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.
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.
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.
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.