Sunday, September 3, 2017


I can’t remember the last time I sat down to type out a story. I haven’t even opened my old blog posts or website to see a date – I just felt compelled to sit and type. But it's literally been years...
Whether this is synchronicity or something else, I’m not sure, or whether it’s simply Father’s Day here in Australia and today I feel the need to open up my head and type away….  Blogging (I never thought of myself as a Blogger back then!) used to be my way to heal and work through what ailed me at the time – and it just so happened that so many people used to actually stop and take the time to read my words… and they seemed to resonate with some. It’s still the funniest of feelings knowing I was opening up my inner-monologue to the world (when you’re such a private person) and have someone actually like what you have to say… stuns me!

… and here I am sitting outside, with my laptop, typing away like a day hasn’t passed. But absolutely everything has changed. Me, my location, my technology, my goals, my body, my heart…

I don’t know how to say this without bursting into tears, so I’ll just do that and keep on typing….  The moment I say this out loud is the moment it gets too real – and I’ve had my barriers up for the past couple of months just trying to deal with life after loss.  Because what I discovered was that the world doesn’t stop to let you mourn, it just keeps going. You get told to “suck it up, it’s a part of life”, so you put on your blinkers and you just get on with doing your day to day…

But loss doesn’t work that way. It’s a day, a moment, a fleeting thought, a smell, a sound… it’s the smallest things to the largest ones – and you’re right back in that heartache, and your day to day seems so mundane, and pointless. It’s a fruitless attempt at covering your own broken heart. And you bloody well know it…

Today is my moment – Father’s Day – it’s the first main ‘moment’ that I’ve been dreading. But I didn’t come into today in tears – I was actually heartened by it. I WANT these moments to come and make me remember, make me believe in better things, make me look forward. It’s a moment that makes you grateful for what has been, and accepting of what has passed.

We lost dad early June this year – it was really sudden. … but not shocking. We’ve seen him struggle for about 7 years since his first aneurysm surgery way back then. For those of you who have been around for a while, you may have seen me talk previously about his hospital stays, our fears, his battles, etc. They are MANY, and it’s always been met with “poor Nev – that’s so much to take on!”

Dad was riddled with aneurysms (smoker all his life, he’d literally quit smoking just prior to these issues coming to fruition). One day I might go into greater detail, his story is incredible really….  But for now, I’ll keep it minimal. He had been struggling for so long, but it was a brain bleed that took him from us. 

He tried his hardest for 26 days, he was ‘asleep’ the entire time. His Doctors and specialists – who had kept him alive for 7 extra years – did absolutely everything in their power to bring him back to us. … but it just simply wasn’t to be. He was exhausted, his body was exhausted, and he called the shots this time.

I was backwards and forwards to Newcastle (John Hunter Hospital, they are incredible – thank you for all that you have done for us) – between work and 5-hour travel and bedside vigils – that month has come and gone from my mind like a blink of an eye. Yet it is seared into my soul, sitting beside dad’s bed waiting for him to open his eyes. Just so we could smile and encourage and tell him that yep, you’ve got this again Dad, we’re right here, and we’ll stay here til you walk out the door again with us….  We’d seen him do this before – from heart attack and triple heart bypass surgery, to 3-month hospital stays in isolation from a Tuberculosis scare. Through to his “Frankenstein Surgery” where they did a vein bypass from his neck to his brain because 3 out of the 4 carotid arteries that feed oxygen and blood to the brain was totally blocked and un-salvageable. My Dad’s a hospital marvel – and every time he’d walk out the door, wonky but with a (very modest) fight in him that I’ve never seen before.

… but just not this time. He’d open his eyes briefly at the start, and we had such huge hope that was good signs for him, that there was ‘recovery after a stroke’ (for lack of knowing what was actually happening) – and we would keep on pushing forward. Because that’s what we do.

Mum stayed by his side the entire time. I would come and go as often as I could. My sis and bro both made visits, but the more days that passed, the longer we waited…. The more the hospital staff would drop words we simply didn’t want to hear. Dad wasn’t functional the way he needed to be – he was still breathing on his own, but was tube fed and as time progressed, he wasn’t responsive to the stimulation that we’d seen early on. It was heartbreaking to watch him decline like this, his body was solid, he was better than I’d seen him in the past (we’d seen him go from a solid beefcake to an anorexic fragile “old man” – and he’d still rebuilt himself back up!).

There is NOTHING more upsetting than seeing someone you love deteriorate before your eyes.    …. I assume. I don’t really know. Actually there’s probably lots of things that are heartbreaking – the world is full of them really…   but in my limited experience of ‘life’ (and I live under a mushroom after all) – this takes the cake.  Having my dad lie there in body, but not know where the rest of him is….. purely agonising.  But every day we’d show up at the hospital, and talk and laugh and show him we were there with him. And every day you’d feel that little more defeated, but refuse to let it go because he’s dad.

It was when we hit the 20+ days mark that it was apparent that something was really wrong. … and as much as we didn’t want to admit it, knew this wasn’t right. It just wasn’t.  That wasn’t dad, it wasn’t him in any way. Dad was a hardy, jovial guy who never sat still – even when his head would spin and he’d have to sleep bulk of the day away, he would STILL want to go do something. Bed-ridden, feeding tubes, nurses poking him to try and get him to react…. Bullshit to that. He’d hate it.  We had to consider what he would truly want. Even if by some miracle dad could have pushed through the ‘fog’ of his unending “sleep”, there is not a chance he’d have wanted to be bed-bound, under full-time care, out of his own home…. Never.

When they start talking about ‘duty of care’ and “what would Nev have wanted” – that’s when it comes crashing down on you that your options at this point are paramount.   …. But how the hell do you make this call without it shredding you to pieces?!   I remember saying to mum quite bluntly “if it was my Healy (my cat of 15+ years – my best mate) that was in pain or something wrong, I’d let him sleep. I couldn’t do that to him.”      …. And yet saying these things was perplexing. It’s not courageous and yet it’s the bravest thing you can do. It’s ridiculously heartfelt but it’s the most heartbreaking moment of your life.  In those moments, I honestly don’t know where I was, or who I was, or why I was…. Was like making the biggest statement of your life, and wishing no one would listen, just so you didn’t have to admit it to yourself.  Perplexing.

….. but then we heard the reality speeches from the staff.  Usually with brain trauma – and there were many in the hospital around us – the patients have an optimal time of roughly 5-7 days (I forget statistics – so much is a blur).  But I remember it being brief.    … and we were at 21 days.  They gave dad so much longer, and tried so many ways. They went searching for answers for why his follow-up brain surgery hadn’t brought him through. They looked for signs, they searched for adhesion and tried to track brain patterns and waves to show us WHY he couldn’t come out of his long-term sleep.    …. And when they told us the stats, that’s when my heart sank. It wasn’t logical nor practical, and least of all ‘humane’ to expect miracles from dad when he’d already tripled the days they usually see responses from brain patients. It broke my heart in that moment. And I put my  blinkers on ever since…

We lost dad in the early hours of 8th June – the entire family sat by his bed on the day we took out his assisted breathing tubes. It was just surreal to see him so peaceful and physically healthy there on the bed. But he never did open his eyes for me during the 26 days (I so longed for that – he’d briefly do that for mum, and he was ‘awake’ for a while when mum had been playing him some Elvis – but not really responsive, just eyes open). I sat there and held his hand on his last day, for bulk of the day. I just wanted him to open his eyes….  Dad had pale green eyes – I’ve got green. The rest of my family all have brown. I have his eyes, and I just sat like a little kid next to my dad’s bed, just waiting for him to wake up….

We watched him throughout the afternoon struggling with his breathing, he scared the begeezus out of us a few times later into the night.  I didn’t want to see this, I didn’t want to watch. I was STILL waiting for him to wake up…. By about 1am, we were beyond exhausted. The others had left to go get some sleep, it was mum and me at this point. We just couldn’t leave. I didn’t want dad to be alone. The night nursing staff assigned to dad were amazing. We knew what was coming, we just didn’t know when. There was no timeframes, there was no exact moments. They didn’t know, they couldn’t tell us – they could guesstimate all they liked, but dad was calling the shots on this one.   

Mum and I couldn’t leave. Every time we’d make the move to go grab a few hours sleep, I just couldn’t do it.  It was the middle of the night, and we had planned on just going for a short couple hours and coming straight back. Just enough to take the edge off stinging eyes and pure exhaustion.    …. But it gutted us every time we tried to do that. Every time.  The night nurse on at the time encouraged us to get some sleep – he even said that when his daughter had been in hospital in this situation, the best thing you could do is get some rest….  They know, they understand, it broke my heart for him that he knew this fear.

We reluctantly went back to the room for a break, fully dressed climbing into bed about half an hour later.   …. Lights out, then mum’s phone rang. My heart stopped I’m sure. I had my shoes back on before she even had enough time to ask if I wanted to go back.  Dad had called the shots – he picked his moment. True to the end, he was looking out for us, waited until we’d left before he took his final breath. I didn’t have to watch this, and I’m so grateful. I can't for a moment imagine bearing that image for the rest of my life.  When I saw him last he was so crazy beautiful peacefully asleep – what I saw just an hour later wasn’t my dad at all. His light had gone – he wasn’t there anymore. I could see it, I could feel it. I cried for him, I cried for us, I cried for relief for him, I cried for his freedom. 

We stayed with him for as long as we needed – it wasn’t the same, it wasn’t dad anymore – but it was respectful and it was comforting to hold his hand. And I simply couldn’t be anywhere else in this moment. I was just that little girl with her dad.   … the moment I had to leave him was the moment it broke my heart entirely.  Walking away and leaving him there was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do…. 

….. but this is where life is a little cruel.  I stayed with mum in Newcastle for the days after as we made arrangements.   … but I was due back to work, the others had gone home and mum was about to be left there on her own. It’s moments like these that you really resent being an adult – but life doesn’t stop, and there’s expectations and obligations.  I drove home in tears (not the first time) – and it was back to work thereafter.  My blinkers went up, because I couldn't deal with 'normal' otherwise.  Nothing was normal now anyway. ...but daily life can't work when you're broken - I'm no heartless machine. So the blinkers were on and the barriers were up.

It’s now the start of September, and I've had my mum staying in my house while she figures out her next moves. (that in itself has been extremely hard for the girl whose been on her own for over 20 years!!).   It’s just a a couple months later, and I’ve not really had time to sit and mourn, or feel all the feels. I’ve had to be strong and diligent, professional and ‘chin up’. It was in this time that I realised just how alone I was – my own doing. When I stopped blogging, closed my page, reverted back to ‘solitude’ all that time ago, I didn’t know that it would impact me in this way later. I call it my ‘idiot move’ – I took away my community, my connections. I hid away and removed myself from social circles. For whatever my reasons were a few years ago – in retrospect, I did a major disservice to myself. And right in the thick of needing my friends and community the most, I realised I didn't have it anymore...

I’m a soulful human – I vibrate with empathy and compassion. I fucking hurt ALL THE TIME for people. I actually really love people. I was always a loner, very unassuming (LOATHED the spotlight…. You wouldn’t know that hey?!) – and when I chose to go back to that solitude, I guess I thought it was what I needed. Probably did “at the time”.  … and I’m sure I’ll go into this more later…  but for now I’ll say it was just an  idiot move.

Writing has been my outlet for a very long time. Well before anyone ever started to read it or I made anything actually public! I’d write letters to friends, poetry, I’d have endless online chat conversations with friends around the world for hours and hours and hours….  I found ME when I was writing (crazy shy girl in person, I had a VOICE in words!) -  and a few years back I shut the gate on that too.

So I’ll close where I started an hour ago – perhaps it’s serendipitous or perhaps it’s simply me coming back to me, doing something I know will help me heal… but today is Father’s Day, and my heart is hurting for the first moment of many future moments without my dad in them….and it’s time I come out of hiding. Validate what is, what has come, and show my gratitude for the lessons that I’ve been afforded the last few years.  … not one bit has been easy, but here I am, hand on heart opening the doors again. Reasons and seasons.  Maybe my dad was encouraging me to start my writing again - I don't know.... but it hit me like a wave just the other day, but I wasn't ready until today to put "pen to paper" and let the first wave out. 

I walked into my back shed yesterday, and mum’s been in there sorting things for me while she’s been staying here.  I broke down in tears – there’s a line of second hand mowers in my shed that dad kept bringing to my house for me.  I can hear his words ringing in my ears “you just pull that cord and it should go!”.  Ha!  I can’t start half these bloody things, and the one that works easily is blunt as all hell.  Single girl – dad had me lined up for second hand mowers that he’d tinkered with enough to get them to work – but he forgets that I’m useless with this stuff, and I do such wonderful things as break fingernails or cut myself on them!!    …. And here was my line of mowers, all in a row…. What the hell am I going to do now?!!!    It broke me. Blinkers off, barriers down.  Today is my day to mourn.

But I’ll do it in true dad style…. Because he wouldn’t want us crying – he’d want us laughing. He’d want us to be happy. He’d shrug off the dreads, and he’d drop a really dodgy dad joke and giggle like a little kid. You’d laugh simply because he was laughing at his own silliness.  I’ll imagine him sitting on my couch watching tv – ideally cricket – and forget trying to get that remote back again. Not going to happen.  I’ll forgive the wads of dried up grass clippings that still get blown through the front door, because the last person to mow my front lawn was dad, with his mower that I can’t bloody start, without the catcher on the back (which I hate!!) – but he did that on his last visit here just before he and mum went home, just before we lost him.  He mowed my lawns for me just before he left, just for me, because he wanted to. Even though he struggled the entire time, even though a neighbour offered to do it for him….. When spring hits properly and the grass is out of control, and more importantly, when I’m ready - I’ll go mow that lawn and dad can sit on the park bench out the front of my house cheering me on. I know he’ll be there and I just know he’ll be telling me how to start that freaking mower…..  I welcome those moments, they’ll be the ones that make me smile.  

You’re still here really, I know that, I feel that. So I won’t say I miss you – that’s a given – but I’ll say it really sucks that today of all days, I’d have lashed out and bought you the good quality chocolate covered almonds for your Father’s Day pressie.   …. Cuz I loved buying you the good stuff.  That's what I miss already...

Happy Father’s Day dad.  We love you.   xxx  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sixth Year Healthiversary

In January 2008, I made the decision to change my life.  It wasn't a crazy New Years Resolution - it was more a "I'm so unhappy. I have to TRY to change this" thing.  I assumed I'd fail (again) - but I had nothing to lose in trying. So I tried.

Last year, I let it all get the better of me - my focus turned "aesthetic" - I was too focused on how I looked and how it appeared to everyone else - which only served to backfire. I fell apart. My old self-doubt reared its ugly head and said "you assumed failure - you have become that failure".

I stopped treating my body right, and my mind wandered through all the levels of doubt and negatives of the past. I lulled in turmoil and I lost my belief - as though I didn't deserve what I'd worked so hard to change - nor had I been "given" the payout for working so damned hard in the first place.

I expected more and more - and I received less and less for it.

My biggest "failure" was not in lack of achievement - it's in being complacent with what truly mattered - what had driven me in the first place. My heart wasn't in "changing for the better" - it was elsewhere, I was superficial and greedy, and it came back to bite me - to teach me a lesson in humility.

The last couple of weeks have been met with trepidation in the lead up to my sixth anniversary from the day I decided to change. I felt like a failure - untrue to myself - a fraud - after a year of negativity and disappointment that just kept feeding upon itself.  I've gained weight, I quit the gym, I ate everything in sight and withdrew from my networks.  I was shunning myself with shame, and berating myself for making things worse.  I taunted myself that I'd "given up".

But, after lots of soul searching, I realised I haven't given up - not entirely.  I was "hibernating" - waiting until it was 'right', again.  Manifesting the strength and courage to really acknowledge who I am NOW - and what that means to the next chapter.  My evolution.

I woke up and wrote some words on scrap paper first thing yesterday morning...  they read:

I am capable, and I am willing.

I have, and I can do again.

I have exercised the art of discipline and self compassion, and I will continue to do so.

I have adapted, I am flexible.

I am strong, in spirit and in self.

My changes are my choice, and my choices are my challenge that I willingly accept.

I have changed, and I have gained a freedom in doing so. 

I am successful, and will continue to be so, just as I choose.

We're conditioned to believe that success only comes in reaching set goals - anything less than meeting that goal is not enough, and going backwards is instantly negative or a route to 'failure'.  We measure our worth SO MUCH on these factors that they eat away at us until we believe we're 'less' because we haven't yet met them.  Forgetting that our heart, soul, love, honour, trust, friendship = all the beautiful elements that make us who we are, holds far more value than a size 12 pair of jeans and a great set of abs will EVER hold...  On our death bed, will we truly care that we ran 5 marathons or drove a $50,000 car?!      

I will NOT subscribe to the context that I've failed because I couldn't meet a 'goal' that's constructed in this aesthetic or superficial frame.  My true goals - the underlying tummy-numbing goals - were to find a reason to live.  I found that - I found ME.   Everything else is a bonus.

Life is fluid.  What I aspire to change will always keep moving, and I'll move and adapt with it, the way its intended.  That is what drives me, why I started - I chose to live - and all the curve balls, hardship, tears, fun, laughter, happiness, fears, excitement, sunsets and really awesome watermelon are there to be experienced.  To endure.  To embrace.

It's my sixth year anniversary today - and I made the call to forgive myself for the turmoil of last year - it was a learning curve that needed to happen.

Walking around my favourite river circuit tonight, thinking about what I truly want, what "goals" I'd like to fill my year with...  a few choice words slipped into my head that just wouldn't leave me. 

Neither weight loss nor weight gain DEFINES ME.  
My choices and attitude in life do.

2014: healthy in mind and healthy in body.

That's my goal this year - time to round up the happy and embrace another year of life!

Happy Healthiversary to ME!   

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A year ago today...

A year ago today I was staring down the barrel of one of the hardest physical challenges of my life.  A year ago today I went in for my first reconstructive surgery (tummy tuck) with all the bravery and smiles a girl who had halved herself could muster!  I was the fittest and healthiest I’ve EVER been, I’d worked SO hard, I was mentally and physically ready - and I was determined to rock that surgery in every way possible!
A year later, and I’m sitting here with what feels like a fist gripping my heart.  It’s been THE hardest year of my transition, and part of me is just….  hurting/lamenting/questioning/dreaming/consoling… ?  I’m not sure how I feel at the moment.  Very mixed emotions.

Ofcourse, I had to contend with the physical issues post-surgery – there was dizzy spells and fatigue like nothing else.  Ofcourse there was the pain and swelling of cutting off a significant portion of your body. But it was the insane staph infection which totally messed me around for bulk of the months following (and even 12 months later, I still have a few slight issues) – and the biggest brain-messer-uperer was when I “burst at the seams” from the infection.  Scariest thing I’ve been through – there are just no words when you have a mass load of fluids streaming out of a wound in your body and you’re helpless to do anything about it...  It made me seriously question if any of it was worth it.
As the months rolled on, I realised there were other issues coming out of the woodwork that I hadn’t had to deal with before – nor had I been prepped or ‘warned’ about.  My anxiety levels skyrocketed – my heart palpitations were fit to send sonic shockwaves through all of Bathurst on some days.  I’d be close to heart-attack status with the anxiety, just trying to walk into a shopping centre to buy a few groceries, after numerous near-fainting spells over the first couple of months left some jagged memories in there that would shoot me with anxiety every time I’d attempt it.  Even trying to leave my house was becoming problematical – driving my car would scare me (I nearly fainted driving the car when I didn’t know I was infected) - and exercise… pfft.  It started scaring the life out of me – my body would ‘tighten’ when it was swollen with heat or movement, and most days it felt like the safest place for me was to lay on the floor.  Couldn’t fall any further if I was already on the floor. I became very accustomed to laying on the floor.

It hurt SO BAD in that first six months – I was shattered.  My surgery wasn’t the ‘be all, end all’ – it left me significantly scarred (not my surgical scar – that mofo rocks my world, it’s seriously bad arse from hip to hip!!).  No – my mental state was completely shattered.  I was fucked (for want of a better word…!).
My anxiety – untreated and undiagnosed – turned into depression over winter (one of my trouble points on any given year!) – but fuelled with the hurt and resentment of the swelling, issues, anxiety, and my distaste of my wonky, still “unattractive” body….  I forfeited into a spiral of self-hatred and ended up totally lost.
If you’ve read my previous (and very infrequent, very distanced) blogs this year – you’ll have probably caught onto the fact that I wasn’t very ‘ok’.  I thought I had it covered… hell, I’ve been through worse in the past (or so I thought!) – but this was a whole new kettle of fish.  I was in unchartered territory – again – and it left me completely lost.

I went in search of outlets and ‘help’ throughout different avenues this year – including the Brisbane and Sydney Emazon STAND conventions in March and September.  These taught me that there is far more to life than the ‘superficial’ (which I already knew) and pushed me to re-discover and re-connect with my Spirit – and work on finding meaningful relationships with everything in my world.  Including myself – one of my hardest tasks.   
Trying to piece myself together after a massive physical transformation, I was coming unstuck.  Literally.  The surgery – "I thought" – was going to help me feel better about myself.  To help me facilitate some awesome self-love that was still lacking.  Help me be brave and put myself out there – so maybe someone else could see past the exterior and like Amy (god knows my biggest fear is ending up completely alone for the rest of my life…!).   But there it was – in cold hard black and white (or in my case, black and blue!) – the superficial was NOT my answer.  The surgery had failed me in that respect.  My weightloss, therefore, felt like it had failed me too.
I was emptier AFTER surgery than I've ever felt before.   …. And it broke my freaking heart.  
I didn’t look how I wanted – I didn’t like what I saw – I felt rejected, dejected and foul.  It wasn’t “the best thing you’ll ever do Amy!” as I’d heard numerous times prior surgery –  I resented what I saw in the mirror – and even worse, resented the girl staring back at me who had DONE THAT TO ME!  I blamed her for my brokenness.  I hated where I was.
I was full of hate and hurt…. again.  Just like I was when I was twice my size.   THAT is what hurts the most…  How did I end up right back there again?!  

Twelve months later, and I’m still being asked about the surgery.  I went AWOL for a while – trying to deal with everything. I felt I couldn’t comment in a positive light, so I just stopped commenting at all.  People would ask me for specific details, and photos – and it’d take all my energy not to want to shake them and tell them ‘DON’T DO IT!!!’… but I knew that’s not how I felt entirely about it all.  I was just hurting.
There is still a wad of leftover skin on my belly….  That’s something they don’t tell you either – here I was thinking it was going to help rid all that, but NO – there’s only “so much they can take” because its living tissue / blood loss issues mean they can only do so much.   When I was carrying the amount of skin that I was, from having been the size I was, I was left with more skin than I actually realised…  I learnt that the hard way.
I’ve deliberately refrained from showing pictures.  I’m still struggling with body shame – and quite frankly I can see no need to showcase pics of me in my undies for public scrutiny!   I’m far too scared of the damage that may do… even though I’ve suggested in the past that I would offer those up “when I was brave enough”.  Truth is, I’m just not.   I’d love to show the difference between the before and after- it’s quite significant (or at least, moreso at the beginning of the year before my self-sabotage stint) – but I don’t think it’s ‘show worthy’ (my stomach isn’t flat – my body is bumpy and lumpy and I still carry wads of skin in other areas that upset me…).  So it’ll remain private – and as it is, I can barely look at those photos myself without ending up upset.  Looking in the mirror now is hard enough – I haven’t even HAD photos taken in the last few months because of the decline in my mental state in relation to my body.  I feel as though we haven’t even been on speaking terms for bulk of this year.
That’s the thing right there.  The disappointment in the physicality has instigated a serious shift in perspective in my mental state – a very rapid, very dangerous decline.  It had taken me YEARS to like what my body was achieving – losing the weight, getting fitter, reshaping – I was actually starting to LIKE who and what I was!!    There’s one photo taken just a week or so before surgery in a dress at Finale, end of November, that I was totally in love with!  I was just radiant – super happy – and it showed in my face, in my  body, in the way I talked, laughed, looked…
Twelve months later, and I’m a mess.   My body gave out when my heart and head did.  I’m pretty sure I just gave up mid this year. It was just too much. Too hard.  I was over it.  I ached from tip to toe.  Physically and mentally.  I couldn’t breathe from the anxiety, and I didn’t care because my heart hurt so much.  
Add to that, I’d put myself ‘out there’ earlier in the year, hoping I was a bit more desirable (also mistakenly assuming I was more comfortable in my skin) – I’d been met with a string of rejections.  Having my heart ripped out of my chest when I connected with someone, when they chose someone else – well that was the last straw.  I don’t think I recovered after that – to me, that was the biggest confirmation that I was still unwanted – still not good enough.  I stopped looking, I shut down, I gave up on that too.  In my eyes, I was too hideous and foul – and at the rate my esteem was plummeting – too gross of a person, on the inside as much as the outside, to love anyway…  (I’m still fighting this thinking…!)

Lots of tears and lots of FOOD MEDICATING later – and a couple of months ago I’d had enough.  I was tired of crying, tired of hating myself, tired of fighting over and over again the same shit day in, day out.  I was pissed off that I was fighting depression-symptoms again, and I was TERRIFIED that I was heading towards self-harm territory like I’ve dealt with in the past.  Absolutely terrified – and totally fucked off.  I DID NOT WORK MY ARS E OFF TO GO BACK THERE!!!
I wasn’t getting anywhere on my own – I wasn’t winning.  The anxiety had turned festy, and I KNEW I wasn’t winning against that - everything upset me and every day I was contending with 'something'.  I was more inclined to eat my emotions, my body was aching even though I wasn’t training, and I was tired.  Constantly, utterly tired.  I had unexplained pain and fatigue – tendonitis in my arm, severe joint immobility and now a heel spur from seemingly out of nowhere!  My body was breaking down – right along with my head.   So I sought help.   I pulled in my stubborn Taurean head and went to the Dr…
Last couple of months I’ve been on low-dose anti-depressants to help calm the anxiety (and for the most part it’s worked, I don’t rock sonic shockwaves nearly as much now! I was VERY anti-drugs prior to this, so was a major decision for me to go down this path) – and despite my fear of counselling (for valid reasons from prior experience) – I found a local counsellor to go and talk to.  I was punishing myself with massive self-blame, and it was unravelling me.  She was pretty quick to pick up on that in the first couple of sessions – and her questioning me on why I was so adamant on taking the blame for EVERYTHING, and then sabotaging and hating myself for it (when it wasn’t always warranted or even my fault!) - was a key to helping me start turning it around.
I started implementing other techniques aswell - including positive meditation that I’d listen to of a night, and gave myself permission to step back from “the weightloss world” and look after myself for a while.  I hadn’t been able to do that before…  (I felt compelled to help everyone – but then I was hating myself for being a “failure” in the process, a hypocrite – who’d want to listen to the girl who couldn’t even sort her own shit out?!!).  And let’s not even mention the hideous jealousy…  Ohhhh dear god, green eyed monster for sure!    I took myself off dating sites, and I deleted a wad of people from my social networks that I just couldn’t handle ‘for now’ (sorry if that was you, ha!).   I sat on my arse, I ate whatever I wanted, I slept as much as I could and I tried not to let my head go rancid.   I put myself into a bubble for a while – it was time to heal.

So that’s where I find myself today.  Twelve months on from my first reconstructive surgery.  They took about 4kgs of skin off – and in 12 months I’ve put on 15kgs (was nearly 20) – became reclusive – regurgitated some serious self-hatred of times gone by – and learnt some hardcore home truths about being superficial!      My heart hurts for the life lessons I’ve had to endure – but in saying that, had I not gone through this, had everything been “peachy and beautiful” – I’d have missed some of my biggest turning points and experience.  I wouldn’t have found gratitude in other areas or learnt to take the hits the way I have. 

Was it the best thing I've ever done for myself?  Well no - but it has played its part in helping reshape me - physically and mentally.  There are benefits in lesser loose skin - although I spend bulk of my time pulling my undies up now because they keep rolling down over a belly that's out of shape to the rest of me!  I find myself with pockets of fat that weren't there before, with the sabotage-gain and lack of weight training muscle loss - I guess the fat cells have to accumulate somewhere else?!    But I can do pushups now without wanting to hang my head in shame because my gut falls on the floor - which is something that used to send me into fits of tears....  And when I run (if and when I can run these days!) - it doesn't hurt my belly as much as it used to or slap against my thighs  (that's not to say there aren't other issues though - thigh slappage of its own accord is still there!!!).   My body is nowhere near perfect - it's anything but - but it's mobile, and now that I'm back to looking after it PROPERLY - not fueled with hatred or wrong goals - I hope we can start talking again, and make some progress.  I sincerely hope the twelve months ahead can turn this experience into a positive learning curve, and help facilitate some real self-love and acceptance for what I am, who I am, as I am. 

Weightloss can no longer be my main focus.  It’s EGO based, and reflects badly against the person I am within.  It’s superficial and living off the Ego of weightloss success - without having created a tangible, meaningful esteem behind it - leaves you longing and empty.  Let that be my lesson to you all right there!!   My “success” is not found on the scales – it’s in my strength of character, my honesty in myself, my integrity in accountability.   Who I am is not measured on anything other than the heart inside – and as it stands, she’s pretty ok – even with the multiple hits this year that have taken a few chunks out of it.

Would I like a smaller arse?  Sure. 
Do I want to lose this gain and go back to my smallest size pre-surgery?  Yes. 
Will I surrender to quick gimmicks, shortcuts, self-manifesting diabolical obsessive body-smashing or unnecessary starvation to get the results I want?   Hell no.  
Will I have more surgery in the future?  I don’t know.
Will I overcome my twelve months of hurt?  Yes.

Will I be ok?  Yes.