This has been a long, hard week.

I went back to work on Tuesday, and as I reported, it wasn’t nearly as tiring as I expected. And almost all of my workdays were like that- the activity gave me some energy, and things were good. My coworkers have been really helpful and we have a good pattern going on.

But Friday was rough. I was in a hard Jersey store, and Jackie was working with me. Jackie is my friend, but also my manager, and there’s some extra pressure when she works with me. It also happened to be a bad depression day, one of those days that reminds me that, though I’m much better than I was a year ago, when I spent most of my time on the couch, too tired and sad to do anything but watch tv, I’m not completely recovered. So I spent all day trying not to cry over little things, and couldn’t wait until I could get home and curl up in my bed.

It’s so weird to be having days like that, too, when I’m so happy with my reduction decision. I went to the mall yesterday to see what I could find. I got my first ever Peter Pan collared shirt, something I’ve wanted to wear for years, and a tank top I couldn’t have thought of wearing before. I also went to aerie and got my first ever non-underwire pretty bras, the kind I’ve always wanted. Shopping has never been so fun. I have to completely rewire my thinking, but so many more options are open to me. 

Of course, I got stuck in a dress while trying it on, which kind of hurt me on one side, and add that to working my first week (and a full one at that) and getting some very very tight hugs at a party last night, I am very very sore today. I get the last of my stitches out tomorrow!

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Back to the Grindstone

Yesterday, I returned to work. While every other transition in this recovery has worried other people more than I,this one concerned me. Partly it was just guilt over not being able to help my coworker do any of the lifting that would take up most of the final 45 minutes of our shift. But I also knew that returning to this job after even a three day break can be rough- your script isn’t up to snuff,and then of course there’s the audience. I knew that if I got heckled first thing, there was a good chance I might break down. Then add to all of this the incredible fatigue I’ve been feeling, sleeping around 12 hours every night, which apparently will keep happening for another month or two.

However, things went just fine. I had been told to arrive whenever I wanted; my shift technically started at 10, but Jackie told me I could show up at 2 if I wanted. In the end, though, I had to get there at 10 to provide some supplies, and I ended up being able to work through the entire day without feeling super tired, which makes me feel SO much better about working on my own when I can lift things again. But I definitely have to wait for that- at one point, I was slicing a particularly dense onion, and felt a twinge in my left breast, and by the end of the day, I was pretty sore. I really hate not being able to do things on my own, but since my just-the-facts-ma’am surgeon told me not to lift anything over ten pounds, I know she means it. But I’m healing very well, so that’s good. 

A lot of psychologists and people in general get concerned about older women getting reductions (or other body-altering surgeries) because it’s difficult to accept your new body. I was worried this would happen to me, especially because it did when I lost 40 pounds; it was hard to see myself as this new person. But in this case, I don’t feel that way. I feel like I’m finally in the body I’m supposed to be in. For the first time since I was 12, I don’t have to wear a bra. I noticed how much taller I was walking last night; it feels really weird in my spine, since I’ve spent the last ten years hunched over, hiding my boobs. But it does feel good to finally have more physical confidence.