What It Feels Like To Have A Breast Reduction

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What It Feels Like To Have A Breast Reduction

I was defined by my boobs; every day they consumed my thoughts and actions. I could never escape them. They were always there, always reminding me of the limits they imposed on my life. Whenever I walked into a room, everyone’s eyes would focus not on my face, but my chest. Whenever someone was describing who I was to another person, they would say, “You know, the girl with the big boobs.”

It became clear in high school that I couldn’t live with them anymore. My increasing chest size took a toll on my normal daily activities. Being in sports all year round was the biggest challenge: imagine jumping, running, spinning, even stretching with double H cups. I mean, I didn’t even know double H was a bra size until I had to start going to specialty stores to find something that would actually fit. At this time, I didn’t realize how big they actually were because, well, I was living with them every day, so I got somewhat used to them.

When I told my peers about my struggles, they didn’t understand. They couldn’t wrap their brain around why I would ever “get rid of my best feature.”

Understandably, everyone loved them; they were somewhat of an anomaly. They were something to talk about; guys would argue that they aren’t that bad to live with, that I should keep them. One of my favorite comments was, “Jill, I won’t talk to you ever again if you get a breast reduction.” I tried not to take it to heart, but the comments fed my insecurities and weighed on my thoughts of getting the procedure. What if everyone is right and they won’t like me as much with smaller boobs? What if guys won’t be attracted to me anymore? Would this change the person my male friends identify with? For that matter, would this change the person my female friends identify with?

Most 17 year olds haven’t had to face this kind of life changing decision. That’s why I was fearful. Fearful of the reactions. Fearful of the physical and mental pain. Fearful that I would lose a level of sexuality. Let’s be honest, every girl wants to be found attractive by somebody. Oftentimes, we are judged before someone gets to know our inner beauty, worth and intelligence. That is why I was scared to lose a part of myself.

The last day of junior year marked a major milestone in my life; after the letter came in the mail informing me that our insurance would cover the surgery, I decided to get a breast reduction. In the end, I knew I had to do what was best for me and my future.

The recovery was harder than anything I had been through before. Thank god I didn’t know what it was going to feel like after the surgery or else I wouldn’t have gone through with it. I was in Hell for weeks; I could not move my arms, I could not move my torso, I could not do anything for myself. My mom had to brush my teeth, bathe me and even help me sit up. I was completely vulnerable and could do nothing for myself, a feeling that I never want to experience again. A feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

The physical pain went away after a couple months, but the real doozy is the mental pain and confusion. I cried almost every day after the procedure. I was fearful of what others would think, and I was fearful of looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself. It’s silly to look back on it and think that this one part of my appearance could bring up so many emotions, but it’s the truth.

I still feel insecure, but I’m not alone because isn’t that the human condition? Don’t we all struggle with our own self worth?

I try my hardest to live my life confidently, but the feeling of regret creeps into my head often. 11 months later, and I can say, with some confidence, that I am glad I did it. Truly, no one can ever understand what it was like to live with them, and what it was like to get a breast reduction, until they have lived with them, felt the burden and made the life changing choice to have surgery.

Looking back on the whole process, I think that this decision took major guts and bravery. I chose to change my life in a major way that altered everything I do, and it even altered the way I think about certain things. I second-guessed myself every day before the surgery, and I still sometimes notice the feeling of regret deep inside me.

They are just boobs, but they are so much more than that.

They are just made of fat, that carry a big impact in my life.

They shouldn’t be a big deal, but they are.

They use to define me, but now I define me.

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