Thursday, December 8, 2016

Okay to not to be okay

This morning, as I was busy doing some heavy duty cleaning in my bedroom, I found a tangled cluster of watches. I'd tucked this tangle of Fossil, Timex, Armitron, and Lorus,watches away after my life was forever changed by breast cancer. Although time was pretty much the only thing on my mind, I didn't want to spend a single moment focused on how much time I had left or how much time I'd already lost. I stopped wearing watches. After giving up on these time keepers, I found a new freedom. The 1440 minutes of each day seemed longer and more precious. I didn't want a single one to slip away.

The frozen faces of these watches stare up at me, their hands fixed. I gather the mess of metal and leather and hold it tightly feeling the weight of them pressed against my skin. It is then I realize not only has time stopped, but I've stopped. I've stopped living my life. I've stopped being me.

I look in the mirror and wonder who's looking back at me. I don't know this person. This woman, the one with the flat chest, the one who doesn't even look like a woman, standing in front of me. She looks sad and depressed. She looks lonely. She has low self esteem. Where did she come from? Where did the old me go? I used to be so vibrant and full of life. I used to be self confident and outgoing. I loved being around others and now, I prefer to spend my time alone. I know this is unhealthy. But how do I fix it?

There are days when living post cancer is difficult. There are so many unspoken expectations placed upon survivors by family and friends. Somehow we're expected to just figure it out and make things work and most of the time we do a pretty good job at hiding behind a mask of "okay-ness." But sometimes, isn't it okay not to be okay?

Some days are more difficult that others. Most of the time, I have good days. Although I'm in constant pain, I push through. I'm determined to make the best of a bad situation. Truthfully, I'm very blessed so I try to live that way. But there are days when I'm just not feeling good and those are the hard days. I try not to complain because I'm sure my husband and my children are tired of hearing it. Although they sympathize with me on the days I mention I'm hurting, I know they wish things were the way they used to be and so do I.

The weight of the watches has grown heavy in my palm. Why do I keep holding on to these non-working time keepers? I should just throw them away. They serve no purpose other than to remind me of the day time stopped for me. Maybe one day, I'll be strong enough to throw them away but for now, I'll just slip them back into the drawer. I've used too much time thinking about the past today.

It's a good thing I don't wear a watch any longer. I don't want to know how much time I just wasted but I'm sure it's more than I should have. You'd think I would have pretty much put all this cancer mess behind me by now, wouldn't you? But some days, it just overwhelms me.

How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? Dr. Seuss

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