Well, I finally did it

Posted: November 21, 2012 in Bariatric surgery, Bullying, Futility, regrets, Stress, Weight loss

Warning: This isn’t exactly an upbeat piece. There’s some profanity. If it bothers you, my apologies.

I sat in the Nerd Lair Monday night, opened the bottle of John Jameson and had a drink. This is not something I do often anymore. See, alcohol and insulin aren’t always the best of bedfellows.

It’s not that I’m a teetotaler. I have my share of nights I don’t remember. Granted, that was mostly back in college. Suffice it to say, I had a day Monday that was simply booze-worthy.

Not sure why it was so bad… just one of those days I felt like King Midas in reverse. Everything I touched turned to shit. So, I sat in the half-light, nursing a whiskey on the rocks and feeling sorry for myself. That’s the one thing I was excelling at yesterday. That and generally being very down.

Now, Supportive Partner Woman (Very supportive!) has been good at attending to my moodiness. She always asks what she can do to make me happy (or at least happier), but I never really seem to know what will boost my mood for the long-term. That’s pretty sad, when you stop and think about it.

I don’t really know what makes me happy anymore.

That’s not an indictment of SPW (Best friend I’ve ever had!)… not by any stretch. If there’s a better match for me out there, well, I’d need to see some serious proof before I was convinced. Maybe the issue is that I don’t seem to have any dreams any more. I just can’t conjure up enthusiasm for much of anything. What I do find myself enjoying winds up being a quick fix and it’s all too soon back to cold reality.

Maybe I just stopped trying to have fun because I figured I’d screw it up anyway. The awkward part of myself is like a bull in a china shop and the uptight side of myself tells the other side, “See? This is why we can’t have nice things!” It’s like I just broke the collectible Elvis plates that mama had stashed around the double wide.

The only thing I feel I’ve ever been marginally successful at is being fat. And yet I still manage to mess that up by not being jolly. Pretty sad when you can’t even be a proper fat guy.

I can’t help thinking that maybe what I need is some success. Something to just go right. A break. Maybe a day when my commute to work is not filled with red lights, tractor trailers, cement mixers, Amish buggies and the armada of complete dickholes who think that them getting to a stoplight 2 seconds before I do is important.  Maybe a day when my hips and ankles don’t hurt. Maybe a period of time when I can stop being so judgmental of everyone and everything. Maybe a day when I’m not angry and bitter about one thing or another.

I certainly wasn’t raised to be this way, but it’s been this way for a long time.

I’m not kidding about the long time part, either. The last time I can truly remember being generally happy would be third grade. See, when I went to the fourth grade, I changed schools. I was the new kid, I wasn’t popular. I was bigger than most of the other kids and I was bullied. Bullied for being new, for being awkward, because my family wasn’t in the right tax bracket.

Bullied for being different.

I wasn’t physically bullied very much… I was bigger (taller, too) than most of the other kids and I could hold my own. It was mostly mental… the taunting, the insults. The worst bullying really came from my sixth grade social studies/reading/spelling teacher. That was pretty much just a mind-fuck (excuse the language) by a vindictive bitch of a teacher who had about as much right to teach kids as a pedophile does to be a camp counselor. My crime? I made the mistake of arguing over the spelling of a word that was mistyped on the vocabulary sheet. According to the sheet, “Research” was spelled “Reasearch”. I pointed it out and for that I was branded as disruptive, my desk was moved to the corner and I spent most of the year being basically ostracized. Bad enough it happened with that particular teacher, but she passed the word to the other teachers that I was trouble and it took an awful lot to work out from under that shadow. I don’t know that I ever fully emerged. The really good news is that it’s my understanding that she went on to be a guidance counselor. How’s that for a kick in the teeth?

Where were my parents during all this? Well, they were old school. They believed that the teacher was always right. Apparently I was neither the first nor the last target for this particular teacher and once the parental units found out about that, they apologized for not listening to me.

I think I started dying a little on the inside at that point. I know I stopped trying in school, figuring if I didn’t always get great grades, maybe other kids would like me. That didn’t work too well… they just made fun of me for getting lower grades. I put on a big show of  “I don’t care”, but the truth is I did care, and it hurt. It hurt a lot. I tried that whole “sticks and stones” thing… yeah. That didn’t work so well. Because even a small trickle of water will eventually cut through a rock.

It came down to me trusting no one… not even myself. I never went to anyone about this. I just became adept at bullshit. Call it my coping mechanism. Well, fast forward 30+ years and my gift of bullshit is deserting me. Maybe it’s not deserting me, maybe I just realize I’m getting older and other than SPW and a few close friends, I don’t have anyone. I have plenty of acquaintances, but few friends.

I’ve been on the fence about the surgery for several months. I guess a large part of me was scared that even if I do get down to a normal weight, I’ll still hear the comments, the snide remarks about the rhino in the room. You know what? I’ve spent my whole life worrying about what other people might think. The people who don’t matter.

You know what I say?

Screw ’em. Screw ’em all.

I’m doing it because it offers the best chance for me to improve my physical health and my mental health. I’ve been cowed for 30+ years and I’m not going to put up with it anymore. Gotta move on.

All that being said, I made a lot of mistakes in my life. I don’t deny that. I caused hurt to people and I regret that most deeply. If I ever hurt you and didn’t apologize, well, I’m truly sorry. On the other hand, if you were an asshole to me and it never bothered you, I’m sorry for you. But if figuratively kicking someone who’s down made you feel that much better about yourself, well, I’m so glad I could help.

So, there you have it. I’m getting the operation. And it’s going to be a success.

God knows I need one.

I also want to point out that I have a lot to be thankful for and it’s not all gloom and doom. I have a good family, I’m not living on the streets and I have the best wife I could ever want. She’s my rock.

Comments
  1. Stacy Wendt says:

    Powerful.

    One thing I discussed in a Bible Study years ago. Something that has stuck with me is this: You can change it. You can be a different person. Not that you can erase grade school and how it affected the person you are. But you can be different. If you are a more confident, successful person because you are taking this step, no one is going to remember that you were the less confident, less successful person you think you are today. We all have made a lot of mistakes in life. Everyone. Sometimes we’re lucky. Sometimes we’re not.

    We think of the definitions of who we are as written on stone tablets. They’re not. We can reinvent ourselves and find new ways to be. It’s the joy of humanity that we can do these things, make these changes.

    I applaud your decision to take a big leap. You have all my prayers and good thoughts. And yes, it will be a success. Because you will make it one.

  2. lle2010 says:

    Don’t worry about what other people think. This is YOUR life and you are doing this for you. As you say, you are on the road to being a healthier person. Not everyone has the courage to follow through. Kudos to you!

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