I know I have to update everyone on how my surgery went and how my recovery is going, but right now, I just need to get some things off of my chest. Just to warn you all, this is going to be an extremely vulnerable post. This is life though and this is real and people need to hear it.
First things first, I need people to understand how hard it has been to go through this surgery. Gastric bypass takes away your coping method, your addiction. I loved food more than I ever knew. I didn’t realize how food made me feel better. I didn’t realize it really was an honest-to-god addiction. Without it, I have nothing. Without it, I feel a sadness that most could never relate to.
The surgery also makes people treat you differently. Friends forget that there’s other things to do than go out to eat or get drunk. You stop getting invited to everything. If you can’t drink and you can’t eat, what the hell can you do I guess. I’ve never felt so lonely in my life. You also get the most backhanded compliments like, “Wow, you look so much better.” Thanks, good to know I was a disgusting troll before. People also love to make the rudest comments like, “Do you think this will make you happy.” Actually, I think it’s going to be quite the opposite.
My two best friends moved away this year and I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be without them, especially after going through all of this. I had a falling out with one before he left and although we’ve been good, it just left a sour taste in my mouth. He was pretty much my everything in Toronto, the only person that understood how sick I get and how to take care of me. I miss him every day. It’s just been a weird time when it comes to my friends. No one has really been there for me in the way that I need, but you can only ask so much of people. The world doesn’t revolve around me and they have their own lives. I get it. I just wish I wasn’t so incredibly lonely all the time. Even in a crowded room, I just feel lonely.
Don’t even get me started on how sick I’ve been. People have said that I’m being “dramatic.” Well let me tell you, no one has any idea what it’s like until they walk a mile in my shoes. Hell, I can’t even walk a mile so I guess no one will ever know! I can’t even get out of bed most days between feeling dizzy and nauseous. Add in muscle and joint pain and I swear I’m living in a constant hell. The worst part is the people that try to make me feel guilty for missing class. Excuse me? You have no idea what I’m going through. I’m tired of being trivialized. People need to remember that invisible diseases are still diseases. You can’t see them, but they exist. Add in two surgeries and four hospital stays in two months? Plus all of my other complications? What do people expect! It’s so ridiculous how quick everyone is to judge. I’m sad enough that I have to miss class and my grades are slipping. I don’t need people adding to it.
This has been a hard year for me. It’s had a lot of ups, but even more downs. I’ve lost three people in my life that meant more to me than I knew. Right after my surgery my 25 year old cousin died of an overdose. As usual, I was the rock for my family and held it together, but inside I was falling apart. He was too young, the whole situation is just so unfair. My cousins name was Ben. He had it rough from the start, but he’s always had a good heart. We were best friends when we were little. We both had addicts for parents and never wanted that for ourselves. Ben and I would sit around and talk about how great our lives were going to be. We had such big dreams. My last conversation with Ben was about how we should write a book together. I couldn’t even tell how bad he was hurting inside. A few years ago, he lost his mother to complications from addiction. His siblings live in Texas, one struggles with breast cancer and the other is in prison. Both had addiction problems. Eventually, Ben was lead down the same path. It made me so sad to watch but I never was prepared for this. I know it’s not my fault but obviously I’m upset that I couldn’t save him.
I’ve felt a lot of guilt in my life. That’s the feeling that haunts me every night as I lie in bed. I got out of my family’s way of life. I was so lucky that my mother chose my father at 17. She always told me that was the only good decision she’s ever made. When I was 11, my mother abandoned my siblings and I. They stayed with their father and my father took me. While he really had no interest in raising a child, I was lucky to have his mother. My Meme saved me and I’ll never be able to repay her in the way that she deserves.
I was the biggest dreamer when I was little and I get to live out all of my dreams with my Meme. I get to see the world, buy whatever I want, live a life that’s more than I ever expected. All while watching the other side of my family fall apart. I watch kids get abused, neglected, put in situations that no child should ever have to witness. Do you know how hard it is to be at a concert and get a phone call from your teenage cousin talking about how much she wants to kill herself? And you’re hours away and there’s nothing you can do? And you got out? You were the lucky one? How is that fair.
This weighs on my conscience every day. I cry every night. I cry because there’s nothing I can do to help these people. They are tortured souls, and maybe I am too. I’m just a tortured soul that gets to hide behind how great my life seems. People brush me off when I’m sad or angry. They think because I have money I can’t have problems. Listen, my problems are as real as it gets. So next time you think you understand someones life, please reconsider.
There’s nothing I want more than to save people. I’m doing everything I can to save my brothers and my cousin. I try to show them that there are better things in this world than what we come from. I try to be the best role model possible. I try and I try and I try. At the end of the day though, there’s nothing I can do and that kills me. They might fall into the same trap as the rest of the family and there is literally nothing I can do to stop it. That doesn’t stop me from feeling an immense amount of pressure though.
I’ve tried to talk to people in the past, I’ve tried medicine, I’ve tried exercising. None of those things work for me. I come from a tragic past, there’s nothing anyone can say or do to change that or make me forget about it. I think about it every single day. Sometimes I just wish I could call my mother to tell her about the crush I have. Sometimes I want to tell my dad about that A+ I got on a paper. That just isn’t my reality though. My reality is that my mother is living under some bridge selling herself for drugs. My father is too preoccupied with his new fiance and money to remember I exist. There’s just so many things in my life that I wish I could forget about, because I can’t take this pain, I don’t know how to handle this pain.
The only thing I can do to get my feelings out is sing and write. So here I am, listening to Demi Lovato as I write this. As she says, “I admit that I’m in and out of my head.” I don’t even know where this story is coming from. I’m just writing what I feel without a filter. I’m tired of the sadness, the judgements, the guilt, the pressure, the pain.
I might seem lucky, but I’m far from the lucky one.