Words

I love when I read a book and it sparks something in me. It evokes feelings I didn’t know I had. I just finished reading Far Cry by Kate Canterbary and I’m just in awe. I relate to the main character, Brooke so so much. The years I remember of my childhood were spent in and out of doctors offices and hospitals with my dad. Don’t get me wrong I never lacked the love or important stuff, but growing up with that leaves a lasting impact on my soul. In the book, Brooke is this fiery, fierce woman who has endured a lot and has learned to take no shit. But underneath it all she is deeply impacted by the wounds of her life. In one part she says “I’ve been dragging little red wagons worth of issues around since forever.” I’ve never had something sink in my skin the way that sentence did.

We all bare scars from the life we’ve lived thus far. It’s up to us whether we learn from them and allow them to hinder us or enable us. The past 5 months have unearthed past hurts for myself and my mom. Hurts that I didn’t know she had and hurts that I didn’t know really bothered me. Those are her story to tell and to work with. I tend to take in others problems, especially of those I care most about. I’ve lived a life where it’s easier to pick up and carry on than it is to sit with my feelings and allow them to teach me something. Cancer is a huge part of my life, as is my journey with my past. I’m allowed to feel the way I do and so are you. Know one has lived in your shoes but what I do know is, it’s possible to hurt people because you hurt. Cancer has taught me more than anything in my life and yet I hate it with a passion I didn’t know I possessed. Cancer is like looking in 360 degree mirror of your life. It invites feelings that you didn’t know were there. My soul hurts, my depression is worse than it ever has been. I have suicidal thoughts more than I had in my teen angst years. My soul is tired. Im tired of fighting this battle and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don’t know that I want to live anymore. I’m tired of fake people who make it seem like their life is perfect. I’m tired of the financial and emotional burden cancer has put on my mom and I. I’m tired of people who say they’re there but never really show up.

This wasn’t wrote to seek pity but as a reminder that words have the power that a knife never will. The letters and sentences can be the very thing that lifts someone up or bury them Remember that the next time you speak.

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Free

I have this violent tossing turning feeling in my soul lately. It reminds me of the ocean how the tides push and pull. I dream of being free. Of not having all these lose ends that keep me from moving forward. Fear. Anger. Love. Familiar. Safe. Secure…

Cancer is like looking in a full length mirror. You become painfully self-aware of everything in your life. The people who really care. Those that are ride or die. Those that are merely acquaintances. What matters. What doesn’t. What you can control. What you can’t. What you really care about and what merely takes up space in the bullshit folder of your subconscious. I haven’t really wrote in months. I felt broken, still do most days. But as cliche as it sounds “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

I found out in November that all my scans came back clear, No Evidence of Disease. Like, what does that mean? I ask myself, literally and metaphorically. I have nothing physically holding me here for the first time in 20 years…

That was until today. I got the news that the cancer has returned. It’s been all of 5 months cancer free. I’m scared. I don’t want to die. I want to be free. to spread my wings, the learn, and feel, and fall.

There’s a NF song that says,

“I’ve always tried to control things
In the end that’s what controls me
Maybe that’s why I’m controllin’
I wish somebody woulda told me

If you want love, you gon’ have to go through the pain
If you want love, you gon’ have to learn how to change
If you want trust, you gon’ have to give some away
If you want love, if you want love…”

NF: If You Want Love

My soul feels restless here. I have so much still holding me here that I have absolutely no control over. I’ve had time to be introspective and with the help of a therapist, I come to realize I crave control and stability.

I like to control my environment because I’ve never been able to. I don’t trust because I’ve been hurt so deeply. It’s hard for me to love people because it requires trust and vulnerability. And you can’t control what another person does with that. I’ve been thinking a lot about these hang-ups that I have. I’m always worried with another person is thinking. If they like me. How they see me. If they accept me. And I’m not gonna lie and say that when I’m not accepted or my body is put down or when I’m not apart of the “group,” It hurts like a motherfucker. I posted an image on Instagram and no one liked it and it got to me. I’m always seeking validation from people I called friends or family members or partners because I worry about what they would think. I read a book, Misadventures of a Curvy Girl (Content Warning) that really lead to this introspection. I still struggle with this. Truly loving me whether I’m working out or if I had a binge episode the day before. Now with this news,I’m struggling with this to be free. To not blame my body or my weight here.

I can’t control the cancer. It’s an entity all of it’s own. But I can control the thought that I did something wrong here. I started writing this post back in March. A lot has happened since then. I’ve slipped back into old habits, I’ve met new friends in unexpected places, I talk to God and some days I feel far away. I’ve applied to one of my dreams school and was excepted. I’ve stepped out with a brave face and found golden moments and some really crappy ones. I’ve seen goodness transcend barriers.

I won’t lie and say everything is ok, because it’s not. It’s really not. But what I can say is,I’m still searching to be free.

Jesus and my squad.

I’ve never had a lot of friends. Like deep down true friends. Even in school, I can still tell you to this day my circle in each grade level. Some have stayed into adulthood and I’ve made some in new ones as I’ve grown but ultimately I can count on one hand, those who I trust, I’ve literally know them all my life. I’m the type of person that once you come into my life, I’ll always care for you and wish you the best even if things didn’t end well between us. Some of those hurts I still carry with me. 

I see so many people spending time with with their circle and I feel left out. I don’t really have a circle these days. Cancer and life and wounds pulled me, and them away in this season of my life. I reach out and want to make plans but they always fall through for one reason or another. Sometimes it my own doing, sometimes it’s not. Depression and Anxiety make being a friend hard, not insofar as that I don’t care but that I distance myself from that which can hurt me. And being open and vulnerable with your heart can bring the most pain.

I long for those deep friendships. The ones that you spend midnights talking and laughing. Those that span time and distance. With dinner dates and talking about the important stuff or nothing really at all. This season of my life hasn’t been kind to me where relationships are concerned. Romantic or Platonic. I’ve had my heart broken for the first time by a guy. I’ve lost a friend that I thought was my rock. 

But I’ve gained from those experiences. No matter how hard I try or how much I want it, you can’t force someone to want to be in your life. It’s just not possible.

I’d like to think I’m a good friend. I have a really big heart and a lot of love to give. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t leave you when you’re in the trenches of that gritty, raw time of your life. What’s the golden rule? “Treat others as you want to be treated.” Yeah, I think I try to live by that. 

I don’t know what God is trying to teach me from this season. Maybe I’m being planted to grow better fruit. Maybe I’m meant to appreciate my own company. Whatever it is, it’s hard and some days it really get to me. Maybe I’m meant to fall more into Jesus. Honestly, I’ve lost my way there. It’s hard to see Him when you feel as though everyone has left you. And when you feel like your world has been rocked and tilted on it’s axis and you’re just trying your best to keep two feet on the ground. 

A lot of times I think “what have I done wrong?” And honestly I don’t know. Maybe I have done something or maybe it’s my personality or maybe I’ve not done anything at all. 

I think the only I can do is keep putting one foot in for of the other and keep hoping that somewhere in the barrenness, I find Jesus and my squad.

Battle Worn.

I’ve been in my little cocoon for some time now. I think it was something I needed and still need. It’s been one hell of a year. People ask if I’m ok and Honestly I’m not, nor will I be for some time to come. Life has really taken a toll on those that I hold most dear and I have a hard time talking about myself in light of that. A dear friend of mine recently lost their precious first born and in light of my sorrows that has taken over every piece of my heart. Please keep them in your thoughts as they grieve and miss their little man who’s no longer on earth. I have a hard time remembering that everyone is suffering their own troubled roads and painful heaps of sorrow. It’s no contest, and it’s one I wish no one had to participate in.

I’m struggling with life, grief, God, and Faith lately. I’ve lost my way and my logical brain doesn’t get the unyielding, blind surrender of faith. But that’s the thing about Faith and God is that you have to trust what you don’t see. I get angry so often because people offer their condolences and well wishes and it seems just so… fake or just not sincere. I mean, I sure some mean it but when you’re in a place of grief and sorrow, some words hurt just to be said. I struggle with having faith that life gets better past this place of hurt. Why did it need to happen in the first place? God is always said to be our Heavenly Father and is sovereign. Having ultimate power and if he can create the universe surly he can save us from grief and hurt. I don’t say this to say that I don’t believe in God but more to say that I’m so deeply hurt by my circumstances, it’s hard to trust. It’s hard to let go of control and just let life happen. I’ve spent my whole life grasping for some kind of control over my circumstances and failing miserably. Ultimately, the only control I had was how I reacted to what was happening. How do you trust when hope feels like it’s buried?

When The Bell Tolls.

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I’ve sat here for an hour trying to find words. I really have none in this season, my spirit is crushed and my soul is weary. Living with depression and anxiety on the daily tends to leave you battle worn. I haven’t wrote in 5 months, it’s been pretty dark here, more people have went than came, bad situations and good have happened, Mom has stayed constant through the chaos. I’ve been living one day at a time because I didn’t know if I’d make it to the next day or not; I still don’t. Being suicidal is such a taboo subject and people don’t acknowledge it and when you talk about it people tend to run in the other direction, but it’s been my reality. I’ve been trying to find the words because I don’t have any lately. It gets lonely siting by yourself and your thoughts. Cancer and Mental illness are a recipe for loosing people. They either don’t know how to deal or they don’t want to. I don’t want to deal with it either but, it’s my life and reality. I’m not particularly cheery or optimistic. Good days are few and far between. My animals have became my closest companion. Phone calls and text dwindled. People move on and forget that you’re stuck in this place watching as the world passes you by. You see relationships bloom and pregnancy announcements abound, all while it’s like a knife twisting in your heart. You cry and wail and bleed out your pain in salt water. I’ve been sitting on this for a few months now because I’m angry and grieving and in disbelief. The cancer has spread and now requires surgery. Surgery is scheduled for October 5th… I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m not dealing well clearly. There is a large chance that I might not even be able to freeze any oocytes. Do you know how much the procedure and requirements cost? 10,000 dollars plus the cost to store them until use. Did you know none of it is covered by insurance? Did you know that there is no guaranteed that they’ll be viable once ready to be used? It’s a lot to take in. I’m not supposed to be dealing with this, I’m supposed to be in my dream job; living out my best life. Not sleeping 15 of the 24 hours a day because of pain and a depression so crippling the only way out is dying. All these post about suicide and it hurting others more than it hurts you is utter bullshit. Until you live in those shoes, you never know what it’s really like. God and I haven’t really been on speaking terms lately, It’s hard to pray when you feel forgotten. It’s hard to be in church when you see the judgement and and feel more alone in a crowd of people than you do when you’re alone. It’s hard to have faith when you live in fear daily. I’m not the me I want to be anymore, I don’t know the girl I’ve become the past 2 years. She’s bitter and hurt and a little jaded. Maybe now that I’ve given it a name, I can heal from this. But right now, no I’m not ok and honestly I don’t know when I will be. So when you ask what you can do, just be there for me. Maybe ask me to do something and don’t be offend if I say no. Don’t ask me how I’m doing, ask me how today is because it changes daily. Pray for me if that is your thing. For now, I’m an utter disaster.

Void.

Depression is like living in a deep bottomless pit. A void that you can never get out of.

They say practice self-care. Get out of bed, exercise, drink water. But what about when you see these people that do those things make you feel jealous and self conscious?

They say make plans but what about those that don’t want to be around you so they put you off or when your anxiety makes it to where the night before plans is so sleepless and wracked with overwhelming thoughts?

What about those people who disappeared the minute you talk about suicide and how worthless you feel?

What about those that are family but don’t recognize how sick you are and think that basically you’re faking having cancer?

What happens when you’re in so much pain day in and day out that you physically can’t do much?

What happens when you’re so financially strapped that you can’t make your appointments and your car is falling apart to the point it’s so loud you get physically sick riding in it?

How am I to make changes when I’m literally left with nothing? 

Until you walk in those shoes you have no idea how it feels. Take a minute to see how you’re behavior

might affect that person. Be there when you say you care.

Write hard and clear about what hurts.

This past year has broken my spirit. It has shown me friendships don’t last, time doesn’t slow down for anything, you’re never prepared to lose anyone, and life can never be normal; flowers don’t grow there.

I lost my best friend Thursday at 8:30. I held her as she took her last breath. Lexi was magic wrapped in this white package. I loved her the moment I saw her in that pet store. She was meant to be in my life. She weathered the storms of life with me. She was my refuge in those years when my dads health declined and the day he died the skies cried and so did she and I. She stood beside me when we moved from the only home we ever knew. She was there the day I was diagnosed with cancer. She took a walk with me and I cried on her shoulder. This last year, she became my confidante and she saved my life. The moment I planed to take my life, she looked at me with those all knowing brown eyes and said I would make it through this. She was a fighter from day one, surviving something that most dogs don’t survive not once but twice. The night she died, she looked at me and told me it was time for her to go but I wasn’t ready. She taught me unconditional love and what it means to be a friend. Rest easy, sweet girl. Life isn’t the same without you.

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Rest Easy in eternal sunshine, Sweet Girl.

I went to countless doctor appointments this year. I’ve seen first hand the devastation cancer causes. I doesn’t walk into your life, It bulldozes everything you’ve worked for. There is little to no support for teens and young adults with cancer. Very few resources and support sources. Cancer literally halts your life and demands attention. I’ve had four biopsy with mixed results. I’ve jumped and pole-vaulted through hoops to seek treatment options that are unconventional and fought to be seen despite the number on a scale. I still have cancer and my life lays in shambles because of it. People disappear when you have cancer and it’s even worse when you’re cancer is noticeable. You learn to lie when your have cancer because no one who ask how you are really wants to know the truth. My medicine has so many side effects that the FDA doesn’t list them all. I may not be bald but I’m losing my hair, I have bald spots. You learn to cover the bruises. You hope that you don’t catch the next sickness going about. You sit in solitude because people don’t know how to act around you. It hurts. I’ve been seeing a team of doctors for the past year for bariatric surgery and still am not cleared to have it. People think eating is simple, people think losing weight is about willpower. NEWSFLASH: it is not. Food is complex and some have the chemical make up as narcotics. Weight loss is isn’t always simple and being fat isn’t a crime or even the worst thing in the world. Trust. Me. On. That. I’ve learned that my issues go so deep, that they have issues.

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Mental Health needs to be talked about and people need to quit stigmatizing it. You aren’t crazy, OCD is a real paralyzing thing, Depression makes your brain tell you lies, and some days the best you can do is breathe. I can’t tell you how many times in the last year I’ve thought about committing suicide. If it wasn’t for the medication I take, my dogs, and my mother; I wouldn’t be here right now. I’m not less than because of my Depression, GAD, or OCD. They don’t make me a flawed person. I used to think I was pretty resilient, but I’m not bulletproof.

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Jesus and I haven’t been besties this past year either. I started writing this because I don’t know where I stand with God right now. I think back on the past year of my life and wonder if this is how Jesus felt that night in the garden of Gethsemane. His friends couldn’t even stay awake and grieve with him. He prayed for God to take this cup from him. He begged him. In this moment we see Jesus’ humanity, that even though he was special and was sent here for a purpose. I often wonder if there is a purpose in all this suffering. Jesus say’s,

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Mark 14:34

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus felt the things I’m feeling. Why do bad things happen and why has my life been so full of it this past year? Maybe I need to be as hungry for God as I am for a piece of good life.

I don’t know, all I can do is take the days one minute at a time and put one foot in front of the other. I read a quote by Ernest Hemingway recently that said,

“Write hard and clear about what hurts”

Maybe that’s all I can do. Maybe what I write would show someone they’re not alone, I know I could’ve used that this past year.

May 2018 be a year of healing, peace, grace, intentional being, finding yourself, and letting people know they’re not alone.