one month

Yesterday was one month until my surgery date. November 7th. Most days, I still don’t feel anything either way. I’m not constantly obsessing, I’m not crying, I’m not anything. And then I read articles like this, articles that should give me hope (and, I suppose, do give me hope) but that first make me cry, terrified of this entire experience.

I have never considered myself a strong person. I don’t necessarily consider myself weak or pathetic, but “strong” has never been a self-descriptor. And that’s what I keep coming back to: I am not strong enough for this.

In the beginning, I didn’t feel strong enough for any of it. Not the risk, not the future surgeries, not anything. I wallowed in depression and tears for two months before putting on my big-girl pants and getting on with my life. And then I wasn’t strong enough for the traditional surgery. I needed it done all at once, I needed to wake up and still be normal, still be me.

Now, I’m counting on waking up with hard, awful tissue expanders. All I hear is how terrible they are; while on one hand I’m grateful for the honesty, I also wish people could be a little less negative. I have traded what I thought I needed for the ability to stay home, to avoid flying to and from another state for surgery.

But the reality is, I still don’t feel strong enough for all the what ifs. What if I wake up truly deformed? What if I have complications and God forbid need to go without implants for a long period of time – or what if I have to go without permanently? What if the pain is unbearable? What if I cannot function because of it, what if I never feel like myself again? What if I can no longer recognize my body – not only in looks but in function? Although I’m no exercise fanatic, the idea of never again being able to do yoga or a pushup gives me heart palpitations.

What if I can never again wear a bathing suit? Or feel attractive? Or feel normal? I’m not strong enough for any of that. I’m just not. Part of me refuses to be because I shouldn’t have to.

I want to believe my life will be like that article, that I’ll find my new normal. And I want to believe my “new normal” will still be some semblance of the normal I know. I just don’t think I am strong enough for it not to be, but lord knows I’m trying.

Like a star come down to walk the Earth in radiant array,
I saw the light of my spirit descend the other day.
I was standing by the bus stop on Northeast 33rd when I got the word:
I will be made a new creature one bright day.
I don’t have to be afraid,
Speed that day on its way.

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2 thoughts on “one month

  1. With all of the thinking and research you’ve put into this decision I feel confident for you that you’ve chosen the absolute best doctors possible to do this surgery! Bestest of luck and thoughts for you heading into the nerve wracking weeks and days leading up to it!

  2. I feel like a douche for constantly being like “you’re so strong! I admire you so much!” But it’s true. It really is. Much love.

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