I'm Not OK, but I'm OK With That
To say this has been the hardest year of my life would be a huge understatement. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to be alive-- but boy was I fooled when I thought going through surgeries and tests and making life changing decisions was the hard part. Survivorship has been my biggest nemesis. I struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis. Throw on top of that the menopause and you have a roller coaster of a ride.
Recently, I have been thinking about what this "cancerversary" means. Do you celebrate the day? Do you mourn? Do you try to forget it exists? Depending on what part of the roller coaster I am on determines my choice for the day. Knowing this was going to be a rough week for me I planned on making it as happy as I could. Good attitude makes for good outcomes, no?
The beginning of the week kicked off and I was, for lack of a better phrase, a hot damn mess. I cried for most of the day. For what? I am not even sure. The only thing I could come up with was I was just sad that I have to think this way and prepare myself for this week. Sad that I had to go through what I did. Sad that one day can change the course of your whole life. Then the anger came. I'm angry that I am sad. Angry for the same reasons I was sad. Angry because I can't fight my way out of the depression that has set in for that day. Angry that my face is raw and my eyes are burning from crying all day.
I am alive and currently with no evidence of disease, so why am I miserable? Why do I want to spend the day in a cocoon of blankets in my bed? I should be enjoying life, right? So now I beat myself up for that, too. It's a never ending cycle. Sometimes the good and/or bad stretches last longer than just the peaceful, grateful ones.
The only thing I can do is forgive myself. I have to remind myself that it is ok to cry, to be sad, to be angry and most of all to be happy. So on the eve of "CD Day" I will make a plan to not have a plan for the next day. I am not in control of what will happen or how I will feel but I can control my reaction to it. I give permission to myself to be whatever! I now know that I am not alone in feeling this way. That has taken me time realize and sometimes I still have to remind myself.
My hope is that anyone who reads this can relate in some way. The biggest lesson I have learned to this point is that you have to love yourself.
How did you feel on your cancerversary day? Share in the comments below or sign up here.
Photo courtesy of Averie Woodard.