The journey to becoming a cancer survivor has been a roller coaster ride with tall swings from high to low and loop-to-loops that have left me feeling exhilarated, joyous, anxious, fearful and deprived all at once.
As I look back over this year I wonder how I ever survived it without an emotional breakdown. And I wonder if maybe I broke down and didn’t realize it.
There have been days over the past few months that find me sitting. I sit and stare at mindless daytime TV, the latest TNT marathon or simply just out the window at nothing. I’ve been frustrated at myself for not writing quality posts but when I try to write the words get all jumbled up with emotions I can’t identify.
I’ve carried tremendous guilt because of all the time I’ve spent just sitting. I've grown weary of feeling guilty for the way things turned out and tired of the hurt I've seen cancer bring to those around me.
I’ve carried a load of guilt for the fatigue. And although it’s getting better there have been nights I have been too tired to get up and comfort my children in their nightmares. Those nights have left me ragged. They come to me at night, sometimes I get up with them and sometimes I hug them in a semi-conscious state, mumble an incoherent prayer and send them on their way.
I was given a new lease on life and I feel there are minutes and days that I’m squandering it by doing nothing but staring at the ticking clock.
But maybe it’s not nothing, maybe it’s something and something important. Maybe it’s a phase of the grief that cancer brought this way because hard times bring grief. Even hard times with happy endings bring loss and emotional weariness.
Maybe the sitting, letting my mind wander without entertaining a heavy thought is therapeutic. Maybe I’m in emotional recovery.
Yesterday I realized what I was feeling was probably normal and that other people who have had stressful years full of hard and shocking circumstances must sit too. And I thought that my emotions weren’t really all that unidentifiable anymore.
Today these crazy unfamiliar emotions I’ve been wrestling with seem more like old friends than new enemies. Today I look forward to what I will learn and uncover in the process. I look forward to those I will meet along the way and I hope to bring comfort to those who are hurting. Today I embrace the freedom to change and the energy to begin. Again.
“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:22-23 NIV