Sunday, April 30, 2006

So I promised I would let you all in on what I'm currently contemplating. But before I do, I think I should give you some background information. I think it might help you understand why I'm considering what I'm considering (does that make sense?)

I've pretty much always been an insecure different stages of life a little more so than others, but I definitely qualify. For some reason, or another, I felt like I was not as good as the next person. That is, less attractive, less intelligent, and, generally, less of a person.

It's unfortunate to feel that way so early in life, but even as a child, I often felt like that. I was a very shy child to start off with. No, not just shy, painfully shy. I had a hard time connecting with other children my age and I often felt lonely and sad. What I really wanted during those early years in school was friendship with other kids, but, unfortunately, that wasn't such an easy thing for me to achieve. Being that shy made things pretty difficult. Not to mention that I also was on the chubby side. I felt awkward in my own skin and that affected how I dealt with others too.

As time progressed, I moved from a chubby, shy, and awkward child to a chubby, shy, and awkward adolescent. This point in my life was probably the hardest. The kids at school could be pretty cruel. When I was teased in elementary school, I would often break down and cry, but as I got older, instead of becoming visibly upset, I would internalize everything that was said to me. I had little to no self-esteem, no self-confidence, and very little self-worth. I don't know how I got through that period in my life, b/c it was just that hard.

High school wasn't as bad as my earlier school days...but there were still some difficult moments I did manage to establish some friendships and by junior year I had turned a lot of things around, in part by setting goals for myself and following through on them. I brought my grades up, I lost weight (which is a whole different story), and, most importantly, I started feeling better about myself. Junior and senior years of high school probably were two of the better years of my life. I, honestly, felt like I was coming into my own and I was considerably more happy than in the past.

However, when I was dx'ed with Type 1 Diabetes, things took a turn for the worst. Not only did I have this miserable disease, but I started having doubts about myself and my future. My self-image also took a nose dive. I started gaining weight back, and not just what I lost before my dx. No, I gained what I lost and kept gaining additional weight from there. I didn't feel good about myself and it showed.

Sometimes when I went out with friends, I felt like people were looking at me in disgust or laughing at me . It sounds paranoid, but I think it did happen. People can tell when someone feels insecure or isn't confident in oneself and sometimes they play on that weakness. Sadly, those familiar negative emotions from my past school days came flooding back.

When I see myself in pictures or even in the mirror, I wonder if I see what other people see. Many times I'll see my image and think I look ok, but then something happens, and that opinion of myself changes. I know I can't let what other people say or think dictate how I feel about myself, but I guess it's just that I care too much what others think.

So the thing I am contemplating is plastic surgery...more specifically a nose job and possibly work on my chin (since I don't seem to have one). It's a drastic move, I know, but I think it will improve how I feel about myself and, for that reason, I think it's worth it.

Thursday, I actually met with a surgeon. Honestly, I wasn't impressed with her or her practice. She spoke to me for a total of maybe 10-15 minutes and she made everything seem so simple and casual. Yeah, maybe that's b/c this is her job and she does it everyday, but surgery is surgery... it shouldn't be made out to be so easy. Plus, she didn't take enough time to talk to me about it, what it involves, the risks, etc. I felt rushed and, in my opinion, that's not a sign of a good surgeon. When I asked her when she could do it...she said as early as next week(!)...with?! Not to mention, that she said it's going to cost me something like $10,000 dollars. I expected it to be a lot of money, but I guess this was even more than my highest guess.

Needless to say, I won't be choosing her as my surgeon, but I have some other appointments set up at the end of the month. One of which is with a doctor that my Mom heard of from someone she knows at work. She is still deadset against it and we even got into a minor argument about it tonight, but I think she knows it's my decision to make. I told her I know she doesn't agree with it, but we're not always going to agree on everything. I can't do everything she wants me to do to make her happy, I have to think of what's going to make me happy too. I don't know, does that sound selfish? I hope not, but maybe I need to be a little is my life after all.

Admittedly, I'm a little scared of proceeding with this too, but I have to do what I think is best for me and if this is it, so be it. I know some might say... look, you don't need surgery, you need counseling. I know this. But I'm certain that I still wouldn't be happy with my appearance and I think, sometimes, that no amount of counseling would change that. I'm not sure even surgery would change how I really feel about myself, but I tend to believe that it would be something that could make a positive impact on my life. We'll see, I'm still debating this myself and nothing is set in stone...


Blogger julia said...

Do you watch that plastic surgery show on Discovery Health Channel? I've seen it a few times and there are a lot of people having plastic surgery for the same reasons you list. If you think it's going to boost your self-confidence, then go for it.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Good luck with your decision - it definitely isn't an easy one! You are smart to talk to several surgeons first.

I see nothing wrong with it when the person has obviously put a lot of thought and consideration into it - isn't one of the biggest reasons for plastic surgery to boost self confidence? There's no way it would be so popular if most people did it out of necessity - like disfigurements or deviated septums or whatever.

12:33 PM  
Blogger art-sweet said...

I'm not opposed to plastic surgery, but I guess I wonder whether it will work to boost your confidence? I've seen a lot of people make changes (a new job, a new town) b/c they'll be happier somewhere else, only to discover that the root cause of their unhappiness is within, not without, and that money would have been better spent on some intensive therapy.

I don't say this to discourage you if it feels right to you. I guess I just wonder - is your face the issue, or will you find something else to loathe about yourself?

I also have to say that I look at your profile photo, and you look absolutely adorable and beautiful.

Whatever you choose, you know that we'll be right there with you...



7:38 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

thanks for all the comments and support :) it's not an easy decision by any means, but it's one that I am seriously considering. I hope I make the right decision. I wish I could know now that things are going to work out well, but like they say, there are really no guarantees in life.

Julia, I have watched Discovery Health Channel before and other shows where people undergo surgery. I never know if what they show is realistic or not. I just hope that if I decide to move forward with this, it won't be too big of an ordeal to go through and my family will support my decision (even if they don't agree with it). Thanks for backing me on this :)- it means a lot.

Erica- No, it's not easy at all :( I wish I had a crystal ball that I could see the outcome of this all... would be nice :)

I am meeting with 2 other surgeons this month (both at the end of the month). I am anxious to find out about them and talk to them about this decision. I wish these appointments were sooner- it's hard to be patient.

I'll keep you posted on things for sure... thanks for your support on this :)

Art-sweet, thanks SO much for your kind words. I wish I felt better about myself, I really do.

Like I mentioned in my post, I don't know if any amount of counseling or therapy would really change how I feel. I know it might not make me blissfully happy, but if it makes me feel better about myself and boosts my self-confidence, I think that can make a big impact on my life.

Hopefully, I'll make the right decision.

Again, I SO appreciate ALL your support and advice. This is a big decision for me and it's nice to know that there are people who care and are there for me during this all. Thanks so much :)

9:11 PM  

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