Posted in Self Help

Out of Touch

Can we be honest?

I’m not going to lie! Lately, I’ve been a little out of touch because I have been wrestling with staying upbeat. I mean I’ve been super busy with family and kids and life, but who can’t say that?

Hubby mentioned the other day he hadn’t seen a blog post in awhile. Yeah, it’s true. I have been off the grid a little more than normal, but actually, I kind of like it. It’s hard to be social and happy while grappling with the weights on your shoulders.

Not that cancer isn’t enough of a nasty curve ball, but this crazy pandemic, a country divided, all the hate and evil amongst us.

What happened to us?

What happened to the free and the brave?

What happened to our America the Beautiful?

It’s shameful the only unity we have is we take life for granted. Think about that for a minute.

Well, unless of course you’re dying or terminally ill.

Do you realize ALL the people who are dying of cancer?

I bet those people don’t abuse the life they were given, wasting it away on fighting with their neighbors.

Life is much easier in a bubble.

I’ve never thought of myself as socially shy. I don’t have a problem talking to people, but I do have a problem pretending. And, I do get social anxiety. It takes a lot of effort to put on a smile and pretend I am mentally strong. It takes energy to make everyone believe I am OK when I’m not.

I AM mentally strong. Some days I just don’t want to be.

Living with cancer in your household is emotional. It’s a roller coaster, ups and downs, twists and turns. Even when it’s not front and center, it’s there lurking. Just a thought away, a reminder somewhere you turn.

You live with it, without a choice.

All.

The.

Time.

I am learning to manuever that obstacle. For myself, to support my children, my hubby. I’ve learned if I don’t take care of ME, there won’t be enough to go around.

Family is priority so I hope no one takes it personally when I decline an invite, or seem disengaged, or silent. Sometimes our schedule doesn’t allow for socializing, and other times we would love to hang out. And sometimes, we just aren’t up for company.

It has been a hard few months. Cancer just took one dear soul from us. I know people who recently got diagnosed. I know lots of people who are fighting. And, it all hits too close to home.

There’s a daughter taking a last minute trip to see her dad who is fighting for his life. There’s a mother counting down the debilitating chemo treatments she takes her terminally ill son to every couple of weeks. There’s a wife in the cancer center who is puzzled about how her husband got mesothelioma but was never exposed to the contaminants. There’s the husband grieving for his wife, the children who lost their mother, the women who lost their best friend.

None of them have a choice.

I look at my children, my husband and then in the mirror at myself.

It’s difficult to cope some days, and I can sense the world wanting to crumble around me. All the suffering and pain just floods my head to the point I feel like I’m drowning in it. My head hurts. I’m tired. No energy. No will to do anything.

Some days it’s too much. But, that’s not every day. I’m not going to set up camp there.

Some days are good. Some days I’m motivated and have the drive to conquer the world.

Some people tell me not to focus on all those situations or not to be a part of those cancer groups because it just makes me upset. What they don’t realize is what else it does to me.

It helps me NOT feel so alone.

Summer has been good for me in the sense I can just focus on my family and stay out of any kind of scene. It’s a good distraction to be able to listen to the ocean, sit out and soak up the sun, hang out with my family. It’s been good to make the most out of a bad time in our country by us all just being together.

Some days I’m happy to not share anything or feel vulnerable. I don’t mind sharing when I have my head on straight and the energy to help others; however, when a battle is going on inside my head, it’s hard to help myself much less anyone else.

Sometimes it’s just easier to cope when you stay out of touch.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Matthew 7:13-14
Posted in Self Help

Love Your Life

When my husband got sick with cancer it felt like I was living in a glass house. Scared and afraid to make a move not knowing how to navigate my way.

Until that point, I spent so much time looking for a happiness that didn’t exist. I was lost, wandering around in my life without a destination or a roadmap.

Sure I was a mother of four, a wife, a volunteer, a sister, a baseball mom, a daughter, a niece, a friend. In a sense though, I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I had become a stranger to my own world and didn’t know where I fit in.

I needed a purpose. I needed to have my own meaning.

Most of us would like to sit back and pretend we don’t know what I’m talking about. Many would point to their picture perfect life with a white picket fence, a praiseworthy marriage, and a June Cleaver suburban lifestyle. But, let’s face it, we all know, honestly, we are lying. To ourselves and to each other.

Stop being a pretender.

When you try to change yourself to pretend to be somebody else, you don’t feel comfortable. It is beautiful to be what you are.

Jean Paul Gaultier

If we are being honest, and I’m telling you we ARE being honest, none of us have exactly that do we? Not all of it, and not all the time. We have troubles with our children, fights with our spouse, fed up moments we want to run away, or insecurities or doubts about what the heck we are doing.

We are sick of selfish partners, tired of spoiled or fighting children, broken from being walked on or taken for granted, and envious of our friends who we think have it all. We are lost somewhat without a purpose and scrambling for a way to find one.

All of us feel some of that and some of us feel all of that. Let’s be real. I’ll be the first to admit my life is far, far from ideal even if you take the cancer out of it. I thought that before, and now it’s more accurate and obvious than ever.

Life is a challenge. It’s a challenge for all of us. We all have our troubles. And, it’s OK.

We are fighting battles not everyone knows about. Do you really think the only pain, the only struggle I have in life right now is my husband having cancer?

Don’t be so naïve. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a pretty private person. Everyone was going to find out about the cancer eventually. I’m just trying to get through it, and hopefully help someone else get through their crusade. It helps me to talk about it.

I’ve been a writer my whole life. Sometimes professionally and sometimes for myself. It is my passion. That’s why I do it because I LOVE it. It is what I have always wanted to do, I just took several detours to get here.

Trust me, the illness is one of the many conflicts in my life right now. I could blow you away and make you wonder how I’m still sane. But, that’s my life story. One that I’m not completely ready to talk about with the world quite yet and honestly not anyone’s business.

Think about how much curiosity I’ve sparked and then look in the mirror. It’s so much easier to deal with everyone else’s downfall, from afar, and take the focus off yourself. A safe place to whisper, to judge, to empathize, feel sorry, gossip, or whatever it is you like to do.

If my sad story makes you feel better about yours, then you’re welcome. Take your time and deal with your life when you’re ready.

I’m not going to lie and say it’s an easy place to be. I’m not going to say I don’t struggle with “why?” on several days. I will admit I cry A LOT. For myself and my children and for their dad. It’s hard to face the reasoning of why you have to suffer so much and lose a loved one. There’s nothing easy about it and there’s no silver lining in sight.

If I’ve learned anything… it’s OK to not be OK. It’s fine to cry, to scream, to be mad at God or not understand the reasoning. Some questions just can’t be answered for us.

The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”

Billy Graham

You aren’t alone if you don’t have a perfect relationship with your spouse, your children, your boss, or your mother-in-law. You’re not isolated if you have a family feud going on or if you have an addict in your house, your spouse doesn’t give you attention, you can’t pay your bills, or you worry about your children’s future. Everyone is going through something and many of us are going through A LOT.

You’re not alone people. Stop making yourself miserable thinking you are and believing everything you see on social media. Stop comparing. People aren’t posting about their kid flunking math or their spouse staying out til 3 am without an excuse.

Don’t let others make you feel bad about yourself. Just don’t!

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Jobs

I have talked to friend after friend about all of this nonsense. Many say they don’t use social media because they can’t stand the negativity or the perfect little life posts. Some say they have struggles with their marriage, worries with their kids, and concerns about careers, families, or their mental well being.

You aren’t the only one going through it. Stop worrying about everyone else. Don’t try to one up people, put down others to make yourself feel better, act like you have a flawless life, or envy others. Spend your time making your life the one you love and long for. In the end, your life is the only one you have to live. xo