February 20, 2017
Balance, harmony, stability, cohesion, they are just words, but words with meaning. What does balance in life look like? What are the answers? I’m supposed to be balanced, I have a career I love (most days), a house, two wonderful boys, and a husband that loves and supports me. I can check all of the boxes that equal happiness, but that joy eluded me.
In early 2016 I started the process towards weight loss surgery. I was going for my weight checks, but not telling my provider how I was feeling. She would ask and I would say, “fine”. But I wasn’t fine, I was faking fine, hiding behind busy schedules, taking care of sick kids and a sick husband, lesson planning and grading. That was one year ago, a dark place, and survival mode. It took the passing of my grandmother-in-law to realize that I needed help. According to Dr. Google I was suffering from postpartum depression. My provider prescribed anti-depressants and therapy. Within days of the medicine I began to feel again, to be happy, and to be a better mom, wife and friend. My husband noticed the difference and said he hadn’t seen me this happy since before our first kid. That was quite a reality check for me.
After a few therapy sessions I realized that depression has been in my life off and on for years. Dealing with my weight and infertility has led to bouts of depression. Realizing that I might not live as long to see my kids have kids because of my morbid obesity weighed heavily on my mind. The only way I knew how to handle that feeling is to eat. Now, I can recognize that I am eating emotionally, and can identify what triggered the eating. Still need to work on not eating because of my emotions. It is not going to be an easy but I know I can do it.
The meds are not a cure all, nor do I want to take them for the rest of my life, but they have allowed me to recognize when I am upset over something. They help me express myself when I am upset instead of holding it all in and eating. There are some negative side effects to the meds such as tiredness, sexual dysfunction, and a craving for carbs, but these have decreased over time. The gastric bypass is not a cure all either. I will still have to deal with my emotional eating, however after my surgery I will physically be sick if I eat too much food. I need that. I need the food restrictions, especially the sugar restrictions in order to reach my goal of a healthy weight. I am doing this for me, but I can’t do it on my own. I know that I will need the support of my family, friends, doctors, and therapist.
This journey has also reaffirmed how important my friends are to me. I know that I won’t be as successful without the support of my friends. They know when I am ok, and when I am not. I know that they are there when I need them. I hope that I am as good of a friend to them as they are to me.
My next step towards stability 22 days until my gastric bypass surgery. 22 days till my eating habits are surgically changed. 22 days till the next chapter in my odyssey.
I have not achieved balance, but have made steps towards harmony.