The truth about major life changes-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
ONE month short of a year, I had bariatric surgery. It changed my life and I am happy that I had it done. At that point in time, I was pretty sure that I had one foot inside Death’s door with all the illnesses that I had. The complications were pretty bad too. Sometimes I would stay up all night for fear that if I sleep, I will never wake up again. Yes, that bad. I remember feeling scared and hopeless. I wanted to panic but I fought it and tried to think about things as logically and as calmly as I possibly could. It was really difficult especially when different types of medical problems seem to be all lined up just waiting for a chance to finish me and erase me from the face of this earth! Amid all the depressing drama, I figured I had to do something to make my situation more life-associated. I guess I was freaking people out with my gloomy status messages and my views on dying. Hehe. So as my last ditch effort to prolong my life, I had the surgery and happy to say, I have been in my best self since then! Happy ending, right? Uhm. Not exactly.
Life is not a fairy tale. Some parts may end like a dream but well, as you may know, there are nightmare conclusions, too! The good thing about the whole process of living is that fact that at some point, when things are bad, it will get better! We should learn to survive the ups and downs of our rollercoaster lives by being hopeful and yes, by preparing ourselves for what might happen in the future. Being able to anticipate what could happen, will never guarantee that life and the flux that it brings with it will be stress and worry-free but at least, we are able to minimize being caught with our pants down! There is no worse feeling than being defenseless. The weird thing about it is that preparing yourself for the worse can be as simple as acknowledging the fact that bad things can happen to good people.
Having my weight loss surgery is not the end of my struggle as a fat person. Although I have lost a total of 120 pounds, I am still big at 230. Don’t get me wrong, losing the weight that I have managed to do so allowed me countless second and third chances in life, not mentioning the whole new world of possibilities that I now have at arm’s reach! It is a big deal for me to be at 230 lbs because the last time I managed to be that “light” (yes! LIGHT! hehe) was more than 20 years ago, as a college freshman! I have been fat all my life, weighing 123 pounds in grade 2 and so my mind has long been wired as fat! I have always been such a foodie that I consider food as one of my best friends. It has been my constant companion in times of depression, jubilation and all the other emotions in between! Can you just imagine being faced with the reality that I have to give most of it up? Errrrrrr. But I had to, because I wanted to live longer and comfortably. I listed all the reasons why I needed to do it and what I would get if I didn’t -- obviously, the truth was so in-my-face that I REALLY needed to do it at once!
Preparing for major life changes is no joke. It is not something you just get into without fully realizing what you are up against. It needs a certain degree of preparedness and acceptance that you are about to give up something that has been part of you for as long as you can remember. When the changes that we choose to make will end up redefining who we are and how we know ourselves to be, we need to be emotionally and psychologically prepared for it. Sure the before and after pictures will be great and inspirational to those who are struggling but really, the success of anything we do in life goes beyond achieving what you set out to do. Success in life (and much of the work needed to be done) lies in our ability to maintain what we have achieved. We need to keep going at it, being mindful that the changes that we managed to make are only as good as our ability to preserve the good effects of what we have done.
Continued success with major life changes requires effort and a lot of patience! From the point where you start realizing that you are slowly losing yourself in all the challenges that life has thrown at you; and as you sink deeper into that abyss of self-doubt and negative emotions, you know something needs to be done soon. Sure you can hold off and pretend nothing is wrong for as long as you can but eventually, you will have to face it. You are bound to feel awful and hopeless but don’t give up. Try to live a day at a time. Try to take things in a stride so that the magnitude of your problem does not overwhelm you. Yes, feeling that you have lost control of your life can be unnerving but you have to try not to lose your ground completely! Take a deep breath and try to stay calm. It is hard to make sense of things when you are all stressed out! You will eventually get to that point of accepting that things are what they are and that they need to be dealt with courage and a sound mind.
It has almost been a year after my life-changing decision and I can say I am still very much in the thick of adjustment! There are good and bad days and yes, there are worse days too! Yet I have learned to take things in a stride and try not to dwell too much on the negative. I constantly re-evaluate what I have been able to do and also continue to try and find better ways to achieve what I have yet to accomplish. I remind myself of the good things that I have been able to do so far, yet I am also mindful of the fact that I should not be too complacent about how far I have come. When troubles come, I try to keep my cool so that I am able to think straight. It is a never ending thing I figured, but, there is a sense of pride that just makes me feel good when I know I have managed to jump over another hurdle.
So keep going when you are faced with new challenges AFTER you have made the life-changing decision. You have made it this far so you might as well enjoy the rest of the ride! When failures come and they will repeatedly, forgive yourself and try again! Yes, there will be discouraging moments and one might even reach that point giving up, but don’t. Just hang in there. Major life changes are humbling experiences that test our capability to endure and adjust to new things. As we learn from our own experiences, let us apply these lessons as we see fit so that we are able to reshape and improve ourselves. There is no grander feeling than that feeling of accomplishment borne of our best effort, blood, sweat and tears that we have emerged a changed, better person.
Happy Sunday Everyone! :)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 06, 2013.