It’s been a while since I wrote anything. Quite a long while. To be honest, I’ve been hiding.
This year has been less than kind to us. Things were looking up at the end of last year. I was finally feeling like everything I had lost over the year + before that…I was healing from it. Then came the twist, as it always does.
My heart started acting up more. I found out about this FANTASTIC GROUND BREAKING SURGERY that I might be eligible for to fix it. Three days before the surgery, my boyfriend was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Then my surgery. Then his chemo started. We’ve been recovering through our things together… slowly but surely…with hope and fear…but together.
But, man, have I felt lonely. Because I have him. ALWAYS I have him. The love of my life. But I fear putting too much on him right now as he fights his own terrifying battle. And I watch…he has this AMAZING family who has rallied around him and supported him through every step. I don’t have that. I’ve never had that. I’m VERY good at relying on myself because that’s who I’ve always had to rely on. And it generally doesn’t phase me because it’s really what I’ve always known. But…the dichotomy of our situations…being brought to such clarity as we fight battles at the same time…seeing what it’s SUPPOSED to be like…it has hurt in a way that I never expected.
And the more it hurt, the more I pulled into myself. The less I told people how much I was really hurting. How alone I truly felt.
And THAT’S what this is about.
The woman I am is someone I have fought tooth and nail to become. No matter what happened in life, I was PROUD that I still allowed myself to be vulnerable and honest and open. No matter who I lost in life, I was PROUD that I still trust that all hearts are good until being given a reason to believe someone’s was not. No matter what life threw at me, I was PROUD that I would always find a way to use it in a way that would help the next person to face that battle.
What I’ve come to realize is…after the mass exodus of people from my life when everything started to fall apart around me a couple of years ago…after people left because I was too open and honest and real about my pain…after people couldn’t wait for me to face my storms and find the sun again…
I closed off.
I didn’t even realize, but I did. I stopped trusting that people would stay if my life wasn’t sunshine. So I started holding more and more in. I started making sure everyone mostly saw the jokes and laughter and the moments I was on the other side of the fear…but I hid the rest.
I hid when I crumbled into a ball and wanted to die…when I finally believed that I really am God’s joke if he could finally give me the love of my life, only to give him cancer a year later.
I shut down when the heart surgery took more out of me than I ever expected.
I cried alone and begged God to just stop my heart if this constant storm of loss that has thundered around me my whole life was going to continue.
And then I faced everyone with a smile on my face and laughter in my voice and pretended I wasn’t dying more and more on the inside every single day.
I…became what everyone always wished I would be. Someone who suffered in silence and only showed the world the fake happiness they want to see.
I created my own vacuum of loneliness…I wasn’t doing myself any favors with this change…and I sure as HELL wasn’t helping anyone else.
Until the other day when I looked up and realized…I’m being who they wanted me to be…and I stopped liking me in the process.
I stopped being real. I stopped being vulnerable. I stopped finding silver linings and using what I could to help others. And you know what? No, people weren’t leaving anymore. But because no one was there in the first place because I wouldn’t let them in.
I’m not doing that anymore. And anyone who wants to leave because I’m too much…too real…too honest…too open…too…whatever…bye. Because I’d rather lose someone who doesn’t love me than stop loving myself.
I’m a lot.
I feel too much and laugh at everything inappropriate.
And I’m staying that way.
I am who I’m meant to be.
This is me.
2 thoughts on “I Make No Apologies, This Is Me.”
Three cheers to the real you. No matter what , good or bad , I will always be here cheering you on silently
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I’m really glad to see you back here. I’ve missed reading your musings, and I was a bit worried that something was wrong. I’m sorry I was right, but I am glad to see you back here again.
My wife (then-girlfriend) was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last March after having a seizure at home in January. We got married and started her chemo in April. Then in May, she had another seizure. Then liver surgery in October, lumpectomy in November, radiation December and January. Just recently she finished up the immunotherapy treatments and is moving into the surveillance phase of treatment.
It’s been a hard year for us (and that’s without me having major medical issues), but I can assure you that you guys are not alone in that battle. It’s most certainly a one-day-at-a-time thing, and though it’s rarely easy, it’s doable.
Believe in miracles. Believe in the power of prayer and in the Great Physician. I’ve seen some incredibly amazing things this past year. It’s been the hardest year of our lives, but in a lot of ways, it’s been the best year of our lives. I’ve seen the miracles and can confirm they still happen. We’ve somehow gone from a stage 4 diagnosis to “No Evidence of Disease.” Don’t lose heart, and don’t forget Who is in control of the situation.
One of the toughest things has been learning to open up and let people in. I wouldn’t have typed out this reply to your blog post last year…I would have made some trite comment about thoughts and prayers and moved on with my day. But I’ve learned that I need to do better, so I’m trying. People want to help in their own different ways, and it’s been a big deal for us to open up, be vulnerable, and let them. I encourage you to find someone who you can talk to openly and without fear of saying the wrong thing. (And I know I’m just some rando on the internet, but I’m here if you need an ear to borrow.)
Also, check with his oncologist’s office to see if they have a support group. Earlier this year, we helped our oncologist get their support group going again (after it stopped during the pandemic), and a monthly chat with people in the same walk of life has done wonders for us.
I hope your own health issues are getting better. I don’t know the extent of everything, but I have learned that times of major medical events are times to hold close to that person you love, support each other, and get through it together. We’ve learned that fighting cancer is a team sport, so go rally your team and fight that fight. You can do this.
And keep being real here on the blog. (It’s YOUR blog, after all, so don’t be a stranger here). When you’re really real, it comes through in your writing. It’ll be therapeutic for you, and it’ll let those of us following along know how we can help or pray for you.