Chatting to Marms the other night we were dissecting events in Cuba and generally waxing lyrical about what an incredible time we had all had when she said ‘I came back a married woman, you came back a new woman’. This really struck a chord with me as I do indeed feel like a new woman. The difficulty comes in being this new woman with friends who knew the old woman with all her faults and flaws and worries and wanky mental bullshit. I’m not claiming that since I’ve come back from Cuba I am suddenly some sorted non mental on the ball goddess but it does feel a little bit like I am breaking the mould I have created myself over the years and expecting my friends to keep up with me.
It’s correlated to the issue of my pre-op photos which I am not ashamed to say I untagged on Facebook in the early days of being post op because that is NOT who I am anymore and I am NOT going to go back there ever. I still have copies of those photos as a reminder of how bad it was but I did not want to be representing myself in that way on the internet having put in a lot of hard work to look like an entirely new person, if that makes sense? At the time of the great untagging, one of my friends commented that she didn’t think it was right that I had done it because it was turning my back on who I was and I actually felt a little hurt as why am I not allowed to turn my back on who I was, when who I was was someone who was close to death and desperately unhappy?
In Cuba I felt I was on top of the world, nothing was going to stop me from accomplishing those new goals I made myself – goals that I would never have dreamed of setting before I had surgery and yet back in the UK I find myself battling self doubt and worrying about friend’s expectations of me. It is not something I am going to let defeat me, it is just interesting that on holiday (when I thought I would be riddled with self doubt and confidence issues) I felt carefree and capable of doing anything I set my mind to and yet back home in what was previously considered to be my comfort zone I feel hemmed in, self conscious and scared about breaking the old mould and doing new things. Back home the terrorist chatter has started again making me wonder, am I still too fat to kayak/ski/play netball and I know it is the little girl inside me who was picked on for being fat and not gifted on the sports field making her presence again and I also know that I have to defeat that little girl somehow. It feels easy to admit defeat and stick to what I consider to be ‘safe’ hobbies such as reading, writing, and making jewellery but I feel like that would be a total cop-out and waste of this second chance at life.