Hey fellow RNYers. I thought I'd share a thought going through my head today.
Backstory: I am giving a speech at a bariatric practice in Michigan in January and I've been thinking about what to present. Similarly, I was asked to write an article for Obesity Action Coalition Magazine and was asked to share my story. Both carried similar problems for me, which I initially wasn't able to articulate well. But I think I've found the words.
On January 8 I will be 8 years post-op. Now...for anybody (post-op, non-op, whatever) a lot can happen in 8 years. If you are ever the EXACT same person you were 8 years ago, it is my express opinion that you have some life evaluation to do. But in my case (and in so many of ours) it goes deeper than that. Because, you see, when you change over the course of time the essence of who you are probably remains pretty consistent.
Frankly, if I introduced the me of 8 years ago to the me of today not only would the former not recognize the latter, but I don't think she'd like me very much!
To Ye Olde Nikki the "New Nikki" might seem abrasive, self-centered, somewhat egotistical. Granted I am all those things at least a little bit but that's not why my old self would think that. She'd think that because I don't hold my tongue anymore. If something bothers me, I speak up. I simply don't have the capacity to store negative energy like that anymore. I would have seemed self-centered because I put my needs FIRST. In reality I'm no good at taking care of anybody if I don't first take care of me. That includes happiness. I have two children (16 and 14) and I recognize them as people capable of creating their own happiness, which leaves me blissfully free to create mine. And the old me would have considered the new me egotistical because at the end of EVERY day I look in the mirror and go, "Damn, girl! You look GOOD!" I do that because that's what I really think. I love my new body. I love this life I am living. I love that I'm a work in progress. I love that I am HERE. I don't intend to waste a single moment more of my life feeling like I am less than anybody or anything.
So I had trouble writing those pieces mainly because I was being asked to write about the before/after story. Well...I really can't relate that well to the before Nikki anymore. She had beliefs and values that I remember, but find incomprehensible some days. I'm much better at comparing the me now to the me who started this journey 8 years ago. She is someone I kinda understand still. I don't ever want to lose where I came from but for me, I guess what I'm saying is that my journey after surgery was so transformative that it renders everything before it almost invalid.
I decided that's what I would write my article on and that's what I would speak on because that's my truth. I don't know that girl that I was 8 years ago that well anymore. I respect and honor her for the bravery to do what she knew needed to be done to save herself. And I think that's the right thing to do.
So that's what was on my mind today. :)
I am 7 years post-op and I am in the same boat, except, there are moments, when my old self creeps back in. And you know what? I don't like myself when I get like that...I get depressed and I hermit when I do that, and I've never thought about it, but reading this kinda makes me think, I hermit because I am embarrassed about the version of me I am being when that happens. Wow. What an eye-opener. Thanks Nikki!
I loved reading this. Thank you so much. So much to connect to and to think about. Really--loved it. Bless you.
There should be pics of me in the OH Conference photo album. I don't take a bunch of pictures nowadays. I'm not against taking them I've just been in grad school the last three years so I usually stay so busy I can barely think much less compose a picture of myself lol.
I'll see if I can dig up a few.