Embarrassed to ask

I struggled with the decision to ask for opinions because this is really stup..umm idiotic. I'm a bit over two years since my unruptured aneurysm was clipped. Trust me that I am extremely grateful that my life was extended with minimal physical loss. A few months after surgery I started struggling a bit with guilt over having survived. It made no sense. I mean how can you actually feel guilty for surviving? My insurance company strongly suggested I speak with a therapist to work through that. I did and it helped come to terms that I survived and then I moved on. Or so I thought. Apparently I just redirected the feelings into a means of self punishment. I've gained 40 lbs and feeling the effects of the added weight. My husband asked why I won't exercise or eat better and without thought I replied that I didn't deserve to live well. What the hell? Where did that come from? Purely an unconscious act. I mean it's not like I sat there one day and said I'm going to eat crap because I lived. I've obviously lost my mind (smirk).

I know I'll probably hear I should go back to the therapist to work through this but really I'd like to know if anyone else has done something so idiotic. Lie to me. Say I'm not the only one with a subconscious that's found a new way to punish. :)

I won't lie to you I had those feelings off an on the first time my annie had ruptured but i gained all my mobility back after a year. I still have those feelings periodically after surviving a clip & coil and then this pass Oct 27 another one coiled and I still have an unruptured one that is to small to operate on that is located on the circle of willis. When I found out about that one 2 years ago I figured my life was over and stopped walking for exercise and started stress eating. I started seeing a therapist every two weeks this past Jan and changed to monthly in Aug. It has helped me and as soon as I am mobile enough to drive again I will start seeing him again we have sent one email to each other since my release from the hospital.

My attitude now most of the time is I am a walking testimony for other people. I have left my name and number with the hospital to give to others since we don't have a local support group here. I have received a couple of calls and gave my story.

I hoped my reply helped some. Hang in there


It helped immensely. Thank you for taking the time to respond and for helping others.

praise97 said:

I won't lie to you...

Harlylena - ok I won’t tell you what you already know to do…go see a therapist.

I usually do too much physically. I’m guessing what we need to do is grieve for what was and embrace what is. Oh heck are those words going to come back and bite me?

What has changed since your clipping? Have you written out a list on the before you and the revised you? Life is full of revisions, every day each of us is revising our life, how we respond to events and those choices revise who we are and how we think. I think of revisions in just going to the store - which route will I take? I don’t mean to denigrate my rupture, it happened, it changed the way I define myself. But I was defining myself not by who I am, rather by what I did for a living. Sometimes I live in denial, it doesn’t last long because my body will tell me I am overestimating my abilities, but this is my lesson I keep having to relearn and apparently test.

Sometimes I will step outside of myself so to speak and look at me and my choices. First and foremost, why am I making that choice, what excuse do I make, what would I think if my partner was making similar choices? Those kind of things. If I don’t like what I see in myself, well it’s up to me to change.

So get up, put your shoes on and take a walk outside. It’s a wee bit cold (34 F. )here so grab a jacket lol. Give yourself a doable list of chores for the day. And next time you’re at the grocery store, buy a bag of (healthy) nuts and not chips.

Guess I’m saying you didn’t get to where you are overnight, it’s going to take time. But for me Harlylena, you are one of my inspirations to keep improving, I just wanted you to know that.


I love your response to both of us. I won't throw my chocolates away I gave my chips to my grandchildren for their lunches and now I will limit my intake of my chocolates and write when I get down and depressed and make a list of my improvements and what else I think I can accomplish.

Seenie from ModSupport here. This thread is awesome. You people are amazing. I mean it ... this is such a supportive and good place to be.

Keep up the good work and the good fight.

Moltroub, your heartfelt response really hit home. Thank you! I think I forgot the early days of recovery where we learn to dance with the new way of being. We take a step forward, we hit a wall, we take a step backward, stumble, take a step to the side and so on and so on. It makes for a beautifully awkward dance. Unless you sit on the floor and cry and eat cookies. Then you become me. Heehee

It's time for me to take stock and start 'dancing'. Thank you all for the reminders!

Praise97, I’m not tossing the chocolate either, dark chocolate is good for my heart!

I won't lie either. Its tough not just for Annies but everyone who has faced a crisis. Keep in mind that the "season" doesn't help either. I wish you folks could ALL come to my house right now. My wife and raised a lot of kids - all placed none of our "own" (although these are "our" own) For nearly every one of them Christmas is the one time of year they are reflective. Likley its when things when bad for them. The drinking they started, incapable parents became super parents lavish them with "things" instead of parents. Every community has a few folks right now dealing with the same things you are, but sadly there are many more who are denial, and will never get over it. You will.

I would downplay whats going on around you and enjoy those grandkids, friends and your on line community, stay away from the alcohol, and talk it out. Don't forget just how valuable you are to your loved ones. I know we are supposed to celebrating the birth of a certain Baby, but I think it is also a great time to celebrate your own rebirth as a new and valued person. Everyone you come in contact with is better because you are still here. I'd bet if you asked them, they would to a single person tell you what a wonderful gift your survival was to them.................. Hang in there all.

TJ1, that is beautiful! What a blessing you are to all those kids of yours. Thank you for the reminder. Good thing I don't drink! My downfall is soda :(

I struggled with the why did I survive this issue for years . to cope with it I self medicated with a mixture of pot , lots and lots of alcohol , sex with strippers ( well any woman that would ) and food for a time . I went through all the crap while dealing with a marriage that was failing and trying to deal with the new normal as you have so eloquently put it . I’m in a much better place now . I seen a therapist several times on and off through the years I’m still on a pretty hefty dose of welbutrin but this is my new normal and I accept it for what it is .

Itis definitely NOT idiotic. I gained 110 pounds within 10 years of having the aneurysm. It is not like I tried. Your brain controls appetite and metabolism. We all have some brain scarring. The hypothalamus in the brain determines appetite and body temperature, which is related to calories burned. My body temperature was not 98.6, it usually was 97.2. I was always freezing. I no longer burned calories for heat. Also I developed hypoglycemia (even though I did not have diabetes) meaning I had to eat to feed what I called the hunger monster. I was taking seizure drugs that affected weight. In addition, I was depressed because I felt I had been damaged by the aneurysm and would never reach my full potential. That resulted in a lot of moping and not getting involved in activities that might have helped me burn calories. I encourage you to see a neuro-endocrinologist, who discovered my hypoglycemia and explained hypothalamus problems. There isn’t much in terms of treatment, but knowing what was happening meant I didn’t blame myself for the weight. I lost it with weight loss surgery because I knew the hunger monster was never going away. If I had found the endocrinologist earlier, I might not have had to get to that point. It is “all in your head” but that doesn’t mean it is all psychological. Weight is one of the most misunderstood health problems. Don’t blame yourself or let anyone else blame you.

Edwardo, Gary, Sigmund thank you so much for your honesty and sharing. It really helps to see that hey it's not just me being weird! There is that moment of self bashing that rattles through the brain but then comes a time that I guess we have to realize we have to look at it differently. For instance, I made myself look in the mirror the other day. Once I stopped cringing and wanting to stick my tongue out at my reflection, I stood my ground and said 'hey you...you survived. You are tougher than you think. Woohoo look at you. You relearned things you didn't think you could. Look how far you've come. You're a strong cookie. Hmmm cookie. I wonder if there are any cookies.' Yep, I get easily distracted.

I've started getting on the elliptical. My vice right now is Coke (the drink...not that other bad thing). But little by little. And no, I don't binge on cookies. Thanks again for all your sound wisdom!

Harleylena, have you ever taken hamburger, poured Coke over it, covered the glass with Saran Wrap? It’s gross, I had to do this for a science project in high school. Since then, I might drink one or two sodas a year and that’s a big might :slight_smile:

Um no…doesn’t sound pretty at all!

Cured me from all sodas, just saying. I think it was about the size of a golfball put into a glass and covered with Coke, you might see it on you tube, but I think it’s worth doing, just for the gross effect.

That's what I'm thinking! To try it I mean. To make me see what my guts probably look like!