I’m starting this post with a Trigger Warning for suicidal ideation. I’ve been debating writing about this for the last few days, and decided to go ahead with it. As always when I write an out this stuff, I like to include the following reminder: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).
Well, it’s been a full week since the official diagnosis of the Big C.
I wish the C stood for “Cookie” in this case.
It’s been a week of processing. I’ll admit, I’ve been very surprised by how much grief I’ve been experiencing. I know I mentioned the grief last week, but I’m still surprised by it. The worst part of processing grief? It’s not linear.
Everyday seems to come with a different feeling. I’ll have a day of sadness, followed by a day of anger and bargaining, followed by sadness, followed by acceptance, followed by sadness. Been feeling sad quite a lot of the time. However, I noticed something on Saturday.
Through all of this, I have not experienced a desire to unalive myself. Usually, when I’m going through high stress, my brain begins this attack of constantly telling me that it would be better if I wasn’t here. That the pain and stress would go away. I spent most of May 2020 through January 2021 dealing with my brain constantly harassing me to just be done with life. It was exhausting, and part of what ultimately led to me deciding not to return to my job.
I’m not saying that I’m cured. I don’t think I am. But I do take it as a positive sign that I am making progress with my mental health.
I hadn’t been in a few months, and I realized on Monday, after getting Tom’s official cancer diagnosis from the doctor, that I really needed a session.
I’m just so overwhelmed by my feelings at present. Since I have a really bad habit of refusing to acknowledge what I’m feeling and just squashing them down deep inside, I’m trying to break that.
Here’s the thing about therapy. I appreciate it. It’s been amazingly helpful. It is not fun. I don’t walk out and immediately feel better. But there’s something about sitting in a judgement free zone, talking about what I’m thinking that really makes a difference.
I’m learning that it’s okay to feel all the feelings. It’s okay to be sad or angry or frustrated or any other emotion that sweeps over me. It’s okay to acknowledge those feelings and give name to them. The important thing is what I do with those feelings.
I think it’s important to point out that just because I’m facing some dark feelings, that doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope or my faith. I’m still reeling from feeling blindsided by all this, plus I’m grieving right now. I’m still dealing with some grief over my old job. I’m grieving my lost babies. I’m grieving putting dreams on hold. And I’m grieving Tom’s kidney. I’m sure that sounds absurd, but that’s just how things are right now.
So, what about Tom? He’s always been incredibly supportive of me getting mental health help. He knows that I’m equally supportive of him seeking help. But doing so is a very personal choice. So, I check in on him regularly, and the door is open if he decides he does want to talk to a professional.