Recently I sat through another enlightening therapy session with Valette. One that hurt, was pretty disappointing, BUT put a name with all that I have struggled with for a long time. It was validating to finally have the AH-HAH! moment and I am ready to move forward and share that with you all! I have found out through this process that I am hugely egotistical with little to no self-esteem since losing my surgery and living in the maintenance phase now. Absurd you say?!?! Well so did I until it was explained to me and it makes total sense and is SO true. Let me explain.
I live in a glass (egotistical) ball. The bottom is hollow and wide open. I constantly need praise and affirmation for doing the right thing to keep it filled up, when it gets low—-I self medicate by what I have done best my whole life….EAT. I don’t take criticism well and when I get it my little ball crushes around me and so I self medicate again. I received all the praise and affirmations ten fold during my weight loss journey, I was on a mission as the pounds were flying off of me. I was a poster child for my WLS center with my face plastered on Billboards, commercials, and brochures. I am a patient advisor and speak monthly at the hospital with my surgeon. The scale gave me daily affirmation in continuously going down, down, down. My friends and family were constantly telling me how good I was doing. I was feeling great! Well, guess what? I’m done losing weight and I have maintained my loss. I feel great and I had my surgery to get my health back which I have now more than ever, BUT I also had my surgery to start living. Well you ARE living Emily you say!?!?!Yes and no. Yes, I run and play with my kids and have amazing chemistry with my husband since I feel better about myself but looking back over my life, my WLS is REALLY the only thing I have done and been successful at that really sets me apart and now that the weight loss part is over, I need to stop living through my WLS and move on to things in life that will help me to find my place in this world. If I don’t then it is a recipe for disaster.
You see, I have struggled lately with grazing even if it be on the “good stuff”, I am eating way too much of it, BUT only at certain times of the month. I do really good at the end of each month and the beginning of the next month. Why? You ask? Because I have my Bariatric Care Counsel meeting on the last Wednesday of each month, I speak with my surgeon the first Wednesday of each month, and have Support Group the second Tuesday of each month. With that schedule, it keeps me in the loop and my little glass (hollowed out at the bottom) egotistical ball is full and happy. But what about the rest of the time that I am not being stimulated? I graze. Yes, I have a great support group here online that I am so thankful for. But I can’t spend as much time on here as I would like with a young family at home. So without constant interaction and accountability, I stumble and that is NOT ok! We must fix that ASAP! Thank goodness for therapy!
Here is my eye-opening conversation with my therapist….
“What makes you unique?” I said, “Well, I am a mother, friend, wife and daughter.” She stopped in middle sentence and said “That is great but those are roles, WHAT makes you unique?” I said, “I am outgoing, honest, caring, funny (I like to think), compassionate, etc.” She stopped me again and said, “That’s great but those are attributes, WHAT makes YOU unique?” I quickly responded with “I guess I am not sure what you are asking me?” She says, “Do you speak a foreign language, do you paint, have you traveled the world? What makes you unique?”As I sat there and pondered the question at hand, I realized that I really couldn’t answer her question, there really isn’t anything that makes me truly unique other than one thing…..my WLS surgery. I am not discrediting my surgery by any means, I don’t want this post to sound like that in any way shape form or fashion because I wouldn’t be finding my true WHOLE self if is wasn’t for my tool. I will be forever grateful for it.
I am on a mission to find my rubber (self-esteem) ball. People that live in a rubber ball know who they are, they stand for what they believe in (those that know me know that I have a hard time believing in myself and my story), they will defend it to its death. They are the people who when talking to them, you ask them how they are doing and they will say, “I am fine, let’s talk about you!”, I have to say that this is probably the only self-esteem trait I have. I really and truly find pleasure in hearing about other people instead of talking about myself. That is probably in part due to the fact that all I have to talk about is my WLS! Rubber Ball people also take criticism well, when they are faced with it, it bounces off (NOT crush) their little ball and has not effect on them because they know who they are and what they believe in. They know what defines them and makes them unique. They know what truly makes them happy. I always thought that if I believed in myself, it was boasting and THAT was egotistical when in fact I have it all wrong…IT’S CALLED SELF ESTEEM! So I am on a mission with a “Bucket List” being made of things that I want to do, I am scared to do but need too as part of learning who I am and who I want to be, and finding my inner self and connecting once and for all! I want to find my uniqueness!!
Bucket List coming in another post….stay tuned.