Since “recovering” from cancer… Since finishing chemo… Since surgery… Since heart surgery…
Let me start over. Since I stopped being in the acute physical bullshit of being sick with cancer and all of its various repercussions, I’ve been writing a lot, but it’s been for a book or too personal to put up on the internet. But here’s what I’ve come to realize about this blog and my life and how the twain shall meet.
My goal in life is to stay healthy. To do that, I’ve had to not fall back into the old habits that lined my path towards illness in the first place. This includes the obvious, like not working 12-hour days at a job that doesn’t nurture me. It also includes the not-so-obvious, like breaking my own addiction to rigid control. This includes the easy, like quitting said 12-hour day job (although, let’s be honest, that wasn’t easy at all), and the not-so-easy, like paying attention to those little voices in my own head and figuring out if they’re lying to me (stupid lying head voices) about whether something that I’m about to do or say is me exerting unnecessary control over my own, for the most part, uncontrollable life.
Needless to say, this entire process is ongoing. It comes with hard decisions and exhausting conversations and quiet meditation and afternoon naps and eye-opening travel and days where I take the cats to the vet between my back-to-back medical appointments. What it hasn’t included, up until now, is me being front-and-center, here on my little piece of the Internet, on how hard it is and how ridiculous it is and how important it is. Because I’m not the only one going through it. Just like I’m not the only cancer fighter on the planet, I’m not the only survivor. Of cancer. Of change. Of transition. Of being forced into a different way of being because that’s what life is demanding.
Someone told me the other day that God doesn’t create a pain without a gain, but He’s going to keep creating pain if you can’t figure out how to activate on the gain. Illness is painful. Life transition is painful. But there’s always this gift on the other side: calm, a new perspective, interesting people and conversations. But only if we don’t try to drift backwards into the life that was before that triggered the pain in the first place.
Another person suggested to me that these prior behaviors, in my case, working way harder than my body could handle, are a form of addiction. She looked at me and said, with kindness leaking out of her eyes, “I think you’re addicted to your brain.” In response to my blank, shocked stare (I mean, if smart people don’t use their brains isn’t that some kind of blasphemy?), she kept going: “I’m not saying that your work is unimportant and that your brain is not going to help you get there, but you let your brain just run away like a train, throwing up images and scenarios and ideas that aren’t just unhelpful, they’re self-indulgent and can border on dangerous. And you jumping on that train to see where it’s going is a form of addiction that you need to break.”
So, apparently I have an addiction. And I’m 100% positive it’s not the only one that I have. This blog is about sharing these hard truths. (Which, let’s be honest, are often pretty hilarious.) And for you to be able to, perhaps, see a bit of yourself inside them. And maybe break through to that next step. That next moment. Feel free to comment — I’ll do my best to stay on top of them and ignore the spam from the real — so we can have a dialogue. Because this shit is hard, my friend, and none of us should be going through it alone.