I’m lying down gritting my teeth as the bariatric surgeon attempts to find my LapBand port with his needle. I’ve come into the good doc’s office because I need my band filled to increase the restriction around my stomach therefore limiting what I can eat. He isn’t necessarily having difficulty finding the port, it’s more like he is having a hard time getting the needle in the correct position to inject the fluid. After the fourth attempt I wince in pain, he looks up and is visibly frustrated, “well if you weren’t so fat I wouldn’t have any trouble with this!”
Wait… hold on there cowboy. Wasn’t I approved for LapBand surgery BECAUSE I was fat??? If I was thin, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t of had weight loss surgery…. Right? That’s kind of his specialty right??? Operating on, and have patients, who are… you know… fat???
He never does find the correct position, and ends up poking a hole in the tubing connecting the port to the bad; therefore, creating a LapBand flat tire. All the fluid eventually leaks out of my band and I have zero restriction. I can tell this has happened by the second day, and I am PISSED.
When I first came home from the appointment with that bariatric surgeon, I felt really ashamed. I was ashamed I was fat. Ashamed I wasn’t able to control my weight and be in a “normal” BMI. Ashamed of who I was as a human. Why was being normal so difficult for me? I wallowed in my pain through the night, and the next morning I could tell something was wrong with my band. I tried eating scrambled eggs for breakfast, and it went down easily. That’s not good. Normally, in the mornings (if you have a LapBand), you have the most restriction and liquid is the only thing that will go down. At that point I knew my band was broken, and I went from shame to red hot anger. I was angry I had let the doctor talk to me that way. I was angry I had felt ashamed. I was angry I had let the doctor initially talk me into LapBand surgery. I was angry I had not had the success that I saw many others have with the LapBand. I was angry that I was angry about this!
When my husband came home from work, I immediately informed him my band was broken and the world should burn. He seemed to take this all in stride and responded with, “babe, I think you gotta let this anger go. It’s hard on your health.” To which I responded with, “how the $%&* am I supposed to do that?!?!?!”
And that, right there, is my issue with “letting go”. I really like the idea of letting go, visually it looks like your holding a balloon and you just let go of it. The balloon gently drifts into the atmosphere and away from you. Wouldn’t it be nice if all our messy emotions would just do that… slowly drift away from us by simply thinking “let go”? It’s a nice concept, but that doesn’t really work for me. I think my letting go balloons are actually pieces of concrete chained to my ankle. Not real sure how to let concrete float all gentle like in the air… but I digress.
Letting go implies that whatever it is you’re holding onto or obsessing about is bad, and you need to eliminate that from your life. That very thought though, that thought of needing to eliminate the bad parts of us, creates more tension and feeds whatever it is that we consider bad.
Our lives are dynamic and filled with good, bad, and a range of moments and emotions. Sometimes the moments we consider bad, or the emotions we consider bad, end up being gateways to a more compassionate, loving life. I’m not saying I want to live a life of constant suffering to be a more compassionate human, but maybe these “bad” things we are going through and feeling have a bigger story to tell later on down the road.
So what does letting it be look like? Letting it be can be defined as loosening our grip. What if instead of judging myself for being angry I let the anger be and breathed through it. I don’t deny its existence, shame its existence, or numb its existence through food or drink. I try not to judge myself for being angry, but rather realize its a normal part of being human.
But why do this? Why take the time and energy to relax our body and breathe through difficult emotions? Wouldn’t it just be easier to eat through it, or use whatever coping mechanism of choice? Taking time to breathe through all these crappy emotions takes time and patience… and I would rather use that time for something much more fun and exciting. Except, its draining to live a life where we are constantly responding to emotional triggers. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to continue to compromise my health and well being for repressed emotional crap.
My New Year’s Resolution was to enjoy the moment more. I want to be present in life, not repressing and attempting to let go! By opening myself up to feeling my emotions, whatever they are, then I also open myself up to really feeling joy. I don’t think I’ve felt joy in a long time, but I also haven’t allowed myself to really feel ANY emotions and let them be.
What do you think? Do you think there is a difference between letting go and letting be? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading,