I Know I'm Not Alone, But Depression Makes Me Feel Like I Am
I’m really not sure why this has to happen at the most inappropriate times. All I know is that I feel very sad and very lonely. After dealing with cancer and treatment, I thought it would be all over, but it's not. Anxiety and depression are a part of my recovery process whether I like it or not.
I try telling myself that I’m not alone, but it doesn’t work-- the loneliness just intensifies. I am lucky in the sense that I understand what is happening and I try reaching out for help from anyone I can at that particular time. I don’t often say that my anxiety has taken control of me because I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. Today I tried reaching out, only there was nobody available.
I went out, hoping the fresh air would calm me, but it didn’t. I had no other choice but to park the truck and try my cell to find someone to talk with, to tell me that everything will be ok and that I'm-- just someone to remind me that I’m ok. Everyone was busy with their own day to day lives, which is completely understandable. But I really, really needed someone. After trying to calm myself for an extended period of time, my sister finally called me back and managed to somewhat get me to recover.
My immediate emotional reaction is an outpouring of gratefulness, but then the guilt sets in. I probably cause her anxiety and I'm so sorry for that. She has her own life and then I call and she drops everything to help me. And she's not the only one -- I feel like a burden to so many. I feel like people say "Oh gosh, it's her again, it's always her, does she think everything revolves around her?" I wish I could handle the anxiety and depression on my own -- God knows I have tried -- but I just can't.
I'm not a weak person, by the way. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to go through an episode. Once these episode passes, it takes a full day or two to recover. Just my day to day life keeps me exhausted, but add five children on top of that and an infant who is still not sleeping through the night and I am crawling to bed every day as it is.
I never know when or why these episodes happen. I guess things just build up inside and it decides to explode when I least expect it. Honestly, it’s the calming down that’s the hardest.
Holidays are especially hard. This last December I struggled to pay my bills, and given that it was Christmas I had to chose what bills were more important to pay over others. I struggled to buy Christmas gifts (like many other people because Christmas has changed to children wanting to win the lottery), I struggled with not being with my four children at Christmas this year (for the first time in 11 years, IE their entire lives). I struggled with my family being separated at the one time of year that families are supposed to be together. I’ve had to struggle with emails from my lawyers company wondering when I’m going to make a payment. I struggled with the fear of my cancer returning and reliving those days over and over in my head.
I could list the struggles for days, but where does that get me? It gets to a place of saying that I'm “busy” and “busy” is not where I want to be. I long for the day that anxiety and depression are no longer a part of my life!
How does anxiety and depression impact your cancer journey? Share with us in the comments below
Photo courtesy of Wil Stewart.