Happy Surgiversary to Me!
Two years ago tonight I was not long out of surgery and making painful, slow rounds of the bariatric ward at Sacred Heart in Pensacola, dragging my poor sister and my IV stand along with me. One year ago I had lost about 100 pounds total and was beginning a new year thrilled that I didn’t have to make any resolutions to lose weight.
This year finds me in a new home in a new state in a new body I’m still desperately trying to get used to. One day I feel full of hope that the future is going to be bright and happy here in Texas. The next day I feel terrified because I don’t know what the future holds and afraid that I’ll make mistakes and screw up what I was hoping would be perfect – a new start in a new place.
I didn’t resolve to lose weight this year either. In fact, I didn’t make any formal resolutions at all. I just have two areas I want to cultivate. The first is to make an effort to be creative on a regular basis. Now that I’m not singing anywhere, and there’s not really any chance of singing anywhere, I want to explore other areas of interest. I’ve already begun that by painting in acrylics, but that’s a story for another blog post.
The second area is much more ephemeral and MUCH more difficult for me: stop thinking so much.
I never identify myself as a worrier. My mom was a worrier, not me. I’m not afraid of the water (she was). Driving fast is fun (it terrified her). No one is going to break into my house and murder me (she was always waiting for the call that I was dead). Therefore, I don’t worry. No, not me.
I’d say that I fret. I said the wrong thing to a new friend, and now she probably thinks I’m a jerk. I didn’t look for the right website to apply for a job on, and now I’ll be both destitute AND unfulfilled. I didn’t flirt with the waiter, and he was THE ONE – if I’d only said *something*, everything would’ve turned out perfectly. Sigh.
There’s a line from an Alanis Morrisette song that goes “wear it out, like a three year old would do.” That’s me. I get ahold of an idea and the jaws of my mind clamp down on it like a pit bull on a t-bone. I can’t leave it alone. We might as well not go out, because what if we break up? What if I can’t find a job I love? What if I can’t find a church I like? What if, what if?
Time to face it. I’m a worrier. I just worry about different things than my mother did. I’m not afraid of dying. I kinda think I’m afraid of living.
Having weight loss surgery solved a lot of problems for me. My blood pressure is so low I almost pass out if I stand too quickly. My blood sugar and cholesterol are below normal. My asthma is better. I don’t feel so conspicuous.
But it brought on a whole new set of problems, honestly. Before, men ignored me. Now they notice me, but I don’t know how to respond, and I feel ridiculous and like it’s all a joke. I’m told that I still wear my clothes too big. I don’t really know how to dress the person I am now. I’m constantly afraid of becoming vain, which is almost vanity in and of itself.
All of these worries…they’re weighing me down. I know that God is in control of my life, yet I’m still afraid of messing up and ruining everything. It’s like I think God has this checklist for me, and if I get any of it wrong I’m never going to live in His Perfect Will. One step off the yellow brick road equals ruination.
Well…now that I put it in writing I see how small it makes God. I’m effectively saying that God can’t fix me, that He can’t lead me, that I have to fret and worry over every detail and minute decision, lest I get something wrong. That seems like a lot of unnecessary effort on my part.
I’ve got to stop thinking so much about the repercussions of Every Single Decision I make, and just go with it. I’ve been given a gift of health and a new start among people who love me and want to spend time with me. So…
Stop thinking. Don’t be so afraid to live. Happy Surgiversary to Me.