Reaching out to an old friend

A couple of days ago I decided I was going to reach out to someone.

Someone that, for good reason, I probably should have left alone.

A few months ago, there was a big deal about a small misunderstanding that cost me a relationship and three friendships when it was all said and done.

He was one of those friendships.

He's about to have some major surgery - gastric bypass surgery - next week. His life is about to be drastically changed.

I know.

I had the same thing almost three years ago.

And I wanted to offer him my help, in spite of what happened.

Because what he's going to have done is life-changing, and can be overwhelming at times, especially right before and right after the surgery.

I was lucky. I was married to an RN when I had mine. You can't put a price tag on that.

He's not that lucky.

And it was a very, very hard thing to do for me to reach out to him. That's a big step to take ... and his response was better than I hoped for.

There's no point in discussing what happened. It was a misunderstanding. Things happen. I've moved on. I told him that. He agreed.

And I believe him. And I believe me.

I told him I was thinking about him, knowing the surgery was coming up; and wanted to help if he needed help, someone to talk to if he needed to talk.

Because I've been there.

And it's not easy.

You see these people who have the stomach-stapling surgery. They lose weight, they look great (older, but healthier). And if you've never been there, never been that big where your body won't allow you to lose weight, you don't understand.

On the surface, it seems like a cowards way out of being overweight - cut out my stomach so I can't eat.

It's anything but.

It's not easy to decide to have the surgery.

It's not easy to qualify, medically, for a doctor to consider you a candidate for the surgery.

It's harder to get medical approval for it.

And it's harder, yet, to go through with once you get the approval.

It's not easy physically.

It's not easy mentally.

It's fucking brutal emotionally.

There's a one-in-200 death rate. Doesn't sound like a lot, unless you're that one.

There can be serious, fatal complications.

And there are significant mental, physical and lifestyle changes you have to make before and after the surgery, some of which are life-long. Things I'm still learning, nearly three years later.

And yes, there are support groups. But lets be honest. Would you believe a bunch of random yahoos or someone you know that has been there, done that, and has the t-shirt, several sizes smaller than he used to wear?


Which is why I wanted to offer him my assistance. My experience. My ear. My help.

It's hard, sometimes, when bad things happen in friendships, to be nice first.

I'm glad I did.

I should do it more often.

We all should.

Life's too short to be bitter, pissed off and hateful.

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