“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”
Written Tuesday 25th Jan
Today I woke and decided I am not going to rush to get dressed. I decided that today I am going to just go with whatever I feel. It dawned on me that for the past however many weeks, I’ve woken up, got dressed and ready for the day ahead, carried on regardless, finding time passing by so fast and having less time to get things done even though in theory I should have ‘more’ time to spare. Today is different, today I am not making specific ‘time’ for things, I’m simply making some time for me however I choose, no plan, no to do list today. This is not a sign of weakness or giving In I tell myself, this is my time, it’s needed, needed more than I even realise.
The past couple of weeks I have allowed feelings to come and go. Feelings like SH*T ‘this is actually happening!’ Trying to explain this in words is hard, so bare with. I do at times forget what is actually happening with me, I think I have the balance right but I also have come to learn that being ‘too’ strong Is no good for anyone. Through life I have favoured the ‘glass is refillable’ theory, but I think I’m only human when I say sometimes I can’t quite believe what has happened over the past 6 months, but, this isn’t a nightmare, this is an experience.
I had an email this morning to discuss world cancer day, I had been forwarded a small quote which I had written. As I read it through my eyes filled with tears. You see although they were the words that I had written, I didn’t recognise that person, I felt sad for them, but that person was me. Such a surreal feeling, it’s not that I am looking for sympathy, I was actually ’empathising’ with my own self, something which is incredibly hard to do. A little part of me is always worried that I may appear to be feeling sorry for myself.
That fine Line
There is a fine line isn’t there, between keeping it together and falling apart. Between being too strong or being too weak. A fine line between how much you accept and how much you avoid. This fine line I believe is where our own balance lies. It is the space between, ‘it’s cool I’ve got this’ and ‘I’m out of control and falling apart.’ Looking back at the me before cancer I was at times propelled into both extremes and each time I become less connected to my own self. It sounds cliche but yes cancer has, and I guess will, continue to teach me these truths about myself.
The fine is right in between these extremes, balancing there like a plate spinning on a stick. It is recognising the pain or sadness, the uncomfortable emotions that make you want to escape your own body, but allowing them in so you can accept them. Avoiding these emotions does not take them away. They are left inside, deepening further becoming more jumbled with other life events that pile on top and decide to rear their ugly heads when you least expect. I look into my future and I see happiness, but I also am fully aware that it will of course have it’s challenges too. If you have read my previous blogs you’ll know that we don’t have children YET, we one day want our own family more than anything, but of course silly cancer came along to make things just that little bit more difficult. So heres the thing, I could keep my head down and avoid each and every sad or painful emotion experienced, Like the thought of possible difficulties with fertility, whilst being advised not too think too much about this but I feel diferenty. At first I felt so angry and scared, google makes you panic even more so stay away from that, but I made a deal with myself, I asked myself to feel and take note of the possibilities both good and bad. I sat with them and felt them. I got upset but gave it time to pass and not once did I pressure myself into feeling a certain way. You see now I feel like I have prepared myself just that little bit more. I didnt want to get to that point and fall apart, and I certainly didn’t want to have years of emotions built up within me ready to pour out and tip me into that extreme of being totally out of control. .
What I am trying to say is that I am dealing with everything I can head on. If I let things build within which has been a coping mechanism of mine throughout my years growing up I won’t be able to manage or cope with the strains that may be sent my way in the future and although this isn’t a fix for never feeling sad, angry or low again it is a way to prevent everything falling apart in one fail swoop when I least expect it.
Think of it as this, to have cancer is shit enough, to let it burry within you without any acceptance of your own emotions can damage your future choices and your future happiness.
This morning was a sign to me that I needed to spend a little time acknowledging what has happened so far. I am guilty of holding it all together when actually I am breaking inside, but I recognise this and as I’ve said that is half of the battle.
We all go into survival mode and that is necessary of course it is, things need to be done and you must keep moving forward but not if you are ignoring your own emotional heartbreaking signs along the way. These signs come in to remind you that it is at times ok to have a little cry to yourself, it’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to feel vulnerable and it’s ok to feel that this is pretty shit. But it is not ok to ignore these emotions, because, they will indeed rear their ugly head at a time when you least expect it, at a time when you need all the strength you can get.
Listen to your body not just in the physical sense but listen to your emotions and acknowledge them. I have always been an emotional type, I do wear my heart on my sleeve and for years I believed this to be a weakness but let me tell you this is complete bullsh*t! I am sat here managing cancer, pouring my heart out into my writing, sharing it and feeling proud of my feelings, my weaknesses and my strengths, the lot.
Cancer has taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. I’m stronger than I ever knew because I have allowed myself to fall apart to allow my spirit to pick myself up and put me back on the right track. All you have got to do is have that belief in yourself, because, at the end of the day, belief in oneself really is life changing in every way imaginable.