CW: Disordered eating, surgery
My sister and I are really close. We text most days, and talk a few times a month. We live 3,000 miles apart in different time zones, so text helps bridge those gaps in time and place.
Not too long ago, though maybe it was almost a year at this point because what is time right now, we were talking about work or something. The only part of the conversation I remember clearly is her saying, “Stephanie, you are insanely successful.” I’m still thinking about it now because that was the first time I’d ever thought of the word successful in relation to myself. Not once. About anything.
Earlier this week I had breast reduction surgery. There is an entire other post about that, maybe a few, because WOW this is crazy. I was telling her that right before the surgery, my doctor, the plastic surgeon, came in to draw all over my chest. As I stood up beside the bed and pulled the hospital johhny down, he asked how tall I am. After I told him, he said, Oh that’s right – you’re tall and skinny. A plastic surgeon called me(!) skinny.
I have been resting all week, propped up on pillows in bed or on the couch. The first few days were spent with pain meds round the clock, though now the pain is only really bad at night. Pain is always worse at night. I’ve spent the week looking down at my diminished chest, wrapped tight in a post surgical bra, and the soft swell of my belly below. I have been thinking (while on pain meds and without pain meds) about how to get rid of this belly while managing to follow the strict orders of rest for two weeks, and severely diminished activities for at least a month while I heal. I know this thinking is warped. I am far enough along into a life with disordered eating to know these thoughts are not quite right.
I mentioned this disordered thinking to my sister and she had two things to say. One, which I know logically, is that my body needs calories to heal and recover. I usually track what I eat and plan my meals, but for this week and the next few weeks I will continue to eat what my body craves. This is what will help me heal best.
Then she said, “I wish there was a magic wand that made every woman look at themselves realistically. But that would probably destroy half of the economy.”
She’s pretty smart, my sister. All of this is to say that I’m really lucky to have her drop these pieces of gold into our conversations and texts. Sometimes she can even get me to see myself the way she does. That’s priceless.