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Yes that’s me! Been awhile I know. I haven’t felt much like sharing selfies for, oh, seven years now? The main reason is that one day long ago I looked at a photo of myself and I saw my mother there. The very not good state of my mother. Which was fitting since I already shared quite a few of her ailments from having gained too much weight. So I took the drastic approach two years ago and had weight loss surgery.

If anyone tells you that is a lazy cheaters way out of losing weight they can kiss my still fairly spacious ass. The truth is that when you use food as a crutch (where others use drugs, booze, what have you) being broken of that crutch is hard. I saw a therapist to deal with my head issues, I visited with a nutritionist once a week to learn how I should be interacting with food in a healthy manner, I worked with a physical therapist to work on my weak spots so I could be more physical, and I had to lose a considerable amount of weight just to prove I was a good candidate for the surgery. I had to force myself to learn self discipline, which I have very little. I opted for the sleeve procedure because the full bypass terrified me. I lost fifty pounds before the surgery and then another hundred over the next six months post surgery. Then things started to slow down a little and my day to day became about eating right, being active, and pounding my system with vitamins. My existence now is so polar opposite to what it once was. I’m grateful for that, but I also put in the work. The reward was no longer sharing those weight related issues of my mother’s.

I’ve been stuck since my accident. My injuries put a halt to most of my activity for months. Even when I felt I could push through the pain of my knee, my body simply didn’t have the energy. It was too busy trying to heal all the places I’d broken myself. I’ve been good though for the last few months and getting back to being physical. The only thing that keeps me from my old routine is simply trying to get over the head issues the accident brought out in me. That basically amounted to me being afraid to go back out into the world for fear of getting hurt worse. My brain meats typically impair me more than anything. I think to be an artist you’re always a little mental and you find a way to channel it into something positive. I will admit I have my challenges there.

So the day was the 4th of July and I was at my brother and sister-in-laws’ house getting ready for my spur of the moment wedding. My new sis got her friend to come over and do up my hair and make-up. Afterwards I went into the bathroom and decided maybe it was time for a selfie. I didn’t remember any of my tricks for good angles. I had good lighting, that was on my side. I had enough make up airbrushed onto my face to make my skin nearly flawless. I get self conscious over the weight I still carry around my chin. As I lose weight I feel like it looks more and more deflated. So as I tried to find a good angle of myself to get away from the chin, I just kept getting more serious and serious looking. Determination. I has it. Alas, I managed one before I said fuck this business.

I look at this face of mine and I can be horribly aggressive towards it for all the things I see as flaws. Then I have to tell myself to shut up. The last photo I took of myself in a mirror like this I was twenty-five. I am now twenty years older. This face has survived through weight gain and loss. It has led my body down a flight of stairs and crashed through a door to the tune of smashing bones and punching in teeth. My eyes were bloodied and my skin was bruised for weeks. It was misshapen from hematomas. But you wouldn’t know that from this picture. You wouldn’t know that all of my orbital bone on the left is an implant or that it went in through my lower eyelid. The hematomas have healed. I’m just a little more lopsided now. The natural puff and darkness under my right eye was removed from my left during the course of surgery. So the injured side of my face is actually far more smooth than the side that didn’t get so banged up. I’m starting to get scowl lines at my brow. My lips are not as full as they once were. But my eyes can still death stare through nearly anyone. Still dark green sometimes, hazel other times. So I might look a little grr here, but I’m okay with that. I’ve had a few things to be grr about. I like my face.

The rest of me is about eighty pounds from my target weight. And sadly, after reaching my target weight, I will have to have the remnants of my tummy removed. I’m not about to complain about that. I’d rather live with the annoyance of wearing spanx than being heavy again. I wasn’t the size I was hoping to be at my wedding though, but I’m completely okay with how I looked. More than that, I was really happy with how I felt and the way that Myke looked at me. At the end of the day beyond myself, his opinion is the one that matters to me.

On the 4th of July I married Myke after twenty years of friendship and ten years of engagement. My wedding dress was an embroidered shawl that would have made Stevie Nicks jealous. Double bonus I was wed in my bare feet standing in the grass of my grandfather’s backyard. That backyard that is spoken of in my mini bio. A good friend married us. My big brother and his wife (who I adore) acted as our witnesses and best man and maid of honor. Most of my nieces were there as was my aunt. It was small and unplanned, but my new sis helped wrangle it into a ceremony. It was hot as hell, but it was all good.

Afterwards Myke and I drove to Ft Wayne, a nice town that is halfway between GR and home. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard downtown and our sixth floor room overlooked the baseball field next door. We watched and listened to the game from our window. And when it was time for fireworks, we could see nearly all of them across the town from there. Myke said “See? Wherever we celebrate our anniversary there will always be fireworks.” I knew he had a little romantic sap lurking in there somewhere. I can honestly say it was one of the best days in my life.

Now we’re home and getting back to daily life. We have a fixer-upper house we’re looking into buying. I have my head back into the mindset of keeping my body healthy. It’s all rather normal. You know, as a kid I always wanted that over the top life. I was going to be a rich and well known artist and author. And now, at 45 and newly married to my best friend, I don’t want that type of life. I appreciate the normalcy of my life and the ability to still make my living based upon my creative works. I do still desire to do more with my writing, but not for any type of notoriety. I just like my stories and think others would enjoy reading them. I’m in a content place. I know there is no guarantee life will always remain that way, but I’m thoughtful enough these days to appreciate and cherish those days where it is. There’s always something bad that can happen, but there comes a point where you have to stop worrying about it and just live. That has been the hardest lesson for me to learn. With that said I should take a selfie now and then and learn to get the hell over myself. 😉

Myke and Bethalynne

Posted in: Blog

Published by Bajema

"They changed the rules of the fairy tale. I'm no longer just the eccentric niece, now I'm the full blown spooky aunt. So come on! Take your best shot Mary Poppins!" I'm sure Julia said that in that one pin heady movie. Or maybe this is just my take on it.