I already blogged today, I know, but I guess I just have a lot to say...imagine that.
Tonight was support group and it was awesome. There were over 20 people there tonight but only about 5 of us had bands already. The rest of the people were there as part of their pre-op requirement. One guy had four family members there for support. All in all, there were a variety of different experiences around the table and it’s great to be able to learn from each other, as well as help calm the new people.
I just feel so great coming home from my meetings. The people there are my people, you know? We are all there for the same reason, because we have had a life-long history of weight problems, because we love food, because we (are trying to) love ourselves more. Together we just get it.
One lady admitted that she had had a few procedures in the past but was trying again with the Band. Another lady was going to have to endure her pre-op liquid diet while on a birthday cruise (holy buffets Batman!) and then there was the South Side Irish gentleman with all the questions. A guy who had already been denied and discouraged from two hospitals before coming to us, where he said he already felt welcome.
What do I bring to the table? I bring nametags so that we can remember each other. I bring hand-outs of things I find online or I make myself. I bring business cards with my blog information on it. I bring a sign-up sheet for my Facebook group that I am admin for. I bring stories. I bring advice. I bring unconditional support to people like me who have run face first into a brick wall. I bring myself, bare and vulnerable.
I just wrote a post this afternoon about wanting to fit in. At group I don’t have to explain what the band is or why on earth I would consider getting one. Everyone gets it. Everyone is the same.
Maybe I’m so into it because I am a teacher? Whatever the reason I know damn well I couldn’t have made it even this far without staying immersed in my new community. I understand how AA works. I get it AA people. You can give something up but you can’t take it out of who you are.
My husband has an old football t-shirt from high school with a quote on the back that says “The strength of the wolf is in the pack, but the strength of the pack is in the wolf.”