Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feeling Exposed!

That's right! I've been noticing lately that the thinner I get, the thinner skinned I get too. Getting banded, losing weight, learning to cope with stress without being able to binge has been a very difficult and challenging part of this journey. This is something that I thought I was prepared for, but I suppose I really wasn't.

I find that my feelings get hurt even more easily than before and that can be bad for those around me, as I am very tender-hearted to begin with. I've always cried easily too, now I find that I don't cry about the same things I used to cry about, now I cry about things that are more personal, rather than a commercial or a greeting card. Not that I'm any less touched by those things, but it seams that I have a little more control over those emotions, however, when it's personal I get hurt more easily.

Now here's the hard part for me. As I get smaller, I feel exposed, less protected than I did before. I take things more personally, I feel paranoid that people are talking about me negatively, that they are judging me. I feel like I've lost a layer of protection from the cruel world. My excuse for everything has been my eating disorder, my fat, all those things that have held me back. Slowly those things are changing. Change is hard.

Last night I had a friend tell me that I've changed, that I am not the person I used to be, that I used to be full of life, spontaneous and fun and always ready to go at a moment's notice. This friend and I go way back, we have been friends through some really difficult times in my life, my divorce, 2 storms, and the consequent displacement, the blending of mine and my husband's families. I have changed. Those things change a person. I'm different too, in that I no longer have my go-to stress relief, the almighty binge, my thick and thin forever friend is no longer my companion. I have had to learn how to cope without it and not replace that with something else destructive. It has been hard and I guess my friend is right. I'm not the same as I once was. How do I learn to incorporate this change in me? How do I salvage relationships that are dear to me without sacrificing myself? How do I become the person that I've been avoiding for so long? How can you be assured that people will still love the you that comes out on the other side of this journey?

I keep saying it, but change is hard.

On a lighter note, it is Wednesday, halfway through the work week.
Big Hugs!


Jen from Oregon said...

WOW! Those are some deep questions for sure. I lost myself years and years ago... so much so I don't even know where to start now. It sure is a process and losing pounds is only a small part of it.

Jen said...

This post made my chest ache. You just touched a deeeeeeep nerve. Great post.

Amy W. said...

So...after all those questions you just asked, do you think that you are not "full of life, spontaneous and fun and always ready to go at a moment's notice". I only know you from the blog and our few days in Chicago, but you still seem all of those things to me. Are you not?

I think you will have to post more on this subject bc I bet you struck a cord with some and I for one want to know more. Why do you think that people are thinking about you in a negative way now that you are thinner vs when you were fat?

I think understanding the "fat brain" is so difficult and interesting. Heather and I were at our neighbors the other night and I said something about being fat and my neighbor said..." you think you are still fat"...she was mind boggled.

It's hard to explain these things sometimes.

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

Learn as you go I guess. I don't even know if I have changed much except that I am much more confident and happier. Except for last night when I was lonely and feeling sorry for myself and had 2 margaritas for dinner! We all have godd and bad days. I am really enjoing my life much more. I feel healthier too. Just know you are very loved...heavy or not.

Read said...

Ok - I'm pretty sure you've been in my brain again. Could it be that there's only one and on some days you have it and I get it on others?

I have a similarly themed post running around in my brain - it's not ready yet cuz apparently it was your turn with the brain.

It seems to be true for me that at about the same time I got the band - or no - before that - decided or started seriously thinking about the band I was also beginning to strip away the layers that were protecting my heart and soul. I have always been a cryer for others - for hallmark commercials (this is straight out of my not yet published post - lol) but never for me - not the real stuff. And now... that's totally changing.

I truly think it's good and healthy but... man it sucks sometimes. Not just because of the rawness but because I don't know what the hell to do with that - my protection (and not just my crutch the food) but the physical protection is going away.

I'm not even that far into the journey - but my body and mind know - it's going away.... Deep questions.

I love you. The you I see here. Those worthy of you will keep right on loving you however it is you do or don't change.

LDswims said...

I think change is inevitable in this journey partly because we weren't really ourselves at our heaviest. We still had key elements but I am seeing, as the layers are shed, that I was so not in touch with myself at my heaviest and that is part of what allowed me to get that heavy. Now that I am seeing the me I thought I was, I am realizing that in some ways it's better because I'm older and wiser and stupider and dumber but I get to be the person I wanted to grow up to be - the person I was too scared to be 10 years ago, or didn't have the means to be 10 years or, or just wasn't grown up enough to be yet. On the other hand, it's hard, because like you said, the crutch is no longer there.

I would wonder why you think people are talking negatively about you. You are a wonderful person with so much to offer but I see this come through on your blog periodically. Why do you think that? The more I learn about you the more I love you and I'm pretty sure that's common amongst the bloggers as well as your real-life friends. You are a beautiful person! I wish you could see that. Did you read Tina's blog today? Look at your eyes? Don't see the mirror or the image. Look at your eyes. I think if you do, you'll see your beauty.

(Tina's blog today )

The only thing I can say about wondering if people will still love you on the other side, Tessierose, if they don't then they weren't real/true friends. You are taking charge of your life and if they dislike you for that, then they didn't really care about YOU. I think you are still the "full of life, spontaneous and fun and always ready to go at a moment's notice" lady. I don't think you will ever lose that. In fact, I think that you are more that now than ever. Think about the balls the past couple of weekends. You embraced those more this year than last. You didn't dread the clothes or the anything. You were strong in the face of an idiot throwing things in people's eyes. I think that is more full of life and fun and ready to go than ever.

You can't do this for your friends. But your friends get the benefit of a healthier more vibrant you. If they don't like it, that's on them.


amandakiska said...

Wow! It would be really, really hard to hear that from a good friend. My first instinct was to get defensive on your behalf. I wonder if this person was a former eating buddy who may be struggling with having lost her "fat friend". Or maybe she was the thin one and you were the fat friend and she's feeling vulnerable with the changes in the dynamics of the relationship.

But I'm going to have to give her the benefit of the doubt since you've been friends for so long. Maybe these would be good issues to explore with a therapist? It seems to me that you've been working really hard on this stuff and it hasn't even been a year. This stuff takes a while.

Joey said...

Change IS hard. But everything that I am REALLLLLY proud of in my life was reallllly hard. My opinion? It's not your job (or mine any more) to be the tubby, jolly friend. Our defense was to make jokes that made people want to be around us despite our chub (in our minds anyway). Maybe you only seem different because you are working on going though this change process...were you happy-go-lucky during the divorce or floods? I really shouldn't comment when I'm grumpy.

Joey said...

I thought that too...what Amanda said about the "fat friend". I can tell that my chubster friends don't like that I am thinner than them now.

~Lisa~ said...

You're one of the most wonderful-est "full of life" person I've met.. Always remember that..

And we all go through periods in our lives where we are more vulnerable, more emotional, perhaps even less trusting - I believe it is life experiences that bring out these doubts - and it is also life experience that will bring us out of it too..

(((hugggssss))) to you... Here's to more questions than answers..

Lee Ann said...

Awww, it would be hard to hear this from a dear friend. But change *is* hard. Don't know if you read my post last night, about things my mom so rudely offended me. I felt like saying, "Well of course people will be different after WLS in some regards! When you can't use food, you have to get some new strategies." But I kept my mouth shut. I quit smoking 9 years ago and it was super tough. I went to nicotine for everything---to stuff away my emotions---etc. When I stopped smoking I found myself crying ALL THE TIME. I didn't know how to feel things & I realized how tenderhearted I was. Of course people who've had WLS are going to be different in some respects, but you're still the same person. Your strategies are just different, that's all. You're still YOU. And you seem pretty full of life to me although we've never met.

Dinnerland said...

Change is hard-- and it is hard on those who are close to us, especially those who are 'used to you' one way.
I kind of think your friend's comment was (unintentionally) a put down...
I realize that you said you are senstive, and I am your sensitive sister there, girlfriend.
You know what: you are changing, but it doesn't mean it is bad.

No journey is perfect- it is a journey... be on it and accept yourself as much as you can. Love yourself (this is the same message I need to say to myself too!)

Shannon said...

i put it this way, you are bound to change and if people think your worth it they will change with you or except your change. It's the ones that don't want to make the effort that I chose to leave behind. You have better things waiting for you in the future. don't let how other people perseive you deal on your mind. It only makes us second guess ourselfs. HUGS

Tina said...

wowza...Do you think you are really changing or have the feelings were always there you are now just more able to voice them..or feel them instead of stuffing them with the food?


These physical changes make us visible to others again. It doesn't mean they are watching us or even talking about us but they are noticing us and that can be uncomfortable after years of invisibility. I still get thrown when strangers look me in the eye.

Finally-the changes are hard for our friends and loved ones to handle. They are used to one us and this physical change means that we might not be the same person they are used to seeing. I don't think this necessarily means we are the ones changing (personality wise) but we look so different that we feel unfamiliar to them and that makes them more scrutinizing and uncomfortable.

I definitely speak up for myself and set boundaries better than I did before...not everyone likes that from me.

Way to get everyone thinking about this. I think you have cracked a huge nut here.

that is my jumble of thoughts after your post. I had a friend lose 90 pounds and now i have lost 140...I didn't always like her changes and don't always like her more outspoken self...but she is still my friend. I hope others feel the same about me.

OH by the way.. I like you changes or no changes and all!!


Jacquie said...

Wow nailed a lot on the head with this one!

Barbara said...

I was just going to say what Jax said.. this one was an ah ha moment.. but honey you are talking to someone who just cant figure how to cope with change AT ALL.. but guess what.. I always read your posts because I always consider you to be filled with energy.. I love to read about your life, your hubby, your excitement.. so I do think you are that person. and you know what.. if your friend doesnt want to go with you on your journey.. that is their choice.. life is filled with changes (this I know for sure) .. you hang in there.. We love you changes and all

Bonnie said...

You have a lot of great comments already. I could do my catch phrase "Do you want me to kick her ass for you?, but I know it's really not a joking matter. Sounds like you and your friend have a lot of history so I have faith you'll work through this.

Rachel said...

LOL Bonnie's comment.

I feel a lot more and deal with a lot more too. But pain like this means you are growing and developing new coping mechanisms, aside from eating. I think that is fantastic. BTW I always feel your exhuberance in your posts.

Ronnie said...

I wish I had some good words of encouragement like the rest of the ladies, but unfortunately I don't. I've been put in the same situation with some of my friends that I've known forever, and it's hard. I don't feel like I've changed I'm only down 30 lbs, I mean...crap! The fat might be crowding my brain so much I REALLY speak French or something? Oy. We're the same people, I feel. Maybe thinner skinned, maybe easier to laugh, but are these things bad? I think not!

-Grace- said...

I am totally sharing this experience. The littlest things upset me personally...I am so tired of it! (And I'm sure Jess is as well!)

trisha said...

my thoughts are with you tess.... this seems like a hard time you're going through and I hope it gets a little easier for you...