grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

July 2010 – July 2015 :: A Cancer Survivor’s Retrospective :: Day Five

on July 5, 2015

It’s sobering and enlightening to sit with words written almost five full years ago in my CaringBridge journal.

It reminds me that words are powerful.
That words have lasting effect.
That words hold memories.
(Or maybe words encase the emotions memories are made of?)

I’m proud of these words.
Their honesty.
Their transparency.
Their vulnerability.
(Even if my Perfectionist Self shudders and winces at the reading of them.)

Maybe you’re like me and you tend to make sure that the face you turn towards the world is always happy, positive, making-no-waves, stirring-no-pots?
Maybe you’re like me and you try so hard, so all the time, to keep it together, to not be a bother, to bravely lug your own heavy burden?
Maybe you’re like me and you have moments that you desperately want to let someone in on the grit, the mess, the not-so-shiny?
I get it.
Really I do.
But here’s one thing I’ve learned these last (almost) 60 months…
Living that way – that silent, plastic, protected way – is not all it’s cracked up to be.
It’s not conducive to completeness, to connection, to community.
And, friend, we’re made for all three.
So here’s what you do:
Find someone you can trust.
Someone who will gently help you gather the broken pieces, the sharp shards, the dusty dreams and then share.
Share your words…your mess and muck and invite that trusted someone to share theirs.

That’s the real brave.
The real true.
And the real way to healing.

~~~~~
October 31, 2010
Today was not a such good day…

I woke up so ANGRY that I was actually shaking. Tears threatened to fall without provocation. And as I tried to figure out exactly what it was I was so ANGRY about, it came to me that I was ANGRY about EVERYTHING: this cancer, the interruption in my life, the surgeries, the losses, the time away from work, the seemingly long time of limbo between Surgery #2 and chemo, the fact that I have to define a New Normal for myself and my family…I really could go on and on and on. But I won’t. (You can thank me later!) I know there are things to be thankful for in the previous list – more positive ways of looking at each of those things. Believe me, I know. I just didn’t have the strength today. And that sucked. And surprised me. And then I got to thinking…

There are Stages of Grief. Some lists are comprised of Five Stages, some Seven. One of the Stages that is included in both the Five and the Seven is…you guessed it…ANGER. Big shocker, huh? So, I guess I really am grieving. I’ve talked about it in relation to this cancer, identified certain behaviors of mine falling under the Umbrella of Grieving; but, for whatever reason, the ANGER took me completely by surprise. Actually, not the ANGER itself, really. More like the intensity of the ANGER.

I just looked up some Stages of Grief stuff online and found this:

‘When ANGER occurs in the grieving process we know that the person is starting to come out of it. All the stages up to this one (Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Guilt) have been very inward responses whereas ANGER is more of an outreach.’

AND

‘This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.’

Both of those bits of info are helpful to me in putting the feelings of today into perspective. I feel like I did a positive thing when I realized what I was feeling – I told Stan right away that I was ANGRY (as I was shaking and barely able to hold it together) and then informed the girls that I was ANGRY so they’d do themselves a favor by keeping that in mind.

So, I acknowledged the ANGER. Shared that info with those whom I live. Both good things.

Then I made a mistake. I didn’t intentionally sit down with that ANGER and allow myself to process it and pray about it. Some things happened that exacerbated the ANGER. And then I ended up feeling totally alone. Which added to the ANGER. It was not good.

I’ve always told the girls that it’s ok to be ANGRY. It’s what you do, or don’t do, with your ANGER that can be right or wrong. I am proud of myself for not lashing out in ANGER today. Years ago, that would have been my wont. Thank you, God, for showing me a better way and giving me what I need to walk in that way. But I am not-so-proud of the fact that I wasn’t intentional in dealing with my ANGER. I want to get better at that. And not just in dealing with things like feeling ANGRY…I want to be intentional in the way I live my entire life.

I have more work to do on the ANGER that I’ve been feeling today, to be sure. But I believe that recording it here is a brave, positive, helpful step in that work. Thank you for supporting me in that (IF you’re still reading, that is *wink*). And I didn’t want to go to bed as angry as I was…writing here has taken a lot of the sting out of it. Thank you, again, for the support.

Tomorrow is my appointment with Dr Reynolds. Please pray that there is a Chemo Start Date decided upon. I think maybe some of my anger is actually a depleted store of patience. And I’m sure the sleep deprivation isn’t helping much, either. 😛

Thanks, all, for your love, care, concern and prayers! I’ll work on this ANGER thing and get back to my Fighting Stance asap!!

In your ANGER do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. ~Psalm 4:4

Or as The Message puts it:

Complain if you must, but don’t lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict. Psalm 4:4

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2 responses to “July 2010 – July 2015 :: A Cancer Survivor’s Retrospective :: Day Five

  1. Beautiful advice on how to handle anger. I have had my share. I agree with you, we all need that someone to whom we can vent and say it all, that will be there to help us pick up every broken piece of ourselves, the ugly, the bad and all the good too because at times we forget that there is so much good about us. ❤

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