They say good friends should be like a good bra….hold you up when you are down, make you look and feel fabulous, and are always close to your heart.
Last week, after I wrote my manifesto about needing and wanting support …I figured after pouring out my struggle for all to hear, I had to actually do it. Find the support that is. I had such a huge response of love and comments and likes for my blog post that I had the push I needed to seek and follow through.
The first step I took was figuring out exactly what I wanted to say (and you think this just comes so easily for me) and draft an intro about myself that would explain who I am TODAY. Not who I was on March 4, 2013, but TODAY after being on the road for so long. I started with contacting my own FB support group that I am the admin for. I felt like I had abandoned them because I had been going strong with keeping the group active and talking, taking in new members and fostering a good question and answer forum. I said I was sorry that I hadn’t been posting anymore, that I felt like I really effed up and just didn’t want to face myself or anybody else for that matter.
You know what? Everyone was going through the SAME THING. So by acknowledging my fault and asking for help, I was opening the door for everyone else to do the same. One of our members that hadn’t been to the surgeon and didn’t want to do the walk of shame, decided to make an appointment just because I said I had just done this and it wasn’t that scary or embarrassing. Another of our members also wrote a blog post of their own again, who like me hadn’t written in ages and didn’t want to write and have to say they had backtracked. Right there that FIRST DAY in seeking help, others were starting to come forward.
The second thing I did was get together for dinner with two friends that also had surgery. Yes we had two baskets of chips and Margaritas… but we were MEETING face to face to talk about what was, what is, and what can be. We agreed to try much harder to have a monthly dinner if anything for the prof and validation that we are still IN THIS. For accountability good or bad.
Step three was to search for some new online groups. I know it has been ages since I actually took the effort required to type “weight loss surgery support” in the search bar on Facebook, but I was pleasantly surprised how many groups there were. There were some general groups for all weight loss surgery patients, and then there were two specific groups for Lap Band patients I was particularly interested in. The admins added me right away and I posted my……Hi, my name is Rosie from Chicago…
What happened next was VERY UNEXPECTED, though if I was paying more attention in math class during the probability unit should have been crystal clear. In came tons of comments from men and women like me who also had gained back about 30%, or about 30 lbs., and they were all struggling to get it back off. This is the STATISTICAL relapse after a few years’ time so clearly it would be a pretty popular problem. It is the exact thing we are told at our very first appointment, then quickly remove from our memory thinking we are magically exempt from it ever rearing its ugly head. I kept hearing things from the new people I was meeting like….I’m with you….30 for me too….wtf is going on??....how do I get back on track… I need help too….etc. etc. A few of these members are from my area and asked to be invited if we have another unofficial support group meeting of our own. The least I can do is tell them where and when, I mean the more the merrier right?
Misery loves company.