Yesterday was the first day in the last week that I showered, got dressed and went somewhere where I’d have to talk to people.
I’d spent the last few days crying. Off and on all day, just crying. Crying so much that my face felt swollen. My eyes felt like sandpaper. It was so obvious that I’d been crying so I just stayed home (aside from school drop-offs).
I don’t like to cry. I especially don’t like for people to see me cry. I will try everything in my power to avoid crying. But after last week, I had zero control.
My moms cancer diagnosis came out of nowhere. What was thought to be a gallbladder attack was stage 4 cancer and I’m still having trouble processing that. How can this be real?
My mom is young- Only 50 years old. She is otherwise healthy. But she has metastatic stage 4 cancer with “too many tumors to count” in her liver.
She doesn’t look sick.
She didn’t act sick.
She doesn’t really feel stage-4-cancer sick.
Maybe I feel so overwhelmed because her chemo is starting right away (next week) and that only leaves a few days for us to spend time together before she engages in this battle.
I say all of this to explain why I’m not okay.
I went to my moms group at church yesterday and for the first time all week, I actually felt a little better. As I was driving home, I thought to myself that I was glad I had went, because I thought about not going.
And then, I got pulled over for speeding. I wasn’t in a hurry- just lost in my thoughts, I suppose, and I got a speeding ticket, which sent me into tears, yet again. There I was, bawling my eyes out in front of the state trooper as he handed me my $260+ ticket, to which he was probably really confused. Why would a nearly 30 year old woman get so upset over a silly speeding ticket?
Because, I’m not okay.
I got home and burst into tears again telling my husband about it. He tried to comfort me and reminded me that it’s just a ticket! But, I couldn’t stop crying.
Because, I’m not okay.
Then I got to my 10:30 AM doctors appointment today only for them to tell me my appointment (that I had waited a while for) was at 2:30. So that 35 minute drive was for nothing and sent me to tears, yet again.
Because, I’m not okay.
Everyone likes to talk about their struggles in the past tense. We talk about the things that we have overcame after the battle has been fought, and after the emotions have peaked.
We talk about the bad times after they happen, but we don’t usually talk about them *when* they’re happening.
No, we put on a brave face and we say that we’re okay when we’re not and we smile to hold back tears and we pretend that we have it together when we don’t.
And that is not healthy.
And that is what I’ve always done.
But, yesterday, at my moms group, when someone asked me how I was, I responded with “good” like a reflex. But as soon as the word left my lips, I knew that it was a lie. And I am done pretending to be okay when I’m not.
So I immediately said, “well, not really, but I’m here.”
And that’s the truth.
And the truth may be uncomfortable for some people to hear. And the truth may be uncomfortable for me to say. But the truth is the truth and the only way I will overcome this is if I feel the feelings and accept help.
When my friends learned of my moms diagnosis, and that I would be making the 3.5 hour drive back to Kentucky to go to my moms first oncology appointment, they got together to give me a gift.
I didn’t want to accept it.
Because, I am the strong one.
I have become a successful blogger with a successful husband and we don’t need handouts from anyone. I don’t like to ask for help and I feel strange when people do nice things for me like this, but my friend gently reminded me, (after I told her she really didn’t have to bring me anything), to receive it and that she understood how hard it is to receive in these times but that it’s important that I do.
Clearly, I have amazing friends.
But it reminded me that I need to practice what I preach.
When I started this blog last year, it’s because I was dealing with postpartum depression and I didn’t have any friends then. I started this blog as a way to self-care even though I didn’t tell anyone what I was struggling with. My Facebook friends probably thought that I was living a dream.
They had no idea that I was struggling. I only posted positive things and I didn’t share about my *real* life.
But, once I said out loud what was going on and how I was feeling, it was like a weight was lifted.
That was the beginning of my healing, just like this blog post will be.
I am not okay.
And I probably won’t be for a while.
And that’s okay.