High

Coffee & Leather
Unsmoked cigarettes
Words & Tea
Guzzled with regrets

Remembered rambles
Filled with remorse
Ancient ships
Blown off course

I didn’t love you
With all that I had.
I saved some for me.
Am I bad? Are you sad?

Sharp in the vein.
Blood in the glass.
Drink all the pain.
Don’t give hurt a pass.

This aroma.
This smell.
This pain.
This well.

I sweat these smells and swirling thoughts
Linger on the rush of Past.
I get high on who we were.
Too bad stinging smoke won’t last.

Advertisements

Gratitude

November has officially become a month-long thankful pack of sticky notes on Facebook. That’s great. Truly. But what about the other 11 months? 🙂

So I hesitate to join, but. I will.

I am thankful for so much. But this Thanksgiving, I am deep-down, toes-to-tassel thankful for my life.

Since 2012, and really before that, I have been sick. Heart failure. Twice. Thyroid cancer. Gastric bypass. Gallbladder failure.

And now, 226 lbs lighter, I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Even when I was young. Mainly because I also feel emotionally better. It feels like all the sickness is finally gone. I can just tell.

For years I struggled with a failing GB. Probably a decade, in hindsight. Also, I probably had a thyroid issue my entire life because I have been overweight from a young age.

Mom always said, “You were born hungry.” A mother knows. Just wish she could have told or shown the doctors where to look. Nonetheless, this was my destiny.

I am thankful for my trouble. It has taught me endurance.

James 1:2-4 NASB

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

(Perhaps missing/lacking a few organs, but otherwise, lacking in nothing. LOL)

It has also taught me humility. Patience. Joy. Peace. Understanding. Wisdom. Tolerance. So many things.

Under any other circumstances, would I be the person I have finally come to love entirely? I don’t know. God didn’t do this to me. But he knew how far I could go. He knew the traps. He knew the joys. He knew how strong I could be with him.

I truly did not think it was possible. To see 287.6 lbs again. That’s what I was yesterday afternoon, on the scale. I did not think it was possible to live past the age of 50. I did not think it was possible to ever feel right again. Out of pain. Able to walk. Able to work.

One year ago, I was preparing for surgery. High-protein diet to shrink my liver. Thanksgiving was the last day I could eat. I savored it. Thinking it might be my last tasty morsel before a lifetime of bland, tiny meals. Or worse. My last meal before operation table disaster. Dying.

But I made it. I made it to the next Thanksgiving. How wonderful to be on the other side. Maybe that’s what it’s like to go to Heaven. Thankful to be done and home at last.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Maybe this is what I needed for this ultra-thick head. Maybe this was my come-to-Jesus moment. Maybe this was my “fall on my knees because I have nothing left.”

I’m by no means done. I am just beginning again. And I am so thankful just to be alive. And 287. 🙂


Only 87 lbs to goal!!! 😀

Exorcism

I’ve got many demons.

Food addiction. PTSD. Depression. Self-esteem issues. Trust issues. Pride. Over-blown sense of fairness. Fear of people. Fear of intimacy.

These are all residuals from abuse, triggers or coping mechanisms. Haunting ghosts. My demons were born of circumstance and pain. Called upon before the age of 5. Schooled in my weakness. Summoned as experts of how to tempt, specifically, me. These are the things that will cause me to stumble and hold me back from fulfilling my purpose and destiny.

I imagine each demon:
black, faceless, with their name written across their chest, written across my existence, swirling, whispering, flowing around my body.

Floating me down some river of negativity. Holding me under from God’s intention for my life. Drowning me in doubt.

Or will they drive me to my purpose? Will I kick and spit and fight until I fly?


To my demons: Yes. I will overcome you. And in doing so, fulfill prophecy and promise. You have no idea who you’re dealing with–God.

Present Tense (Excerpt 3)

Work-Around (Chapter 1)

This is the house of my first through fourth Christmases, shark-jumping Fonzie, corn-eating contests, black vinyl swivel chair spinning, lipstick wall drawings, measles and melee.  This is the house where I ironed my fingers, melting the baby flesh from my tiny knuckles, forever scarring my left hand.  This is the house that leaves many wounds and scars.  This is the house where I came into being, came to my conscious mind, came to the realization that I was in danger from the people who loved me.

I like to hide.  I hide in an accordion trunk.  I hide in the dryer.  I hide in a closet.  I hide in a hole in the yard by the basement window, dug by my mother.  Because it’s there.  I hide inside a plate of food and I eat all my peas because it makes their voices stop.

If I eat enough, deep down inside, I can’t hear their voices anymore.  I feel peaceful.  It’s quiet.  I’m happy.  The pathway to perceived happiness gets laid by the chemicals in my brain and I am helpless to stop it.  I’m not even aware of the biological processes that are creating a life-long addiction.  It has formed and that path will be worn over and over and over again.  Food equals love.  To survive this chaos, I have found my work-around.  I will survive this.  But just barely.


Read the rest of the book here. If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited it’s free! It is free for everyone from time to time, I’ll let you know when it is. Or if you’re an impoverished author like me, email me at martha.maggio@sbcglobal.net for your free copy. But you have to share your story with me as payment. 😉

Can you believe we might get divorced?

I’m about to reveal the most personal aspect of my life. Something I have never really written about in full detail before. This could end my marriage. But I’m hoping to save it. I’m risking everything by even publishing this. I’m writing this for other people who might be struggling in the same situation and feeling hopeless. And to end my own secrets. At least I’ll be accountable to someone. Secrets make you sick.

NOTE: I have written this with the full permission of my husband and he has read this post before publishing. Except I just added this bit, so Dear, can you approve this small note. Everything in red. Thanks. Let me know! 😉

My marriage is in trouble. It has been for some time. I have fought every month, or nearly every month with my spouse for over 18 years. That would be approximately 216 fights. But I know it’s more than that. I know it’s more because sometimes those fights can be every night for 3 or 4 days. So let’s agree, it’s over 200. Fair?

Boy, we are good at fighting. We’ve had a lot of practice. We say all the hurtful things, we push all the right buttons and we bring all the dirty laundry to the table. No stone unturned. Fighting is not something to take pride in or be good at, but if there was an Olympic sport of adult pair arguments, we would take the gold every time. No contest. And I wish I could say that my daughter, Lilli, never has to witness our Olympic-sized battle of the cray. I wish I could say that.

Also, I should add that at the last church we attended, the couples counseling life group that we were involved with, the leader told us this after the course ended. “Boy, I thought for sure you all were getting divorced! I didn’t think you’d make it!” Uh…WTF???! Thanks? And peace be with you also??

Most of the time the fights are about the least significant things in the world! We rarely fight about politics or religion. We mostly argue about who left the toothpaste in the wrong spot or who failed to take out the trash or who said the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. Most of the time, it’s me criticizing my husband about some failure on his part. But lately, my husband has grown belligerent. He has threatened divorce more than 3 times in the last year. He says hurtful things that are extreme and unbelievable. He has become extraordinarily intolerant. He has exited a moving car to get away from me and almost hurt himself. Our relationship has grown toxic.

Also, he has recently been diagnosed with adult onset ADHD and most likely has issues stemming from past abuse. He is easily triggered and quick to anger. But, so am I. He has impulse control problems and we are both very unhealthy. We are both obese and in poor health.

I don’t say these things to embarrass him or impugn his good standing with anyone. He doesn’t really have any friends to reveal this to. He can be very reclusive. I don’t even say these things to hurt him. I say these things because they are true and necessary to understand the extent of how desperate our marriage is.

I should say now how important my marriage is to me. My husband is more important to me than my own life. I would do anything for this man. This man is more important to me than my own safety, sanity or sanctity of self. I’ve come to realize that. I am willing to humiliate myself and beg for him to stay, even in the shadow of this threat to divorce.

I should also say that I believe divorce is wrong, but I know about half of people do it. Sometimes it’s necessary. Some people are physically abused or find their spouse has betrayed them with another person. But neither of these things are true of our marriage currently. My husband has pushed me before and injured me. In the past. To be fair, I have physically blocked him from leaving our home. In the past. My husband has downloaded a photo before of another woman and saved that picture to our shared computer for whatever purpose. You tell me why a guy does that? It was an ex-girlfriend. I felt betrayed because I would never do that to him. He also used to, like many men, have an addiction to porn. He still may, you’d have to ask him. I don’t think so. But I don’t believe my husband has ever, ever been with someone else or even tried. Not to hurt his feelings, but I think he would freely admit that neither one of us is in danger of being tempted by others or lured away. We’re not exactly Brad and Angelina. Oh, they’re getting divorced, too. Oh. Further proof, nobody’s perfect.

Anyway, the whole point is this, my husband still wants a divorce. Because we fight too much. He said, yesterday, “I don’t love you any more.”

Deep breath. That hurts.

Yesterday, we had a HUGE fight! I should say before I say anything else: I have had 2 major surgeries in the last month, I am just now recovering from gallbladder surgery from 1 week ago, I am currently detoxing from oxycodone, I am PMS-ing, I can only have Tylenol and I was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago with complex PTSD (which I have received no treatment for, as of yet). That said, we had a ginormous fight mostly because I was triggered by something he said.

Some background. The last month has been a living hell. I had to argue with surgeons and doctors and ER techs about whether or not my gallbladder was failing and whether or not to take it out, IF they would perform the surgery, who would perform the surgery and how to treat my pain in the meantime. BTW, my gallbladder was failing and did need to come out. It was full of stones and I found out yesterday that the pathology did confirm that it needed to be removed! This has simply been the WORST pain I’ve ever had and I’ve been unable to eat for weeks with horrible nausea. I’m better now, but it’s been bad.

I have a problem with oxy and pills and one of the doctors actually prescribed more oxy and on top of that, an anxiety med because I guess I seemed hysterical that they wouldn’t take out my GB. Not actually treat my condition, but give me more pills. That made me angry and I felt completely powerless. Let me just add also, the anxiety med did nothing but put me to sleep.

So, the fight. This morning I was still detoxing from my oxy addiction, takes about a week (anyone can become addicted to oxy within a few weeks, I was on it for almost a month). AND, I was feeling anxious (symptom), tired (symptom), emotional (symptom), achy (symptom) and all-around rotten (may be a symptom). Plus, as I said, I am still recovering from surgery. Hadn’t even had my staples out. AND all of the other things I mentioned above. So. My daughter gets out of the car to board the bus and my husband asks me as we’re waiting for her bus to arrive, “How are you feeling this morning?” Or something like that.

So I begin to answer. “Well, I feel anxious…” He cuts me off. “Oh, don’t you still have those anxiety meds?”

Wow. I just lost it. I was totally wrong to lose it, BTW! But I just lost it. I felt betrayed, triggered, powerless and confused. Every doctor that I’ve encountered in every ER, hospital and clinic that I’ve seen for the last month has told me, “Ignore the pain, take a pain med!” And another doctor added anxiety meds to the list. “Take! A! Pill!” is all I’ve been hearing when I was in severe pain and needed immediate medical attention. Not to be melodramatic, but–I could have died. So, to hear my husband recommending another pill for my detox from a pill was just more than I could bear (you were right, Dear, b-e-a-r, that website must have been thru these oxy-detoxy eyes).

I started talking about my feelings and how hurt I felt and he cut me off. I tried again. He cut me off. I tried and tried and tried to express myself, granted, I was very upset and unable to control the volume of my voice, but every time I tried to talk he ignored me and wouldn’t communicate. It was so frustrating! Which definitely worsened my mood.

I am taking my husband to work because I have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon and we are fighting the whole way. It was awful. He made excuses for his behavior. Even blamed me for the conversation. He said, “I asked you how you were because you want me to talk to you.”

Me: But I never asked for your advice! You didn’t even listen to me!

He said very hurtful things to me. Such as, “Go talk to your girlfriends and blog about it.” Super hurtful because my blog is my lifeline right now and that was an attempt to shame and hurt me so that he no longer had to deal with my anger. I was in tears. I apologized for my behavior, but he resolved to leave the car in anger and silence. No apology. No resolution. No reconciling. And he did not contact me for the rest of the day.

When I got home after the doctor. Still no apology. He told me later that at 11:30 am, while at work, he decided that he wanted a divorce based on a Facebook status I had posted. Here is the post.

“Maybe I don’t need a pill. Maybe I need grace, compassion, wisdom and love.”

He started looking for apartments. He found one near his work at a price that he can afford. He also wants a separate checking account. And, for sure, to leave for good.

I was stunned. Hurt. Flabbergasted. Anguished. Desperate.

He said that our marriage was a mistake. That for 18 years he’s wanted to leave and hasn’t because I’ve begged him to stay. That isn’t totally accurate because I wanted to leave in the past and he begged me to stay.

The man who was so angry last night is not someone I like. But he’s still someone I love. He acted irrationally. Selfishly. Arrogantly. Impulsively! But I still love him. But I’m wondering today…why? Why am I trying desperately to hold onto someone who doesn’t love me any more? It’s kind of pathetic. But, I’m terrified to lose him. I love him. And I know it isn’t right to give up. God doesn’t want this for our family. Satan does. That makes me mad.

I was wrong to badger my husband in the car. I was. I admit that. But everything was at stake. My pride, my ego, my integrity, my definition as a human being, MY HEALTH! was all wrapped in this decision to stop taking more pills. And I had told him everything that I was feeling about the pills before this moment, my decision, my resolution, my hatred of pill-popping. Or I tried to.

My husband thinks I should take my pills? So I can just be “normal”? So I will just shut the hell up? So he doesn’t have to listen? The oxy was killing me. But I’m supposed to take more pills?

I was opposed to taking any more unnecessary pills, so much so, that I freaked out. I totally did. I admit that, but what he said and did was hurtful. Everything he said and did after the initial encounter was horrible and hurtful. Downright nasty.

What’s a person with severe PTSD supposed to do with no treatment when the person they most trust tells them to just pop a pill when they are trying to detox from other pills? Lord, have mercy. But I was still wrong to raise my voice. But where’s the grace? He certainly raised his voice too. Where’s the grace for addiction, recovery and trauma? Is this man caring for ME? I have to say no. He was balls-to-the-wall out for himself. “Get out at any cost!”

I feel like the worst version of myself right now. I have nothing. I have no job, no marriage, no extended family, no health. I have nothing. My little family, my immediate family of 3, means everything to me. Me, my daughter, my love. It’s all I have. I’m desperate to keep it. But I fear it’s slipping away and I can’t stop it.

I promised last night to never lose my temper again. Never. You may not know me well, but I can just say this. If I say it out loud and it’s within my control, I WILL do it. I’ve NEVER broken a promise to my husband. EVER. I vowed to get mental help. I did. I made many a vow to him over the years and I’ve kept every one. I’ve played by his rules and it doesn’t always work. The rules change. If he was inclined, he would say that I’ve been true to my word. Every time. And I honestly didn’t know that my marriage was at stake over my temper. That’s very different. And, I also asked my husband to stay. Promise to stay. I’m not sure that he will.

I hate saying these things. These things are so private, embarrassing and insane. But I also know, for certain, that someone else is going through the exact same thing right now. Someone might read this and just know for one minute, or several minutes, someone else is hurting exactly like me right now (or worse) and I can bare another minute on this planet because I know that ONE thing. So I’m sharing.

I shouldn’t love my husband, but I do. We are bad for each other. We do not get along. We are broken, extremely damaged people who don’t know the true meaning of love. (Hang on. Maybe we’re perfect for each other?) But, we’ve got a child. A beautiful, brilliant child who deserves better parents.

And. I’m nothing without my husband. He’s flawed, but he’s also better than most. He can be mean. Cruel. Obstinate. Ridiculous! But he’s also funny, kind (sometimes), loyal and handsome (in my eyes). He doesn’t usually lie. And he’s the best, most generous lover I’ve ever had.

After 18 years, there’s not many butterflies when we kiss. Can anyone say they get butterflies any more? But butterflies were replaced long ago by deep, joyful, passionate longing for my one and only sweetheart. There’s no other for me. And I don’t want to lose the best thing I’ve got. I also don’t want to drive the father of my child away because I’m too broken to love.

I can control my voice. I can’t control whether my husband stays or goes. Pray for us. We need it. We so very desperately need it.

If you’re my friend and this is all strange and unbelievable. Guy can vouch for every word. Everyone thinks that Guy is swell, friendly and without flaw, but you haven’t met the real Guy. The Guy that I can provoke with a look or word. The Guy who can explode into anger at the drop of a slight.

And I’ve just never said. I’ve only told a few. It’s hard to say, “My marriage is bad.” But, it is. It’s not all bad. But things are pretty tough right now. We need a miracle. I trust that God will show up. I just don’t know if Guy will still be here when He does.

I am writing to expose all our sickness and strife because I know from years of writing, it’s the only thing that’s helped my PTSD and weight loss. Maybe this will help. We have agreed to counseling. Again. I don’t know if that will fix anything. And I’m also writing because I see happy couples on Facebook every day and I wonder, is that real? Because I know my own marriage seems happy from the outside, but it’s anything but sometimes. I am writing out of strict authenticity because that is important to us. At least, I think it is.

My God, help us. I truly want my husband back. I want to stop pushing him away. I want to embrace this damaged person and heal him. Not keep hurting him. Help me, God, to figure this out. I’d give my life to help this man.

 

Why’s it so hard to be nice to ourselves?

I’m pretty hard on myself.

I just had a major surgery (last Thursday) and I’m expecting miracles. I expect that I should be out of pain, off oxycodone, totally withdrawn from all pain meds and on my feet doing laundry and keeping house. In my wildest post-op fantasy, I should be holding down a job, fixing dinner every night and dressing for success all damn day. Also, adopting orphans and feeding the homeless.

When I write it down, it sounds ridiculous.

I haven’t had a job in 6 months. I’ve been sick for over 4 years. I’ve been recovering from weight loss surgery for just over a month and gallbladder removal for just under a week. I can barely hold down food at this point, let alone a job. Calm down, Mother Teresa!

I guess I’m impatient because I know how long I’ve been sick and how much I want to be better. My goal is be a productive human being again. Stop wasting time on being sick. Be a better wife, mother and human. To serve others and have purpose. To lose weight overnight and be a rockstar tomorrow. I’m ready for all the glory without any of the work, pain, time. Honestly, I want to take away the burden of a sick home from my husband and daughter. Bottom line. I feel so selfish.

Today was a success because I am almost 48 hours out from my last oxycodone pill after having taken them every day for over a month. My nausea is subsiding and I’m able to stand up straight without pain. My weight has gone back down to 399.8 and I’m doing laundry by myself. I am not exactly following my post-op diet but I am eating food that I can stomach.

I can only have a few bites at a time. I’m supposed to have nothing but protein, but when ur sick? Protein sounds awful! Chicken soup/veggie soup/broth is about the only protein I can stomach and even so, how much soup can a person handle? When you’re nauseous, ever heard of BRAT? Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. I’ve been having a small piece of toast throughout the day for a coupla days because it’s all I can keep down. I can only eat a few bites, I over-chew and it stays down. Breaking the rules, but being nice to myself. Still losing weight, of course, because I’m barely eating anything.

Important not to make a habit out of bread. Also, trying to keep liquids down. That’s the most important thing I can do right now. Stay hydrated.

Goals for today:
Drink liquids.
Eat a little.
Stay off oxy!
Do a tiny bit of laundry.

Check!

OH! And be nice to myself. Check.

As a sidenote: I wish the nurses and doctors during my recovery had mentioned the oxy-nausea thing. Instead they told me to return to a soft food diet, not “get off oxy asap!” It’s not food, it’s the drug. Pretty sure. Because what they thought was an ulcer is now almost assuredly a side effect of the oxy. Glad they listened to me finally, took out my gallbladder and saw through the EGD that I did not have an ulcer. They prescribed carafate for my “ulcer” that they thought I had (before they saw the EGD results) and I nearly puked on that med. Stopped taking it immediately. But now I have a very expensive script that I only used once. I have resolved to care for myself the best way I know how…listen to my body! And fight for myself.

Hammered Dog Doo

I went in for gallbladder removal and EGD on Thursday of last week. I just have to say that gallbladder pain is the worst pain I’ve ever had. And I gave birth the old-fashioned way.

The thing about natural childbirth (or any birthing event, C-section) though is this. Even though your ripped and torn, bleeding and bruised, banged up, sore and hamburglarized–some sort of magic manic-euphoria sets in and you don’t feel pain like a normal person. It’s as if the pain gets blurred. Dulled by the giddy feelings of falling in love with your baby. You can just basically forget you have legs or a babymaker for hours at a time.

So, if they would have swaddled my little gallbladder sac like a precious newborn, I might have made it through okay. But that didn’t happen. That sack of marbles got tossed on the bio-waste heap with all the other dysfunctional organs time and junk food has stolen from my body.

But I did figure out the source of my nausea. I’ve been oh-so nauseous for days! Before GB removal and after. Just before the new year, I went into the ER for stomach pain. They pumped me full of dilaudid. The nurse said, “They typically give that to trauma patients, so you’re lucky!” After 24 hours of pain meds though, I didn’t feel lucky. I just felt sick as a dog. That stuff made me so nauseated! Never again. They had to administer the pain med with anti-naus meds to not make me more sick??! No!

You should also know, I hate taking pills. I hate it. I hate taking heart meds, pain meds, weight loss meds, any meds. I grew up in a household where you suffered through your pain. And that made me tough. Occasionally, I would get some aspirin or cold medicine, but for the most part, I was allowed to just sleep it off. Let my nose run. Hack up a lung. Let the fever break. Let the earache ooze. Let the scrape breathe! And, for the most part, I did okay. Never really needed more than that. I would’ve liked more than that sometimes I guess, but I didn’t need it.

I had measles, chickenpox, mumps, whatever. I only had shots once. I have had shingles. Twice! And I just rode it out. This is a way of life. This is a philosophy. Let your body do what it needs to do. I’ve always been interested in alternative medicine. I don’t smoke pot, but I’m sure pot is better at pain management than oxy. Why don’t we have something natural instead of synthetic? And I know pot doesn’t make you nauseous. Quite the opposite.

Only until I entered the modern healthcare system at 39 with heart failure, did I need meds. I needed meds before that for my heart, but I ignored it. So this modern approach to pain management is new to me. I think I’m addicted to oxycodone. I am not taking any more as of this morning. I think it’s partly causing my nausea and even though I’m still in pain, I’m done! I’d rather be sore than sick to my stomach. I can handle anything except nausea.

Oxy can cause nausea. Itching. Stomach irritation. Vomiting. Ulcers! Great med to give someone who just had their stomach diced up like a tomato. But I don’t think anyone expected me to still be on oxy. But they’ve been doling it out like M&Ms. The gallbladder complication really threw a wrench into my recovery. So. Cold turkey. I’m basically giving up heroin lite. Oxy is an opiate. Same class as heroin. AND I’m so done.

This morning I feel clear. Sore, but on the mend. I don’t need pain meds, I can muddle through without. Our bodies send us messages all the time and we should listen, not mute. I shouldn’t just take oxy because it’s sitting there in the cabinet. I shouldn’t just take it until they run out. I’m in charge. I should go easy until I heal and be a little sore. Or alot sore.

I’m adding back my meds that I know were safe before weight loss surgery, then I’m adding the new ones one at a time. I gotta get straight. I was taking stomach ulcer meds to try and keep up with what the oxy was doing to my gut. No thanks. But you don’t always realize what’s happening with taking so many meds. How they interact and what they’re even made of. Oxy is an acid. Not good for sensitive new tummies. You simply take what the doctor hands you. When you’re sick, you can’t do the research of a pharmacist from your recovery bed.

At some point I didn’t realize that my post-op weight loss surgery pain had migrated to opiate addiction. I was muting my messages. Plus, to suffer gallbladder stones on top of it, that was sending mixed signals for sure. I’m glad to be on the other side of it. I’m glad to take control right now. I still hurt, but nothing I can’t handle. Time to be tough.

I was praying so much this past weekend. Praying to make it through. Praying for the nausea to leave. Praying for healing. Praying for an ulcer-free stomach. Praying for the back pain from yanking out my GB to go. And I think I just got my answer. Thank you, Lord.

Current weight=402.2

I went up with surgery which is expected. I was up to 409 when I came home after being down to 397.8 before surgery. So I get to break 400 twice I guess? 🙂 They pumped me full of IV juices, so that’s one of the reasons I went up. Oh well. 402 is not bad! Onward and downward!

This Might Break the Internet.

Deep breath. Go ahead. Laugh. Giggle. Look away. Throw up in your mouth a little. It’s okay. I get it. This is a very crazy picture. But I’m posting for myself. This is the most courageous, the bravest thing I have ever done and I know I’m being open, vulnerable and some would say reckless by posting this on the Internets. But–I have to post this. I know the people who love me will not misuse or harass me. And those who don’t love me, I couldn’t really give two sh!ts about what they think. So. THIS is the before pic. I covered all the bikini parts.

Today, I am 435 lbs. Almost 2 weeks ago, I was over 455. I wanted to take a pic before I lost any more weight. I’ve been on a high-protein diet and dropped about 20 lbs. very quickly. I’ve been here before. I was down to 412 on my own, but then my thyroid went full-on kamikaze and blew up with cancer. I gained back about 40 of the 100 lbs. I lost before my thyroidectomy. (I started at about 513 when I entered the hospital in 2012 for heart failure. See full health journey here.)

There is shame in that. I’ve wallowed in shame most of my life in big amounts and small amounts. For things inside of my control, and out. I don’t like this feeling of shame all the time. I’ve gained and lost hundreds of pounds and suffered with hypothyroidism for years. What I would like? To cast off that shame once and for all by doing things that scare me, doing things that take guts. Proverbial guts. 🙂

Honestly, I posted this pic with all its flaws in full-out authenticity to the world and to myself (this photo has only been cropped) to show what I look like. When we see before pics, this is what we want to see, right? How bad was it? How big was that gut? How flabby were those arms?? Well, there’s no hiding in this photo. This is me. This is real.

This is 43 years of tragedy, abuse, obesity, bullying, birth-giving, overeating, thyroid-cancer-having, heart-clogging, sleep-apnea snoring. (Those saggy boobs fed a human being.) But this is also 43 years of never giving up on trying to level up and be the best possible person I can be. Never giving up on losing weight. Never giving up on being healthy! NeverEVER giving up on my dreams. I am the strongest person you’ll ever know and the fattest person you might ever see in their skivvies. Take a good, long look. I dare ya. If you look close enough?

You’ll see an excited smile for what’s about to come. My weight loss surgery is going to change my life. I’m ready for born-again salvation and transcendence in the celebration of new body and new mind. Deep breath!

Hangry

Hi. I’m Martha Maggio and I have problems.

Today is the day. I see the doctor one last time before WLS (in two weeks) and I won’t eat normal food for about 1-2 months. I’m already hungrier than I’ve ever been.

I started the liquid diet last Monday and it did not go well. I was tempted many times and had already resolved to eat on Thanksgiving. By Sunday, I had at least lost a few pounds, but I was still eating solid foods about once a day.

I didn’t have to start the diet last week, but I knew I needed to ease into this process. No more excuses. I have to start today. I have not eaten anything so far and I feel sad. Really sad. Tired. Really tired. And hungry. Really hungry. Hangry even. My life without food so far is pretty dismal. There is nothing to look forward to and there is nothing to celebrate. I don’t know who I am without food.

I don’t know what to do with myself. I could DO a million things but when you’re an addict, the most interesting thing to do when you can’t have your fix is to think about having it. At least for me.


If I was eating…what would I eat?
What is she eating??
I wonder what that tastes like?
I bet they’re enjoying that.


It’s kinda sick. It’s torture. It’s the next best thing to eating-thinking about eating. But IT could be sex, drinking, getting high, working out, overworking, shopping, gambling, lying. What’s your sweet torture?

Every time I want to eat I think about this though-I give my liver a voice. That’s the reason I’m on this liquid diet to begin with. It’s a liver-reduction diet so the doctor can get to that big ol’ stomach underneath my big ol’ fatty liver. My liver’s voice is this, “You can’t have anything that will hurt me, Martha. Not alcohol, not fats, not sugar, not anything that I can’t handle. Gimme a break. Don’t make it hard on the doc.” (Watch Sugar Coated and you’ll see what happens to your liver when you have too much bad stuff! I call it “the liver quivers”.) I’ve even given my liver a name, Oliver. Har. Okay, Ollie, I won’t hurt you.

I want this surgery. And I don’t want to make it more difficult for the surgeon. I want a swanky, svelte liver so he can get at my stomach. I’ve heard horror stories about being cut open and being refused stomach surgery because of the inability to get to the stomach. So all of the dieting and cutting and none of the benefits!

Oh my friggin’ Lord God in heaven, no! Nightmare! Please, God, no!

I know they don’t tell me to do these things to punish me. They want me to be successful. So, as much as I want to have that leftover slice of Prime Cut Minsky’s pizza in the fridge, I won’t. I can taste the bacon and cheese. The cold, greasy triangle of love. The spice of the sauce. The satisfying chew. The hard swallow followed by a cold soda or glass of milk.

Eating is my favorite thing in the world and I have to learn to live without it. Today is the day.