how does one not start a blog post with the words ‘i am having a hard time’? it’s literally like the only opening line i can think of. honestly, because it’s probably the most accurate description. people ask me how i am all the time but i rarely tell it like it is. because vulnerability is hard for me. and i strongly desire to keep my pity party to a solo entrance fee kinda situation. not a full on gala. not a party of five. just me. for the protection of everyone else. and when i mentioned that to my therapist this afternoon, she kinda threw it back at me. because i live to be a sounding board for everyone in my life. come, sit down. tell me your troubles. i will always listen. i will likely send you a card or a care package the next day. and i will definitely follow up with you about it. until you are healed. or happy. or okay. or whatever. and here i am. in the worst storm of my life, with an oar or two. paddling like a maniac. afraid to unload this mess of a hurricane onto anyone else. how ironic. because the truth is, i am having one helluva hard time. loneliness combined with battling cancer, which by the way, is as awful and ugly as they say. there is absolutely nothing about it that i would desire anyone to ever have to go through. it’s the worst thing i have ever been through. and i used to say that about battling an infectious virus seven months ago but alas, here we are. most days, i wake up already sad. sometimes it’s because i dreamt i was done fighting and wake up to discover that i am definitely still in the throes of it. other times, it’s just sheer bitterness. ya know, the really ugly kind. the kind where you are mad it’s happening to you but don’t wish it on anyone else. and that bitterness feels stupid and selfish so you bury it. you push it deep down. and it gurgles back up in an ugly way. there’s something extremely important about recognizing what you’ve been dealt. that’s what my therapist kinda threw back at me. recognition. opening your arms to it. it doesn’t mean liking it or even hugging it or even accepting it. it just means recognizing it. recognizing how awful it is. how ugly it is. how unfair it is. how much it’s changed you. how much it’s broken you. how much it’s hurt you. how much it sucks. how much it’s taken. and how hard it’s pushing you. pushing you into places of discomfort. places of pain. places of vulnerability and asking for help and feeling about a million things and being misunderstood while trying to be understood. recognizing it. recognizing that you are being pushed. and it’s the least fun i have had all year. but recognition. that’s important. because in recognizing the hard parts, we can also recognize how we survive. i know that sounds dramatic but for me, it’s a reality. survival mode is a big thing for me right now. taking each day a step at a time and focusing on the now and what’s happening right in this moment. steering away from looking at the end of the road or the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. recognizing what’s helpful in supporting my mental health while battling cancer and recognizing what’s damaging too.

acceptance is one of the hardest stages of grief. i know i have mentioned it about a hundred times at this point but whatever. it’s hard because it makes it real. and a lot of what i have had to do recently is accept. but in doing so, there has to be recognition. coming to a place where you can realize what’s been given and how it’s going to shift you from every angle possible. and once you realize just what that shift looks like, finding the vulnerability inside to say that it’s going to be a hard journey or that it’s going to suck. owning it. for sure taking ownership of what has been given. because here’s the thing, everything does not happen for a reason. i want that written on my tombstone. mark my words, okay? okay. there isn’t someone out there granting good shit to some people and really awful shit to others. that ain’t how it works. and if you do believe that’s how it works, we might need to chat. but here i am. in the fight of a lifetime. literally unhinged at times. fighting back nausea half the time and tears the other half. feeling helpless, a little useless, a little broken. feeling down and yet hopeful. trying not to complain but wanting nothing to do with seeing the bright side sometimes. angry sometimes and just downright sad other times. forgetful more often than i would like to admit and tired all the damn time. questioning pretty much every piece of my existence and wondering where my path went wrong to lead me here. and there will never be an answer to that. and there has to be some recognition in that too. just recognizing the plate for what it is. you’ve been served it and you didn’t order it and you don’t like it. and that’s cool and all. but it doesn’t change a thing. because it’s still in front of me and i have no choice but to recognize what i have been given and take my very next step. whatever that is. maybe it’s just taking a shower. or maybe walking to the end of the driveway. or replying to three text messages. or maybe it’s just existing. and that is perfectly fine too.

there’s a lot going on. not just for me but for everyone. it feels like the world is wound tightly and hanging over this abyss of eggshells. and we all wanna be right and don’t dare talk to anyone who might be wrong. and it’s kinda messy and a little ugly. and sometimes all it takes is just recognizing that and taking the next step. for me, a lot of what’s happening to me feels big and out of my control. change is very hard for me and i feel like every aspect of my existence has been flipped upside down. but there is something crucial and defining about stopping in the moment to alllow fo recognition. to put power behind what you’re feeling as well as take judgement away from your thoughts or emotions. being present in what’s happening to you. rather than reaching for the future or the what ifs or what wills. staying focused on what’s happening right now. and recognizing that it’s okay to be in whatever space you’re in. for me, i am a mess. overwhelmed, tired, hangry for sure. and a lot of what i am going through is hard for others to process and relate. and i get that and i recognize that. i am just here for the feelings. and that’s cool too.

i have no freaking idea if this blog post even makes sense. because i guess what i am trying to say for myself at least is that the place i am in right this moment; this cancer filled wind tunnel of bullshit and a whole lot of other shit no one warned me about. it’s not my favorite. there i said it. i absolutely hate everything that’s happening to me and my body right now. and sometimes i am afraid to admit my sadness or depression for fear of other people thinking that i will establish residency in the suburbs of sorrows, wallow and pity. but the truth is- sometimes misery just wants a little company. and sometimes misery, sadness, anger and wallowing in self pity are the only emotions that show up to the party. and it helps. to have someone by your side, stroking your hair (or in my case, lack thereof) as you sob into a pillowcase. sometimes it’s just important to recognize where you are, what’s happening and what it’s doing to you. it’s okay to recognize the pain, the suffering, the heartache, the whatever. it’s okay to have feelings. it’s okay to let them be present. it’s okay to feel. so maybe that’s all i was destined to say. but it’s true.

you betta recognize.

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