It will get better. It will get worse. About the only thing we really have is that it will change. I used to think this was depressing. I felt that it meant that I couldn’t control my life. This is true to some extent. I probably don’t have absolute control, but this thought is also freeing. If I don’t control it all then it means that some of the pressure is off.
I’ve lived with cancer for the last eight years. For approximately three years, I was considered in remission, but cancer still haunted me. Once it entered into my life it became a family member that I both loved and hated. I fought with two ideas – one that I control the cancer and the other that I am a helpless victim.
Both ideas left me exhausted.
The latter didn’t set well with me. I don’t like being a helpless victim although I do fall into the role sometimes without realizing it. If I am helpless then it makes life appear pretty hopeless and living life from this perspective can be quite challenging.
If I control my cancer then life gets pretty stressful as every bit of food, thought, action, translates to my well-being and whether or not I am successful in healing my body. I had thought that it would be easy, but with time I found myself frustrated and often overwhelmed. Trying to achieve a life of zen wasn’t as easy as I had imagined.
Recently, it all came to a head. Like a zit that is so swollen you know it’s going to explode. That was me. I had held it together for so long, trying to help others, trying to help myself, and I was empty, with the exception of the big zit that held all my hurt and pain, my resentment, my hopelessness. I couldn’t find the energy to move into the future.
I called out to those who love me most, my family and friends and admitted my weakness, my vulnerability. I needed love. I had empty myself in trying to do everything on my own. In trying to be self sufficient. While intellectually I understood that I was loved and cared for, in my reality, I had spent the last year struggling to find my place and feeling so very alone.
My loved ones didn’t disappoint me. I called and they came. Helping with meals, laundry, shopping, and just showering me with love, holding me while I cried. Helping to fill me up after I had become so empty.
Slowly, my mind, body, and spirit have started to heal. I find myself different once again. I try to pinpoint the change, but I cannot. It wasn’t any one thing. I only know that I have let go of something very heavy. Something that I could no longer carry. Maybe it was all the rules, the requirements I had for myself, maybe it was my expectations. Maybe it was the search for the right answer. It may have been the judgments on myself. Maybe it was all of it.
Regardless, I can breath again. I feel life entering me and I wonder what is in store.