One year ago today I woke up in a hospital bed with a couple big chunks of my insides cut out. I had 2 large, and once they got in there a few small, fibroids removed. I couldn't feel the pain yet, which is almost impossible to imagine now. Today I can recall and play it like a song I've heard thousands of times. But it was kept at bay until the first wave of morphine started to fade out and the pain came into focus, like someone was photographing it with a lens from across the room.
I couldn't feel the pain yet and I greatly underestimated my scar. I figured what with it being 2014 and me being in America and all they would have been able to do a great job at keeping it minimal and clean and over time, once the blood was washed away and the stitches absorbed, it would be barely noticeable. The first time I looked at it when the bandage was removed it was horrific. It was every disgusting shade of black and deep blue and crimson with dried crusted blood and an organic pattern resembling what I can only imagine the clouds of hell would look like.
When it started to heal and I began to go to my post op visits it became clear that the scar would always be huge, and lopsided, and make my whole lower core/upper vaginal area look unpretty. My scar is 4 huge inches long, fatter on one side than the other. It prevents me from ever being able to have a natural childbirth. At my second post op appointment when I brought up to my doctor my concern about my skin not laying flat in that area and the scar being...well, looking like crap, she said "They'll be able to fix it once it's opened and they resew it."
"What? Why would they do that?" I asked.
"When you have a baby" she said, as if it were the most natural thing to assume that any moment now I'd be back in the hospital giving birth.
"But I'm not planning on having a baby any time soon, if at all", I told her.
"Oh. I don't know, then. You're thirty already."
So it just looks like this. Shortly after my surgery, and while I was very much still recovering and unable to move, my boyfriend and I broke up. I cried when he didn't show up at the hospital. I cried when I was staying at my mom's house recovering and she asked me "Where is he? How come he hasn't been over?" and I didn't have an answer. I cried when I realized I would have to see the look on the next man's face when he undressed me for the first time and saw my scar. Someone I didn't even know yet. A stranger looking at the most vulnerable part of me.
I cried in pain when my niece jumped on my lap but I hid it because I didn't ever want her to know she hurt me by accident.
It's times like these, when everything is upside down, when you can't barely walk your dog and you hold your pee in for hours because it hurts to get up and walk 10 feet to the bathroom, that you realize who loves you and who is on the periphery of your life, just sort of there, in the background. I was sent care packages and words of love from my great aunt and my best friends in New York. My roommate walked Derby for me when she could. But my own boyfriend was absent. And so in addition to trying to heal my body, trying to stay still as a stone so I could get better, stronger, faster, I was awakened to the truth that I was alone in my relationship.
I tend to be pretty hard on the outside when I meet someone I like. My flirting style is mean. I act very cool, aloof, tough. I'm working on it. But when that all fades away and becomes an actual relationship I am completely selfless. I realized during this time that this match was perfect for him because he was totally selfish. I'm not like that anymore and I don't really care what he's like today. But I was devastated. I was broken in both body and spirit for months.
Out of that mud came the beautiful flower of Brunch Club. I was inspired to do for others when I felt shitty about my own life. I know it was a path I had to travel, however awful it felt at the time, to bring me where I am today. But on this day I still look back at one year ago me with tears of sadness for what that girl went through. It was dark and lonely and painful in every way. But it's over. And today I can practice yoga and walk 10,000 steps a day and do whatever else I want. I am free in body and in spirit, and I know that I'm the only one who can make it so.