A year ago, I had no problem filling the pages. I used to be able to sit down and type a whole blog without too much effort. I had so much to say. So much I wanted to share. Now I feel like I am not sure how to do it anymore. I think it is just temporary. Right now, I just struggle to express myself in a deeply connected way.
This year, I have struggled with loss in a whole new way. I kind of feel like I am a really crappy player in a sped up game of dodgeball. The hits come really fast and I can only move in slow motion. I continue to face loss when I find out I face continued health problems. These are new. They are way less mental and way more physical. Since the beginning of the year, I have felt limited by new physical health issues. I feel constricted and even sometimes paralyzed. That powerlessness hasn’t given me the drive to stand up to my limitations. It has given me the ability to accept. Because acceptance looks kind of new to me, I don’t always understand it. I have really high expectations of myself and so I feel like I am settling or giving up. I’m pretty sure that isn’t what it is. I am in unfamiliar territory. I am “content”.
I experience less frustration and more “oh well”. What on earth does “oh well” mean??! Is it like well, that happened…moving on. I need another word. Maybe the feeling is acceptance, but what if it is complacency?? I haven’t been fierce and resilient for all of these years to easily recognize what it is to accept and go with it. Is this another way to fight? To survive? … Just being? Just letting things happen? It doesn’t feel like I am blowing off change. It feels like it just may not have to be as much of a blow every time. But I am kind of scared that will turn me numb. That I won’t fight as hard. Do I even need to fight as hard? Help me understand this.
I have also experienced a lot of major loss this year. Finally, my friendships with other cancer survivors has caught up with me. Not everyone comes out of this like I did. It seems like at least once or twice a month, I have lost a friend to this disease. I have chosen to hold on to my beloved friends with all of my might, keep them close, be by their sides, and face big disappointments with them. I have lost friends with young children.
I don’t have what is known as survivors guilt where one would think, “Why them? Why not me?” That is not really how my brain works. I have sadness. I have done my best to the end to not let my friends feel alone. But sometimes, after that, I can’t grieve. I can’t grieve anymore. They are gone. But boy, did I love the shit out of them when they were here. I laughed, I cried, I held and hugged. But then it is over. My emotions won’t work the way they used to. I don’t stop thinking about them, or honoring their memory, but I don’t cry as much as I used to about death. I just accept and move on.
I don’t understand this acceptance thing. I keep trying to judge if it is good or bad. I know that it “just is”. It is uncomfortable to feel this way. It is uncomfortable to know that all of the therapy I have gone to and all of the work I have done ends up looking like this. Acceptance, content. Now the work is to accept that I have reached what I have been trying to lean into. Mindfulness-weird peace. Why is this uncomfortable?