A Place to Land
A funny thing happened in the middle of my storm....I stumbled upon my strength...again. One might think finding your strength even once translates to the guarantee that you have the strength to get through hard times whenever they occur. The reality is, life can throw you a hail storm in the middle of an existing storm and add on a blizzard and perhaps a tornado and maybe even a hurricane. You get the idea. It's no secret that my life has been in a constant state of fight or flight since my Stage 3 diagnosis coming close to four years ago. I'm seriously trying to do ALL THE THINGS to put me on the path to good health and healing, but the powers that be for some reason feel there is still work to be done. I'm sitting in one of my favorite coffee spots right now having just had my third or fourth (I'm losing track! yikes!) fill of my breast expander. I sometimes forget that my body is still working in overdrive trying to get over the whopper of a surgery that I had in August and preparing for what I hope to be my last surgery in the months to come. As I reflect on where I am, where I've been and where I'm going, I realize that this has been a significantly difficult time in my life. I'm trying so hard to find my way back to me, but I'm really grieving. This shit runs deep. I"m grieving the fact that I"m still here fighting like hell, grieving the version of me that is so far gone and whole heartedly grieving that I"m losing my mom in the process of my shitty set of circumstances . I don't like to talk about that last part very much because I"m still holding onto her for dear life, but Alzheimer's is pulling her away from me and I fucking hate it.
I'm realizing there is this cycle to survivorship and perhaps life in general. I feel strong, then weak, then indestructible, then broken, then better, followed by all out warrior mode. When I think I have it all figured out, I'm broken once again. This cycle of strong, weak, the in between is I guess the light and dark and shadow work making themselves known to me. At times I often feel like I'm getting whiplash! I had a moment a few weeks ago where the world felt as heavy as it did the day I was diagnosed. I will never forget it. I allowed myself to go to that lonely, scary, dark place once again, but this time I knew I could recover. I literally pulled myself out of that hole (again) and realized my strength allows me to do so. I also realized that my strength is evident in making the hard decisions, leading boldly so that others can follow and in knowing that somehow I will know how to navigate the dark, dangerous waters with or without my crew on board. My strength lies in standing up to the monsters and demons and declaring that I will find a way and not cower and run from what is so heavy on my heart.
This month being Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been the longest month ever!! The triggers are everywhere and I'm so happy for the world to very soon be a little less pink for awhile. I feel so much gratitude that even with everything going on in my life, I was able to leave my mark on BCAM 2021. I was honored to be interviewed by an amazing organization that I've been selected to serve as one of their Young Advocates. I will be using my voice and my strength for raising awareness and support for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) acknowledged me on World. Mental Health Day and my experiences finding emotional support during my breast cancer experience. I've learned and I'm learning so much about dealing with these storms of my life and I hope it helps others know there is help to guide them, too. By no means do I think I have it all figured out, or that I'm closing the book on what it means to seek emotional support, but I've been able to write a pretty good chapter that hopefully someone, somewhere, will feel seen, heard and validated by my words.
So in the great honor of finally wrapping up this month (haha), I want to leave you with this. In my rollercoaster cancer journey of sorts, I'm finding myself at a crossroads where once again I seek a little bit of peace and really importantly the need to put myself first. I've been swirling around in the universe trying to figure out where to land so I can once again take care of myself. I'm so busy doing everything for everyone and worrying about things that are realistically out of my control. Even with all of the pain, chaos and uncertainty ahead of me, I know I will not abandon me, or at least if I do, I will realize the importance of not staying there for long. Grief is a tricky thing, but strength is, too. Just when you think you've run out, that spark ignites the flames it takes to keep going. I will leave you with this poem that my new Yoga instructor, Allie, shared with me this week. It left a mark, ignited the flame and I hope it meets you where you are in your own journey.
Keep On Killing it...Much love and Light-M