PHYSICAL -vs- EMOTIONAL
This week has been an interesting one. I have not felt much like myself. Everywhere I look there seems to be a reminder of what once was and is no more. There has been an emotional weight, or heaviness that I have carried through the week.
I have come to understand that while much of this Cancer journey has to do with physical struggles it is the emotional pieces which can really undo you. I have learned to accept, or at least live with, the physical limitations that come with my illness and treatment. I no longer push to do everything. I am learning to sit and relax when normally I would have forced myself to keep moving until the last little bit of every project was completed. I cannot move as fast as I used to and that is okay. I struggle to button buttons and getting a credit card out my wallet takes more effort than it ought to. Shuffling through a pile of papers on my desk takes focus and determination, my fingers just do not work like they used to. My bowels, which used to be very regular, now have a rhythm and mind of their own. (I know…TMI…but it is my reality) These physical things I am learning to accept and adjust to.
The mental and emotional waves are different. One moment I can be fine and in great spirits, the next I am not sure which end is up. It feels like the weight of everything comes crashing down and lands square upon me. I get behind in my work. There is a commercial on television. Nancy walks through the room. I lay awake and cannot sleep, wondering about what the future holds. In those moments of emotional turmoil it feels as if things are spiraling out of control. If I am not careful I allow myself to stay in those dark places and I miss the good all around me.
One of the fascinating things about these emotional waves is that they are unpredictable. Everything can be going great. I may be in the midst of an enjoyable and productive day when I stumble on my way up the stairs. “How pathetic…you cannot even walk up the stairs without almost falling…what is wrong with you…pull it together…this is no way to live.” Starting up the stairs all was well. By the time I reach the top I am an emotional wreck.
I have learned how to adapt my walking to the top of the stairs in a slower, more intentional way. Learning how to manage the emotional roller coaster is much more difficult. The sad truth is that I get frustrated with myself, my situation and will sometimes allow that frustration to color conversations with those who care for me most. I get short with Rayann or Nancy. They have done nothing wrong…they just happen to be in the area when I am weak and unable to keep the roller coaster on the tracks anymore. [Read more…]