Chronic Snarkopolist: Free Falling and Doing it all Sick
Hello my loves!
Life has a funny way challenging us, stripping us to the bare bones, and then asking us for the marrow. Almost everyone can remember the starkness of the room when the day the got their cancer diagnosis. Many people can describe the frustrating, circuitous routes to finding and treating their autoimmune diseases. Along the way they bore witness to their routines, marriages, finances, their LIVES changing.
Describing the challenges of going through the loss of her life and being forced to rebuild it, one woman said to me, “I did an open free fall, like jumping from a plane. It went on for a year. And the whole time I did it while protecting my six year old son.” She healed from it and rebuilt a life for herself. Her son is in college and she has a practice now. This is the best case scenario to losing everything and rebuilding.
Some people are so altered they never fully recover from it. I once spoke to a practitioner during my procedure. She was very quiet and very calm. She clearly wasn’t used to having patients see her as a “real person.” She told me of going through cancer treatment. And during that time, her own colleagues and family didn’t know what to say. Some thought she was seeking attention. Some treated her callously. Others stopped talking to her.
She lost many she felt were friends. She was disappointed. In reaction she pulled away from people. Even years later she described herself as less trusting, more of a homebody, and only did things with her husband and the very few people who got her through her illness. She wasn’t interested in making more friends. And mostly, she told me she felt more betrayed by people than illness. “I keep to myself. I do my work. I don’t go out. When I retire I will stay home.”
Hearing her story hurt my heart. I was so angry on her behalf. We have all been wounded. I hugged her as I left and told her I was so sorry for what she had been through. She seemed genuinely surprised. I know she felt a little nervous for telling me so much. It wasn’t, “professional” to share so much. I LOVE stories and sharing. And as I hugged her, I hoped both of us were a little more healed. It was the only thing I could give her as I left, a little human compassion on my way out the door.
No matter how hard we try, someone is going to tell us we aren’t good enough. This message will either come in a little envelope with blood results, a thyroid level, or because we simply cannot keep up with everyday life or the demands and expectations we set on ourselves.
We will have to make decisions, hard ones, about what matters more to us. We will have to things go. Dreams will shatter. We will constantly have to bite back the urge to remind people, “I really used to be quite something.”
Self-pity and self-anger will wind around inside. Repeatedly we will face the reality that life, consists of not only celebration, but loss. Loss of identity, independence, ego, financial solvency, friendships. All life is loss. Just as all life is growth. And when we are in the loss stage it doesn’t feel good.
Even when we are in the steady healing phase, there is loss. And there are setbacks. And there is self-doubt. And our slower life, learned by lessons of necessity are often, “tsk tsked” by well meaning friends. Every day I worry that I’m simply not good enough. And every day I realize that I share this planet with people feeling the same exact thing. And I just keep going. Sometimes after wallowing a bit or sharing. How else can we do it?
What do you think my loves? Is there any other way? What are your experiences of loss? What are your experiences of rebuilding? How do you tread water? How do you “remember” who you are afterwards? Or do you? After massive life changes and loss do you just start back and go from there? How do you deal with Rage? Anger? Do you go home and live with just you and the dog? Please tell me! I must know!
I will see you same time next week! Kiss kiss!
Tags: cancer diagnoses changes everything, challenges with diagnoses, life altered forever as a result of diagnoses, life's challenges, life's challenges and chronic illness, making difficult decisions about health