Last year I had weight loss surgery. I’ve talked about it briefly here and there and I temporarily opened a separate Instagram account so I could share stuff and follow similar accounts. But – before starting I knew that account would be short lived. I know myself pretty well you see and knew that it would take over my life if I let it. And I did not want my life to be about my weight loss surgery, as it had been (perhaps still is) about food and weight and so forth. (Indeed, I eventually ditched my Diet Schmiet blog for that exact reason!)
I DID NOT WANT IT TO DEFINE ME.
My friend Denyse has been battling with cancer and recently talked about this very issue. And – even though my weight issues (the anorexia that started in 1983 to the binge eating that still sometimes plagues me today) are my own doing, and not foisted upon me – I could kinda understand. She wants her old life back, as much as possible. She wants normality.
My aunt’s recently undergone chemotherapy and grappling with life-after and knowing she’ll be on all sorts of medications forever. I can see she’s trapped in a world focussed on her health. And I get it. I really get it. But I can also see (and kinda know first hand) how damaging it can be. When you’re there, it feels almost impossible to crawl out. I mean, how on earth can you think about anything else when you’re confronted with something like that?! It’s far too easy to become defined by our struggle.
It won’t surprise you to know I don’t have answers. When you read advice from those in the know they’ll talk about therapy to help accept (rationalise as much as possible) what’s happening, or to assist us in grieving. They’ll also recommend doing things to take your mind off it. Finding a sense of purpose outside of your illness or whatever is taking your thoughts captive. It’s suggested you do things for others, often in the hope we’re reminded that – in some ways (though it’s hard to remember in that moment) – you’re fortunate. Perhaps more fortunate than others. Perhaps not.
On that note (and in my usual self-obsessed way) it occurs to me I’m actually less likely to feel sorry for myself and play the victim when I actually have reason to. When I’m reminded of the preciousness (or finite nature) of life I’m more likely to bunker down and get the fuck on with things. I do look around me and remember that others have it WAAAAY worse.
It’s when life is going swimmingly that ‘poor Deborah’ emerges. And yes, What the actual fuck?! Perhaps it makes sense. With nothing to distract me I have too much time on my hands to overanalyse every element of my life. And come up short.
Anyhoo… that weirdness aside, at a time (of late) when I’m talking balance and learning from the past, I’m kinda glad I decided not focus too much on my weightloss surgery, or let it become who I am. I’m more than happy to (continue to) be defined by my sparkling personality and amazing wit. 😉
Have you let something (in your life or that of those around you) define you?
The Lovin’ Life team includes: