Managing Negative Feelings
It happens often when you go shopping, you find the perfect outfit, a great pair of shoes, or even a new car that you test drove. You buy it. You get home and then wonder what did I do? What was I thinking? You get buyer’s remorse.
Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. And, yes, our patients sometimes experience “buyer’s remorse.” It stems from fear of making the wrong choice. Up to the day of surgery, patients are very excited and motivated. After surgery the work begins and it’s not easy. It’s understandable to wonder, did I do the right thing?
It’s okay to have negative feelings about your weight loss surgery. It demonstrates that you’re realistic about the challenges ahead, knowing there are going to be difficult days. Bariatric surgery is not easy. It has both physical and psychological effects. Some of the feelings that you may experience include depression, frustration, anxiety, disappointment, helplessness, anger, excitement, and joy.
Although you chose to have weight loss surgery to address your obesity and health issues, weight loss also changes the lifestyle you knew so well. Even with its problems and challenges, obesity was comfortable, simply because it was known. Now you’re dealing with the “unknown.”
Ask yourself, What were my reasons for having surgery? Focus on your goals and remember you’re not alone on this journey. You have great tools in the support of your medical team and your support group. Use them frequently to address your concerns, discuss your changing feelings… and use them to celebrate your milestones. This is a journey you’re on together, and remembering that will reinforce that you’re not alone in this.
Yes, there will undoubtedly be difficult days, but there will be great days, too. Hang in there. Unlike that new purchase that may last you five years, your weight loss surgery will last you the rest of your life!