Well the question as to where my moods were heading has been answered. I am low. And I hate it. I have no energy, everything hurts, but the worst part is that I can’t enjoy my last couple days before surgery. I’m having a surgery tomorrow and another one four weeks later. I’m going to be recovering for the rest of the summer. A lot of this low, is due to the surgeries. I feel nervous and downright scared at times.
I think what has me the most nervous is how I’m going to see myself the first time I look in the mirror after my mastectomy. I’ve had a c-section, so the only part of the hysterectomy I’m worried about is the menopause that will start right after. But the mastectomy, that’ll be different. I’ll have no breasts. I’ll have tubes with little bulbs hanging out of me to help drain fluids right after surgery. I’ll be bloated and unrecognizable.
I’m already having a very hard time looking at myself in the mirror. My anorexia is getting strong again. I have thoughts of not eating, thoughts berating me every time I do eat. Every glance at a mirror only triggers these thoughts. The scale at the doctor’s office triggers them, putting on clothes triggers them. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and it is mentally killing me. But how do I lose weight if anorexia is always on the table.
If I watch what I eat, I start counting calories which leads to an inner contest of how few calories I can eat and still function. If I work out, I start pushing myself and going more and more often. The machines count calories, which causes me to start counting food calories.. It’s all a great big circle. I honestly see no way to lose weight without spiraling. I’m not at a healthy weight. My dietitian and caseworker say that if you eat three meals a day and a couple snacks, your body will find its own comfortable weight and stay there. They’re suggesting this is my body’s comfortable weight. I don’t accept that. I’m overweight and can’t do a lot of things I once used to do.
If I can’t stand looking in the mirror now, how am I going to look once I’m bloated from surgery. I won’t recognize my body. If I’m honest, it’s not the lack of breasts that I think will bother me. Plenty of women don’t get reconstruction and look great. I’m worried that it will accentuate the parts of me I’m already self-conscious about, which may trigger my anorexia. It is vital that during this healing time I eat. I have to eat to recover. But with all this stress and current anorexia thoughts, I’m terrified I’ll succumb and stop eating.
My husband, who is ridiculously supportive in all of this, has warned that he will be more insistent that I eat during the recovery time. I thanked him and told him that “rational me” appreciates that. “Anorexia me” will not. Whenever the anorexia acts up he asks gently what I’ve eaten. He suggests small snacks or something healthy for me to eat. He watches me from a distance, pushing when he thinks the moment is right, and just simply being there when the moment is not. He makes sure not to say anything in front of our girls and helps distract during meal times so that they don’t notice Mommy isn’t eating again.
It also doesn’t help that the country is going through a monumental battle right now. Protests are spreading like wildfire, and every time I get on my phone I’m blasted with hate from both sides. I’m angry inside, to the point where I want to burst into tears every time. It’s all so outrageous and disturbing. I want to be vocal and make my stance clear, I want to get out there and fight back. But I honestly don’t have it in me. I am crippled in stress and can barely feed myself. I need to be selfish and put myself ahead of the disasters in America, at least for now. I need my self to come back. I need energy to recover and eat. Only then can I deal with what is happening outside my door or be there for my family.
My family needs me to focus on me, focus on recovering right now. So I will lean on them to get through all of this, lean on them to get through this low. Hopefully it doesn’t last too long, hopefully I recover and am stronger than ever. It’s a lot of hope, but the fact that I can hope means I’m not lost. It means I’m still ahead of this low and can fight it. And I will.