip water as much as possible and ride my bike for seven minutes and get through the day as best I can. When the crying jags hit, I try hard to summon energy for them, too. And when I feel anger, I let myself yell swear words. This is all the all I have energy for right now.
I am truly grateful to all the people in my life who are trying so hard to be supportive, and most especially for those few who fall into all three categories.The the support that helps most, however, is the emotional understanding and patience of those who can just sit with me in my pain without trying to fix it, or push it along. Their honoring of my process is a gift beyond words.