Yesterday I went out for a walk with my son. I almost didn’t go because of my fibroids. They are rather large right now as it comes up to that time of the month. Yesterday I also had to deal with gas and bloating. It was as if someone had plugged me up to something and filled me up with air. My stomach was massive and misshapen, air pushing it out at all corners. It was a sunny and beautiful day yesterday. When my son originally suggested we go out for a walk I was fairly comfortable. My stomach was not as relaxed as it has been for most of the last 18 days; but it was nothing like it became by the time we were ready to go out for the walk.
I have eaten solids only 4 days in the last 18 days so I’ve been enjoying some relief from the usual discomfort caused by my fibroids. But for the last three or so days my stomach has been swelling. This does happen when my cycle is approaching; but the swelling caused by the fibroids alone is nothing compared to what happens when I suddenly get filled up with gas and start expanding as if to burst. By the time my son was ready for that walk I was near to floating I was so blown up. There was nothing in my wardrobe that I could possibly use to disguise my massive stomach. The oversized clothes I wear for that purpose weren’t big enough yesterday. It was very frustrating.
For me going out into public can become a huge ordeal. I recognize my issues to be what they are–problems that I really need to work on overcoming; but until I actually overcome them, they are here and they are real. I have mentioned in another post that I have lived with agoraphobia for the better part of my adult life. It’s very difficult for me to work up the courage to go out. I have found though that it gets easier the better I feel about myself. Unfortunately I don’t tend to feel good about myself unless I look a certain way. This isn’t a good thing. I’m perfectly well aware of that; but I have learned since I was a little girl to judge myself based on my appearance; and it doesn’t seem as if that’s something you can just stop doing by telling yourself it’s ridiculous and you shouldn’t do it.
I tried to get out of going for that walk yesterday because there was no way that I would be able to look like anything other than a walking belly with a head attached to it; but my son wouldn’t let me off the hook even while acknowledging that I looked extremely uncomfortable with my stomach. He offered instead to lend me one of his jackets. I think he sees me as being past the age where it should matter one way or another what I look like. I shouldn’t care about my appearance. I shouldn’t be so conscious of my image because no one else cares. Even if I didn’t already have a husband I would have been taken off the shelf when I turned forty. He has no concept of the fact that a woman needs to feel good for herself and that her age is not relevant to anything. Of course there’s something wrong when whether or not you feel good about yourself depends on how you look. You should be able to feel good about yourself regardless of your appearance; but I’m just not there yet.
Anyway, I didn’t want to disappoint my son so I made up my mind to look like crap. I used the jacket he offered and I went for the walk. But the experience makes me more determined to find clothes I can wear at those times when my stomach is impossible to disguise. I plan to make a conscious effort to go out of the house more often this Spring and Summer and I can’t allow my stomach to get in the way of my effort to change my life. But it can’t be like yesterday where I’m totally self conscious and unable to relax and feeling embarrassed with every step I take. I know the most important part of the equation is working on my mind. I have to accept that my body is changed. I have to accept that I have tumors in my stomach that cause my stomach to protrude; and the protrusion is obvious. Yes, people will see my stomach. I have to learn to deal with that. Yes, people are either going to think I am pregnant or they are going to think I have a big belly. Whatever they think, my figure will not be attractive in their eyes. This is something I can do nothing about. This is something I must accept. I have lived my entire life afraid of being looked at as being less than attractive of face and body. This fear contributed in part to my agoraphobia. Since I was a teenager, shame over how I looked would determine whether or not I went outside. Obviously the most important thing is to deal with whatever is behind that shame and overcome that; but in the meantime, so that I can help make it easier for myself to accomplish my goal to get out of the house more this Spring and Summer, I need to learn how to dress my big fibroid belly so that I can feel good about myself when I do go out.