I have four posts for this blog that are already beyond 300 words. All of the are talking about different parts of the journey to getting surgery but none of them are about what I actually need.

Along with those posts, I’ve also started two pieces for my newsletter and maybe a post for my professional blog. But again none of those are about what I need.

The problem, I’m realizing is that while I know what my goals are, I don’t know how to get to them. While several of y’all have offered to help, I don’t know how to ask for what I need because I don’t know what to ask for. What I need is someone to help me figure out what’s next. And the last time I tried to ask for help, it went poorly. Terribly poorly, actually.

The reality is that I’m afraid and I feel terribly alone.

And I’m so afraid of saying more than that because I’m learning that there are so many of these things that should stay between me and my therapist rather than onto my friends and I am still trying to find the balance of what makes sense to put on here versus what stays in my journal. The balance of what I should be asking for and what I need to figure out for myself.

My traumas keep telling me that if I want certainty and dependability, I can only trust myself. Surgery also means that is impossible because I won’t even be able to trust myself to stand up and walk to the bathroom.

They also tell me I desperately want others to be there but if I ask for help, people will leave me. Or even when people say they’ll be there, they’ll back out later and I’ll be left without backup.

Everyone else I know who has gone through surgery had someone there for them—a partner, a family member—someone to help with the planning, someone to make sure things got taken care of.

I don’t have that. At the end of the day, it feels like everyone else goes home.

So in lieu of having anyone else, I plan. I plan and plan and plan. My anxieties tell me to plan for contingencies and contingencies upon contingencies even though my rational self knows that the things that are going to be hard are not the things I can prepare for. Everyone who has gone through major surgery has told me that you can’t anticipate what is going to be hard, but it feels like all I can do is plan because at the end of the day, everyone else goes home.

A large part of me wanted to hit publish once I finished that last graf. Rhetorically, it’s an emotionally powerful place to end the post. But real life isn’t literature. Real life is messy, complicated, and does not follow a simple meter. I don’t fully know what I need help with right now.

I’m still trying to figure that all out, but right now it feels like I’m just making everything up, the budget, the recovery schedule, the list of needs. Even though I’ve done so much research, poured through recovery stories and the documents from the surgeon, everything feels like I’ve just made it. I’m still trying to be okay with not knowing what is going to happen.


Now read this

[Interlude] My brain is preparing for surgery is like it’s a term paper

I rarely pulled all nighters in college. I’d stay up late the night before a paper was due and get up early to polish and finish, but I’d usually let myself sleep for a few hours. I’d do that because I’d often dream about the paper and... Continue →