I knew that I put up a lot of walls and sheltered myself inside. I didn’t like reaching out to meet other people, because having been judged and mistreated in the past, including by those that I called my friends. My weight was also a way to make sure I went unnoticed, so that I didn’t have to put myself out there and possibly open myself up to be hurt.
But I have noticed that the more I go down in weight and sizes, the more open I am becoming to social gatherings. I still feel a little nervous, and I know that part of my social awkwardness comes from shutting myself off for so long. I am even doing it professionally, and have noticed that I am getting some successful results. I will have two internships this fall, the one I am currently working at for OC Self Help Center and the clinic at school. I will also be the student volunteer coordinator for the LPJH volunteers. I am really proud of myself. A year or two ago I would not have even applied. It took all of my strength to do the one volunteer opportunity I did, but I wanted at least something to do out in the “real world”. Now I am applying for a third internship in LA County this coming Spring. It’s amazing how much more comfortable I am feeling now. The interview makes me nervous, but nowhere near as nervous as it used to. I don’t feel as bad about it as I used to. I spent so much time worrying about what I looked like, whether I could fit in the chair, and if I would be breathing heavily if I climbed stairs to get up to the interview. Things that should not be important or foremost in my mind when applying for an internship that is going to further my future.
Socially I am getting better as well. I went to my first support group meeting at my doctor’s office. It was part success and part failure. I felt as if I almost needed to apologize for being successful to the other vets that were not. But speaking to the newbies was quite fun, and I enjoyed the experience immensely. I did explain that the results are not typical, and that you have to remember that the surgery is a tool. Docs operate on our stomachs, not our minds. It needs to be taken care by US. I felt that I had made a difference. I hope that I did.
I also went to my first OH meetup since I started coming on the site. It was a blast! I met some great people, and made some new friends. I also tried on and fit into a pair of size 8s!!! It was so much fun to get them on and share that accomplishment with people who get it! But I really made an effort to be more social. I am sure I was still awkward. I have a bad habit of talking about everything in an effort to fill the silence. I get afraid still I have found. However I am trying, and the effort to try has made me proud of myself. I am thankful that I went – the people were simply amazing. It was like meeting old friends. J
I think I am going to take another step forward. I am going to go to the OH conference in Georgia this October. I spoke to my husband and he said that it was a great idea. I am happy to have such a great supporter ;). But I will be buying my tickets at the end of August. I have also decided that I am going to do the fashion show. I can’t wait. I am nervous, but I think it will be fun to get out there and shake it lol. Just walk down the runway and feel like a million bucks. Yep, that’s the plan. I hope lol.
My new life is coming together well – the more I rock my sleeve, the more my life ROCKS!!!!