I had a realisation the other day. I had been feeling a bit sorry for myself for some time, not depression as such but no mojo. I lay a lot of the blame for this on tiredness of course. Still got to get that sorted.
I was pondering why I was unhappy. I am a girl with a plan, usually. I know where I am going and what I am doing to achieve it. Lucky me, eh?
I was having a bit of difficulty with the plans. I didn’t want to start anything; I couldn’t see the point. Why bother? I thought. No particular reason or cause occured to me, just cantbebothereditits.
The other day I was involved in an incident at work. I was very upset afterwards. I think this is the first time I have felt really emotional about anything. Like I was holding back. I am well known (at home anyway) for my crying at movies, adverts, anything really. Lately I haven’t been shedding a tear over anything. Of course you don’t always realise a change until something metaphorically slaps you around the face.
In a moment, later on in the week, when I was processing and reflecting on what had happened; it hit me. I was on hold, waiting for something to happen. This isn’t about the incident, that was just a catalyst. The incident; really that happened to someone else, I was just there.
Thinking about it I am one of those people who handle a crisis at the time and deal with it emotionally later. With the Cancer and treatment going on so long I think I was still holding on, dealing with the crisis, waiting for something more to happen. After all, from lump to end of treatment it had been a rollercoaster of ups and downs and then I returned to work, so jumped from one rollercoaster to another. Only now am I letting the wall of protection down and letting in grief.
I feel that the response I had from the above incident was grief for the pepole involved, but it resonated with my own sense of loss. I am not trying to be dramatic but I have been through a lot. Bits of my, both physical and pshycholigical, have gone or changed. The whole process of treatment requires you to hold it together or you wouldn’t get through it.
I didn’t realise that recovery was such a long drawn out process. I am still being held back by my overall physical health. I was told once that the psychological response can occur long after the treatment ends, and this has been the case for me. I had a chat with a colleague who has also been on the cancer rollercoster and she agrees.
There is an expectation for yourself and others that now you have had teatment and survived that you should be thankful (I am) and to then ‘get on with it’. As a complex human being though I realise it doesn’t work like that.
Despite all this I am fairly happy. I am not in a quagmire of misery, just in a rut. The realisation certainly made me feel as if a weight had been removed from my shoulders.
So my usual response to a situation like this is to analyse, as above, and then get a plan together to deal with it. Happily, I have plenty to do now the weather has improved and I can get over the allotment to start prep for sowing and the spring. That is my plan along with continueing projects and a course at work. It is enough.
If anything comes from all of the above, it will be my understanding of the process of serious illness and how people can feel later on. This is a new understanding for me, opportunity for empathy which I didn’t have before.