This last week brought up a lot of feelings in unexpected ways. I've had more ugly cries this week than I have in the last two months. I know that in AA they say most dangerous times for a recovering alcoholic is when they are HALT+B (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Bored).
Tired is absolutely an issue for me. Especially tired that comes as a result from being too busy in too many directions. I've felt like I could barely keep life's spinning dishes from crashing down around me this last week. Hungry and Angry are issues, mostly because I get hangry. Lonely and Bored aren't really an issue for me with two kids.
Powerlessness would certainly be another, though not on their list. I think out-of-control would be another name for it. I went to a "town hall" meeting this week, in regards to the Santa Susana nuclear meltdown, that happened 5 miles from our house. All of my freak-out triggers were hit multiple times during that meeting. I came home almost shaking.
I tried to explain to Chad that when Grace was sick I stuffed all my irrational thoughts, intense fears, and unanswerable questions deep inside my heart and nailed the door shut. For some reason that meeting ripped the door off it's hinges and let loose a flood of emotions. All the thoughts, fears and questions distilled down into the emotions of panic and hopelessness.
Slowly God has been helping me unravel the giant mess. When the meeting left more questions than answers, and LOTS of feelings of mistrust about the people who are supposed to protect us, I felt like it was on my shoulders alone to have to find the answers to protect my family. I felt like I must not have done a good job protecting my family from cancer two years ago, and how could I do it now?
I realize this seems like a unreasonable question that could be soothed with quiet words of reassurance- but it's a real issue for me. How can I protect Grace and my family from more cancer, especially if we live near a potentially hazardous area? The answer: I can't. I can't protect Grace from cancer. I can't protect my family from pain or tragedy or suffering. I am not in control of our future. Only God is. And sometimes He allows very painful events to happen in our lives. He loves us, but the reality remains that God allows reality to remain. That is a painful thing to accept.
I've also been afraid that Grace's cancer could come back at any time. I know she is doing great now...but she was doing great before cancer too. There isn't a real index marker to know if her cancer will return, only markers to know that it isn't here now. And that is very, very frightening if you let that thought take root. The answer again: I have no control. I can't prevent Grace's cancer coming back. I can only try to enjoy each day as much as I can now and do my best to not worry about what could come. I have to trust that if God was strong enough to get us through the first time, he will certainly be able to do it again.
I've been reaching out to other cancer mommas. It's always been hard for me to reach out and talk to people about my fears, especially when I know that many of them seem irrational. But these mommas never judge me and listen instead of solve, and remind me of God's truth. I am very thankful for them.
Another thing that has helped me is calling my therapist. I haven't even spoken to her yet. I've only requested an appointment for ASAP. But deciding that I did need help and realizing that it's good to get help when I need it was a pretty big step for me. It certainly helped me to feel less alone.
And maybe it's good that I'm crying more. My friend said it's cathartic. It's getting out the junk so I can heal instead of trying to push on and be strong. I think it'll help me once I start to learn what my trigger points are so that way I can not be as surprised when the feelings hit.
I'm learning and it's a journey.