How does one blog when their mind is in a state of constant chaos? There are so many things going on in my brain, yet I don’t even know how to organize them well enough into written word to share. Moments like these, of overwhelming thought without means of expression, reinforce the fact that being a good writer is definitely a talent; blogging for the sake of blogging doesn’t really do it, despite what some may think. I feel as though my thoughts are meaningful, interesting and sometimes even humorous, likely even things other people would like to read about, but I just struggle more and more every day to share them.
I think wherein the problem lies is that I have been mentally and physically stressed since 2012 rolled in. Coping with the grave loss and sudden responsibility that came at me all at once was difficult. Although things did work themselves out in a lot of ways, the year was one of deep internal struggle for me.
Despite knowing that I found much happiness throughout the year, my emotions feel like they were set to hypersensitivity mode. I found myself well into a new relationship which, although it made me happy, made me extremely anxious. I think at a certain point, once you have experienced so much heartache and you finally find something that gives you joy you are automatically programed to fear it to a certain degree. Why would you want to risk enjoying the way someone or something makes you feel, as good as it can be, when you know how bad the other end of that spectrum feels? Why enjoy something that you know could be very temporary?
My guard really went up after the fall of 2011, quite literally.
As much progress as I thought I had made by mid-year, it wasn’t long before I was derailed again. Two months shy of the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing my mother was diagnosed with the same deadly disease, Breast Cancer. I felt broken. Once word gets out everyone tries to give you some solace with their empty words, but what most of them don’t understand is that it only makes it worse. Why are YOU sorry to hear the news? Do you actually care how we feel? Damnit, why do my feelings even matter? How dare I feel hurt, I’m not even the one who has to go through this. But I do feel hurt. I feel heartbroken again and I haven’t even lost anyone this time. Am I allowed to feel this way? Why am I even thinking about me right now? The whole situation made me angry, the things I was thinking made me angry.
The idea of having to go through the same routine our family thought we would never need to live again made me sick. My paternal grandmother died of Breast Cancer when I was a toddler, my great aunt in 2010 and my maternal grandmother in 2011. To even fathom that this disease was rearing its head in my family again was nauseating, I can’t quite describe what the news did to me mentally and physically. I still don’t have the exact words, and I’m not sure anyone can really understand it, which is the worst part.
Although the diagnosis was completely different in stages, severity, etc., than my grandmother’s advanced case, or any of the other cases my family had experienced, I felt defeated. After the initial shock, my mom was surprisingly strong and positive however, much like my grandmother grew to be. This surprisingly positive outlook on the situation made me wonder how I could feel so negative. Does diagnosis put everything into perspective for the patient? Do they just magically realize that positivity is the best option? How much of their own internal struggle are they not sharing with me? Why do they feel as though they can’t or don’t want to share their true feelings?
I have so many questions, no longer about the physical consequences of the illness, but rather the mental consequences. Having gone through this a time or two, the science of what is going on, what chemo does to the body, how radiation helps, how the stages are classified, etc. is understandable. What I am having a hard time understanding is the mental struggle, the mental stresses this causes. I know how terrible being indirectly associated with this disease has made me feel but I don’t know if I will ever understand how they feel. Heck I still don’t really understand why I feel the way I do about it sometimes either. I have made a point to go to every chemotherapy treatment so far, and I will be there for the final one in on March 6th as well, but just seeing my mom go through it all kills me. I feel horrible knowing what the “medicine” is doing to her body, although it helps in the long run, and I feel even more guilty for not showing more compassion when my grandmother had to go through it. Is it possible that life is making me relearn this lesson in compassion because I didn’t learn it well enough the first time?
The guilt and pain I feel is so unbearable at times. Dear fellow bloggers and people of the e-universe who may read this, I hope you never have to feel the way I do, let alone the way those I love have had to in dealing with this illness. My loving boyfriend and some of my family are volunteering as crew for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer this June in memory of those we love and in hopes for those we will love into the future, if you care to donate please follow the link – Enbridge Ride.