I Got A Breast Reduction At Age 17

I Got A Breast Reduction At Age 17

I wear my lollipop scars like a badge of honor.
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Imagine being a Freshman in high school, 100 pounds soaking wet and 5 pounds of that being boobs.

Taking one look at me now, you would never imagine that I once had size 30H breasts. I usually witness a jaw drop to the floor when I tell someone about the weights I literally carried around for most of my life.

Throughout middle school, I struggled with my weight.

I wasn’t the biggest, but I wasn’t the smallest. I had the scrawniest arms and legs, but a little belly, too. I’m that little girl who walked with a purpose - with my chest out, and my ass pointing in the other direction.

It wasn’t until sixth grade when a couple of boys asked me if I was pregnant that I first realized I didn’t look like the other girls - cue the beginning of my weight insecurities. Still, I refused to wear training bras, deciding a tank top under my t-shirt would suffice. I thought that the tank-top would somehow suck me in. It was my own version of middle school Spanx.

Fast forward to camp, the summer going into my eighth-grade year; I didn't have a belly anymore. I was ecstatic. Little did I know what was to come.

By the end of that year, I had gone from a size C to triple D's.

I was kicked out of Victorias Secret and sent directly to the department store. The sales associate told me they couldn’t help me. I was too small around the back, but too big in the front. It was my worst nightmare: I hadn't lost the weight, it just jumped higher up on my body.

I always tried to buy baggy clothes, but my mom wouldn't let me. She told me that I had such a beautiful body, I shouldn't try to hide it. At the age of 13, I continuously fought her on it. Nothing my Mom said would change the fact that I had two attention-grabbing boulders protruding out of my chest.

Walking out of school one day, a boy told me I was a "butter face."

I remember exactly where I was, the memory is still so vivid. I went home and asked my dad what it meant. When he told me, I shrugged it off and tried to take it as a compliment.

Eventually, those boys who made fun of me started shooting erasers in my bra. Others would poke me with pens, asking if they could pop. Boys will be boys, I thought. Ultimately, I embraced my boobs - figuratively speaking. They became my thing, and I started to joke along with the boys. I figured, “If I can’t beat em, join em.”

At least they weren’t calling me fat.

By the end of my first day of high school, my nickname was coined - I was the Snookie of Orange High School.

Now, that may also have had something to do with the pinned-back bangs I sported on a regular basis. Or perhaps it was because I was 4' 11", olive-skinned and had giant boobs. Anyway, it’s safe to say my freshman year wasn’t the healthiest of my life. I expressed my insecurities by milking (sorry) my nickname - a vulnerability I didn’t realize I had until my breast reduction years later. Even one of my best friends called me tits for the longest time.

Other embarrassing stories followed. I will always remember the one group of seniors writing on a piece of paper, mocking me for who I spent my weekend with and taped it to the window, displaying it for all to see. I laughed it off but later cried myself to sleep. I was automatically given a label because of the way I looked. I was told to wear different shirts. I was told I dressed inappropriately.

But, I wasn’t, and I didn't. My boobs were just so massive, everything I wore exposed them. What was I supposed to do? Wear a turtleneck every single day?

July 30th, 2012: Maxi’s Little Italy

My dad promised me that before I graduated, he would move mountains to get me the breast reduction I needed.

I was practically moved to tears. No more *pull up your shirt* hand motions. No more asking to zip up my sweatshirt. No more back pain. No more headaches. No more walking with my chest and my butt pointing in opposite directions (yes, this was still a problem I had). No more forcing myself to have perfect posture. I was going to get a permanent fix.

And I could not stop talking about it.

I counted down the days until my surgery. My calendar was marked up with crossings, days, numbers, all counting down the until THE day that would change my life.

I was thrown a bye-bye boobies party, and everyone was there. Girls I wasn’t even close with showed up. There were boobie cakes, boobie cupcakes, boobie whistles, cards, frisbees, and suspenders. The hype was real.

Because I made it know to the world that my upcoming surgery was truly happening, I received a lot of comments, mostly all supportive. One negative "compliment" I constantly got, however, was “you’re basically slapping God in the face.” Excuse me, was my body put on this earth for your viewing pleasure? You’re right; I should keep my own permanent weighted vest for someone else’s personal arousal. Not.

At such a young age, I took those comments as a compliment. Now I realize that my body did not and does not belong to anyone else but me, and those comments can be harmful. Fortunately, I always had a fuck 'em personality. I refused to let their words rain on my parade.

Surgery Day (May 2013)

There was obviously nothing but excitement on that day. I brought my teddy bear and blanky with me and was ready to take the surgery by storm. Goodbye to the days where I had to sleep in sports bras and hold my boobs as I went down the stairs.

I did spend a few minutes in the shower the night before saying goodbye to them. It felt like the end of a journey we'd taken together; they deserved a proper send-off. I also asked the doctor if I could take them home, but he told me no because they were considered "toxic waste," but whatever.

Four hours later (longer than expected) and the plastic surgeon comes out to tell my mom he had never seen so much breast matter and so little fat in his life. According to Dr. Generalovich, he removed five solid pounds of "stroma." Look it up. I was such a medical marvel I honestly should have sold it on the dark web. Just joking.

My mom told me it looked like my entire body opened up.

She had no idea I had a neck. It was a miracle. My attitude changed overnight: my confidence improved; my posture corrected itself. I could not wait to buy new bras and bathing suits, something I use to leave the mall crying over. Surprisingly, I wasn’t even in a lot of pain. I was able to get up myself without using my arms (which is a sensitive area when you recently get a breast reduction).

I had my surgery on a Wednesday and was out at a party on Saturday. That summer, at party after party, people kept asking me about my surgery, asking to get a flash of my new boobs. I was beaming with joy. To this day, I believe that this is the best decision I ever made in my life.

Confidence and security is something I have struggled with since my tween-age years. I have grown, but there is never going to be a finish line. I fight daily to feel comfortable in my own skin. Now more than ever, I am the happiest with who I am. It takes work, and I push myself every day to be the best, most truthful and honest version of myself that I can be.

Five years later and my scars are practically invisible. Even if they weren't, I would still be completely content with my decision. My life opened up as a result of my surgery. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it, and I am forever grateful.

Cover Image Credit: Stassi Schroeder / Instagram

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Learning To Love And Appreciate Me Time

It doesn't have to be because you are bored and have nothing better to do.

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If you know me, you know that 10/10 times I would chose spending time with people. It's not that I don't enjoy me time, I just feel like spending time with others can just be much more worthwhile of my time. I am not here to say that one way is much more rewarding than the other, that really depends on the kind of person that you are. It's more just as a complete tie between an extrovert and introvert, I believe that it is extremely important to set time apart in your week to just be alone and relax however you chose.

Honestly, up until this point I took any time that was spent by myself either as boredom or to decompress from being "people'd out". But, I don't think it has to be like that so much. I don't think that in order to have me time you have to be tired or simply have no other options for entertainment, you can just have some time and space to chill the heck out.

Sometimes what scares me away from me time is just being alone with my racing, constant thoughts and so I'd rather distract myself with people. This is a good tactic, but it is also more just running from reality. A much simpler and common reason alone is avoided, is because frankly, boredom is so inevitable.

I didn't really realize the importance of me time until my second semester of college. My first semester I was so caught up in the fact that there are people everywhere you look living across the hall, upstairs, in the building next door, etc. and you have so much more free time to spend with those very people. I was so excited about all of that that I was constantly tired and would bottle up stress because I would just avoid it.

I eventually learned that it is so important that when you get out of class at noon on a Wednesday you can just take a chill pill and decompress for at least 30 minutes and it won't hurt. This doesn't mean you shouldn't spend time with your friends, honestly those crazy long hang out days with friends are some of my most favorite memories. I just mean that it is actually okay to have me time, it doesn't mean anything negative whatsoever.

My biggest recommendations for me time no matter what point in your life you are at, would be driving around with your favorite songs playing, laying in bed listening to music or just absorbing your surroundings, napping, reading, showering, or even just watching your favorite movie for the 100th time. These are just suggestions but they are definitely some of my top choices. My most favorite and recent form of enjoying the silence of me time is with a nice smelling candle lit or the nice smell of this lavender aromatherapy llama (best gift ever!)

A year ago I would definitely admit to absolutely hating spending time alone, but now, I would recommend it to anyone of any age and for any amounts of time during a week. No matter what kind of person you are, I think it is so important to love and appreciate me time just as much as you may love people time.

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