one of these days, i will open the notes app on my phone and the first thought will not be that it’s been one of those weeks. but honestly, it has been. the kind that makes you cry before you go to bed. the kind that hurts. the kind that crumbles your decent mood. the one that causes you to basically abandon your meal preps, your routine, your schedule. it was one of those weeks where i sent an email on a thursday that literally started with ‘happy friday!’ well this is awkward. i felt drained at two pm today. and i went to bed at eight last night. and if you know me, then you know sleeping is just one of those things that doesn’t come easily. and today, i took some shortcuts to make my life easier. i ordered my homeroom more pretzels via amazon; even though they sell those at the grocery store. i also abandoned all dinner plans and ate french fries in my car in traffic. some might call it chaos but really, it’s just what’s working for me right now. because for whatever reason, this season of my life isn’t necessarily harder than other seasons but it’s definitely not easier. i am in a place where different pieces of myself have been laid out before me. and i am trying to weave them into a nice, beautiful finished product. but it’s not going so well. well first of all, some parts of me are pretty broken. and before you get mad at me for saying that about myself, i am allowed to say whatever i want about myself. so some of the parts of me are exactly that- pretty broken. some are missing. some don’t make other people feel all that awesome. and some are overwhelming. some are old parts. and some, extremely new.

and as if the universe felt comfortable enough to loosen the reigns; i found myself saying goodbye to my psychiatrist after twenty three years together. we met when i was eleven years old; literally crying my way through middle school and having panic attacks about sleeping. she held on through the angsty years- when i would legit slump in a folding chair in her office in high school sweats and a tie dye shirt and refuse to make eye contact. she diagnosed me with bipolar disorder just weeks before i turned twenty. she walked me through my multiple medication changes and self medicating days. she cried when i was diagnosed with cancer. and gently carried me through chemotherapy and remission and my surgeries. and today, we said goodbye. as she enters retirement and i continue to navigate the ups and downs of whatever this is. remission. survivorship. life. twenty three years. almost a lifetime. i have sobbed in her office. i have screamed in her office. i have had every emotion in front of this person. and today, we parted ways. before we hung up, she said something to me that i realize i have been waiting my whole life to hear. she said, ‘alix, you amaze me.’ whattttt! me? couldn’t be me. amaze?! feels a little big and unnecessary. but she laid it all out for me in the final minutes of our call. that she has been amazed by my resilience. by my growth. by the transformation. in twenty three years and in the last twenty three months. and that even though the universe dealt me one of the shittiest hands, i took all of those moments; all of those lessons; all of the heartache and sadness and grief and resentment. all of the unfairness and misery. all of the missed moments and opportunities. all of it. and i wove it all together. and i created something that made me comfortable in starting over. in resetting my whole life. and as she’s saying all of this to me- it begins to make sense. that it wasn’t for nothing. even though sometimes it feels that way. the hard parts were the final pieces. the final stitches. the way i was finally able to weave all of this together. to come to this place. nearly two years in remission. to be in this place of healing; not healed. healing.

and sure; there are moments that truly ache at the core. there are moments so triggering that when they come back, i can cry on the spot. there are moments that were so painful and losses so indescribable. but there was also a lot to be found. there were so many pieces of myself that couldn’t exist anymore and pieces of myself i had not even found yet. there is one thing that no one ever tells you about making it to the other side of something as big as cancer and infectious diseases. and that’s the notion that it doesn’t happen overnight. the healing. the growing. the painful process of weaving yourself back into place. it doesn’t happen overnight. it’s not easy. it’s not fun. it’s lonely. it’s painful. it’s four steps forward and then eight steps back. sometimes, it’s weeks before you move at all. it’s even harder when you’re also managing other people’s expectations of your healing. and your own expectations. and the world’s still moving. it feels like you’re stuck. but you also don’t wanna move. and you’re afraid of what’s next. but no one tells you any of that. that healing is messy. and uneven. and even unfair at times. but at least it’s mine. and i am slowly weaving the parts and pieces of my life back together. stitching the broken sections. filling in the gaps and holes. making it stronger in some places. being mindful of the frayed edges. reminding myself that it was beautiful before it was torn.

and it’ll be beautiful once it’s all woven together again.


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