(A particularly rough day I had a few weeks ago, but I was still joyous to be alive and surrounded by dog love in that moment)
I had a wonderful experience going and doing my reading. The actual physical pain associated with flying across the country and being active constantly for 12 hours a day for several days was brutal, but I would do it again several times over.
Of course there were difficulties. Knowing people I care about are having a rough time and that so many people have killed them selves over not being able to endure the miserable feelings of trauma was very hard to face.
Luckily, I was always met with a loving hug from many people I had never met who just knew how impacted I get by realizing how terribly their past affects their present. It doesn’t necessarily affect your current day, but if your past led you to unhealthy people that you are still around today, it can make feeling as though being peaceful and content will be impossible.
The day I was flying home, a voicemail was left while I was in the air. I didn’t listen to it until today. Sadly it was the cancer and hematology doctors office calling saying they wanted to schedule an appointment immediately.
I don’t know what the future will bring with this. One will never know until they talk to a doctor who specializes in these things. Instead of being super stressed about it, I chose to go back to sleep. I didn’t get home until around midnight, was extremely exhausted, and even with the exhaustion, I wanted to go to wheelchair basketball practice. I have to keep living a life I enjoy.
So my alarm went off at 12:30 pm as that was the latest I could get up to pick up my dogs from the kennel and make it to practice. I had a moment of “why bother”? There is so much wrong with my body that it often feels overwhelming to fight it. I also terribly miss my son who I have been alienated from for nearly 7 weeks now. I used to fight hard for him. Despite my mom being my main abuser, I took care of her during her years of managing her cancer until it took her life. It was a very ugly process.
I will tell you why I bother. I bother as I finally figured out that I’m worth fighting for. I bother as I have not only genuinely figured it out, I have begun to meet a loving circle who reinforce I’m absolutely worth it.
I don’t necessarily require external validation that I’m a person of substance and meaning like I used to, but I never believed them anyway. I guess I sit back being incredulous that even with being so physically sick, I am living a very peaceful life with plenty of joyous moments. (Don’t worry, I cry plenty and get angry enough to make me normal, and my personal cure for anxiety was to let my feelings out instead of holding them in or working to avoid them.)
If you would have known me a couple years ago, you would know that I constantly lived with depression and anxiety. I hated life. I was alone. I went through the motions of life such as going to work, running those dreaded weekend errands, trying to be the best mom possible given how crappy I felt and was dealing with mysterious physical symptoms that had plagued me for years. I had a psychiatrist that believed if an antidepressant gave me mania, then we gave me something to slow me down, then if it slowed me down too much, I got something to speed me up, and so it went until I was on a dozen psychiatric medications for problems that were side effects of the pills. I just put out that warning as it’s sadly how many psychiatrists operate, and it’s a horrible cycle to get stuck in. If you are in that circle, please seek a second opinion!
Luckily, I met a psychiatrist who got me off the pills, told me to get some really good therapy for my trauma and a medical doctor who believed me. She saw me as a person, not just some label she picked out of the DSM.
I know that first brief meeting with her was one of the first times I felt believed that psychiatric medication was probably causing me more psychiatric problems. I’m happy to say I have been psychiatric medication free for a very LONG time. I’m not advocating stopping your medication. If your true problem is trauma, I would recommend getting the best therapy you can and question every diagnosis they give you. I was diagnosed major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, schizoaffective, bipolar… None of it was true. I recognize that I will always manage my CPTSD, but it no longer manages me. Having a severe trauma history is about my past, not how I’m currently living.
I also didn’t stress much about the cancer doctor voicemail as I am grateful to be alive as long as possible. I mean, I’m alive! I’m very alive in that I enjoy life and even in the moments I may have high pain or unable to move as I overdid it, I work at staying grateful to just be here. I could only play basketball for about 45 minutes out of 3 hours, but I did it! I showed up.
I also know that after I gave my reading/ speech last week, so many want to buy my book and encouraged me to go into public speaking about the power to overcome and stay with what is good instead of succumbing to the black hole that is trauma and/or chronic illness.
What is good for me now is that even if I have cancer and obviously all these other neurological problems, I will continue to keep going. I love myself enough to try. I may not see my son, but I love him enough to try, and for all the people who surround me with genuine love to lift me up, I will try for them as I know they won’t let me fall alone.
Sometimes people make it through things. Sometimes they don’t. I know that I have this moment and despite my trip being very mixed with emotions, I realized I have a gift that was very externally validated. I will work on my gift. I will work on my neurological problems, and looks like I might be working on cancer too. At the same time, I will work on my book and perhaps public speaking and anything else that seems worthwhile. I will also work on myself.
So it might not have been the voicemail I wanted, I also realize I can’t wish this away or worry it away. All I can do is be myself and love what I have, but really more about loving who I have and who I have become.
Become the person you always wanted to be. Love who that is. You are not failing even if it seems like you really are. You may feel unloved or alone, but I promise that if you work at it, you will find loving people. You can always email me. I will give plenty of love!
Love (see the love!)