it’s been one of those days. sometimes i ask myself if other people have these kinds of days. the kind where it literally feels like the entire sky opens up and dumps an absolute hail storm right onto you. no warning. full out. the kind of day where you lay down with that headache that just creeps to the base of your neck. the headache that you know stems from the fact that you cried for forty five minutes in the car outside your niece’s dance class. and then cried all the way home too. and now it’s quarter til ten and all you want to do is sob. it’s been one of those days. it’s only tuesday and i can already get a taste of what the week is fixing to bring to me. and i know, i have been a bit quiet lately. and with good reason, i guess. sometimes i feel like my story feels broken recordy. sometimes it’s just too much to even break down into a palatable sentence. and sometimes, i just don’t know how. but i am having a hard time right now. i have been quieter than usual on social media. and even quieter within my circle. the healing process is feeling rather overwhelming and frustrating. i cross one bridge, only to be met with any even bigger river to try to leap over.
and today, i sat in the middle of my bed and cried for an entire hour. in front of my therapist. who i felt i needed to apologize to at the end of the session. because i barely came up for air. and i finally admitted to her that i am quite frankly sick of the universe. sick of drowning in what is quite possibly the longest identity crisis of my life. tired of being tossed amongst the largest waves of grief. over and over again. that it was never, ever, ever supposed to be like this. that the life i had before cancer is still a life i long for. that i find myself dreaming of, waking up with tear stained pillows. that tonight as my husband tucked me in, i said ‘I am feeling a little bit sad’ and he replied, ‘yeah. and it’s okay to be a little bit sad’. and he will continue to allow me to be sad. because here i am; at the fourteen month mark. in a very, very uncomfortable place. tumbling in waves of grief. the grief of a life i had and will never have again. grief of a body i knew and can’t remember. grief of the body that exists now. one that continues to disappoint me and fail me. one that fought and sometimes still feels like it lost. one that is stitched and uneven. grief of relationships that broke my heart in a heavy time of my life. grief over moments that destroyed me while in treatment. moments that bring me to my knees in tears when they flashback in my mind. grief over the first strand of hair that fell out of my scalp. grief over the friend who didn’t stick around while i fought for my life. grief over the eighteen inch scar that failed to heal. leaving me black and blue and purple from hip to hip. grief over a postponed surgery date this past fall. and now, a new grief over surgery off the table for the foreseeable future. grief over a body that remains fractioned. grief over this roadblock in the many paths i have tried to lay.
my therapist said to me today that perhaps the reason the grief feels so heavy is because you are so mad it exists. you can’t accept the grief and be mad that it still remains. they can’t live side by side. they can’t coexist. they aren’t meant to. but i am angry to be still grieving. two years after an infectious disease. fourteen months in remission. nine months post treatment. four months from my surgery date. but the truth is- i am. and i think i have been so afraid to say it out loud. because i had told myself that it needed to be behind me. that my grief didn’t fit into any of the places i wanted it to fit. that when i said it out loud, i thought i would appear dramatic. or worse. but it’s true. and it’s real. and i am not having a good time. and i have been living in this place where i thought i had to neatly wrap my grief and pain; to move on and figure it out. but it’s impossible. it’s making the healing harder. more painful. more agonizing. it is unfair of me to stifle my own emotions for the sake of creating a picture of healing that is, well, not accurate.
if anything, this fourteen month mark feels lonely. it feels heavy. it feels uncomfortable. it feels disappointing. because the battle wages forward. with grief heavy on my back. with recurrence on the brain. a surgery off the calendar. and a lot of work ahead. to accept the grief. to acknowledge the grief. and to begin to unpack it; one moment at a time.
the work feels immense. my therapist said that the work might feel small and silly in these moments when my trauma is the biggest it’s been in awhile. i nodded. and that’s okay, she said. there is no timeline. the grief is already here. it’s time to let it visit.