What The Hell Just Happened?

Suddenly a year has gone by and the thought that keeps popping up in my mind is, “What the hell just happened?” Last year cancer kicked me off off a cliff. I am still climbing back up that cliff, but is that what I’m supposed be doing?

The urge to run away has been extremely strong. It’s a very foreign feeling to me because I consider myself an expert at hunkering down and riding things out, but lately I find myself looking at jobs far away and wanting to just leave, to be anywhere but here. This is what my anxiety feels like. I have to stop in these moments and let it sink in – this is anxiety and it’s not going anywhere; it’s a part of me now. That doesn’t mean I have to follow the anxiety or run from it. But like anything else in life, I have to understand it before I can deal with it.

I am restless and getting nowhere because I am running in place. We all seem to be running; towards something, away from something, or running to run to something else. We’re hurrying along separately together and all the while a clock is quietly tick-tocking. There is no destination, no prize, but we don’t stop, we can’t stop. It’s a compulsion, gotta keep moving, moving, moving…

Maybe I just need to sit. To see the train, acknowledge the train, but not get on the train. Maybe I need to watch the train go by. Sometimes what you think you should do and what you actually should do are not the same thing.

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Crossroads

September 23, 2015

If there is a crossroad where surreal, nightmare, and reality meet, then I’m at it. There is no reference point to where I’m at, no how-to manual. I guess I’m writing my how-to manual right now.

Today I had to walk away from the T-burg building knowing that I would not be back to physical labor for four to six weeks. It was a pretty crappy feeling. I feel guilty that I’m leaving so much undone.

When we were at the surgeon he first said I could be back to work in two weeks. Amelia stopped him immediately and told him that I am a physical worker. “Oh, no, no, no, at least four weeks…if you’re lucky. More like six weeks.” Ha. Two weeks. Because clearly women sit at a desk all day. Not this woman.

Psychologically the next few weeks are going to be tough. I already have a tendency for depression; tendency is putting it mildly. Movement keeps my depression at bay. The more I move, the better I feel. No matter what my emotions are in the coming weeks, things will move around me, life will move on around me, and I will have to find a new way to cope. This is a danger zone for me and just because I’m aware of it, that doesn’t mean I won’t disappear into some dark spot. But I always find my way out and this will be no different because everything is temporary.

Here’s to tomorrow, to the next phase of my cancer journey.

Stress, panic, anxiety

September 17, 2015

We all go to the doctor and get that question, “Have you been experiencing any stress lately?” Who the hell says no to this?! If you don’t experience stress I’m pretty sure you are not contributing to society properly. We live in a world overwhelming us with bad news every minute of the day. Yes, we are all stressed.

I know stress. Too much to do, not enough time to do it, over extended, maxed out.

I know panic really well. Those intense moments of holy sh*t, I’ve gotta get out of this room full of people. Or holy sh*t, that spider is going to kill me. Or holy sh*t get me outta this dentist’s chair. Panic is my default really. I am quite comfortable with panic. It’s relatively quick and not based in reality. It goes away.

Now I’m discovering anxiety. I truly had no idea it was any different than panic. But anxiety is based in reality. Cancer is my reality. And the anxiety is not going away easily. This is going to be a long haul. There is tension in my stomach that makes me want to vomit, a tightness in my chest that goes all the way up to my throat. And. It. Doesn’t. Go. Away.

For years I’ve brushed off people complaining about anxiety because I ignorantly thought they were making a big deal out of a small thing. I was so wrong and I apologize to anyone that experiences anxiety on a daily basis. It’s the typical scenario of you-don’t-know-until-it-happens-to-you. In a way I’m glad I’m experiencing anxiety so I can have more compassion for those around me.