I’m sitting at the hair salon with a plastic bag on my head (pink hair requires upkeep) and I am feeling sorry for myself. I know it and I’m going to allow it for just a little longer. I know, however, that I’ll have to change it up. It’s not very often that I wallow, but this morning I have some of that going on.
Before my hair re-pinkification, I was at the doctor. I had another 100cc’s injected into my implant (for those who don’t know, I have a fillable implant where my left breast use to be). I was under the impression when I showed up this morning that this would be my last “fill-up”. It wasn’t. The doc wants to do one or two more. Disappointing news.
Before I left, I signed a consent form for a 4th surgery—the waiting list is long for this one. It might take a while. That was my tipping point—another fucking surgery.
I left the doctor’s office feeling bummed, sad, and a little mad. Tears were burning to be let out yet they wouldn’t come. I was craving comfort food but couldn’t indulge because of a conscious decision I made to steer clear of sugar and most carbs. I am being mindful about what I am putting in my body and yet, today, I’m sad that’s my choice. (I did say I was feeling sorry for myself!) My funk continued to escalate.
I had a coffee. I took a walk. I did not feel better. I talked about my feelings to my amazing stylist Calvyn (who does the magic on my hair). I cried. And have been sitting here for the last hour with all these thoughts.
I have some choices here:
1) continue to wallow
2) distract myself and try to get on with my day
3) honour my feelings and release them
Wallowing is the easiest. And boy is it tempting! I can have a Poor Me day. As tempting as it is, I know this isn’t the way to go.
Distraction is my claim to fame. I could easily sweep this under the rug, the way I used to, with projects, details, and all sorts of busy-ness. But this isn’t me any more. Well, mostly not me.
Honouring my feelings is the right thing to do. And, damn, it’s the hardest. (Because feelings aren’t always rational.)
The truth is: I am sad. I’m sad that I have to have another surgery. I’m sad that I have to go back and have more fills. I’m sad that other women will have to go through this. I’m sad that I feel like I am starting all over at the gym. I’m sad that I am self-conscious about my chest. I’m sad about the losses and that cancer causes loss.
I am also angry. I am angry that I have to have another surgery and more fills. I’m angry that other women will have to walk in my shoes. That fucking sucks! I am angry that I feel like I am starting all over again at the gym and I am lifting 75lbs less. I am angry at cancer for causing so many losses, no matter the outcome.
I am annoyed. I am annoyed that some people expect me to be sunshine and roses now that my cancer is gone. Ha! Not likely. This is real life. I am annoyed at people with a sense of entitlement—who get snide when I don’t respond promptly. Fuck you! (Okay, now I’m just ranting.) The point is: I am annoyed that I feel sad and angry.
So when you’re faced with the choice to (a) wallow, (b) avoid, or (c) face your true feelings, how do you choose C when A and B are so darn tempting (and destructive long-term, might I add)?
To face your feelings, start small. Grab a piece of paper and just list what’s running through your head. Look at the list and ask yourself Where is this coming from? There is always a reason. Keep asking the question. Dig deeper. And you will get to the source of the feeling.
Facing my feelings was my least favourite thing to do. Now, however, I actually like to figure out what they are and where they are coming from. The more I understand my feelings, the more I can get in front of them and face them straight-on!
For me, writing this has made me feel so much better. I get it all out of my head and onto paper. It’s relieving. And it’s proven to be the best thing for me. Take the time to figure out what works for you. Life is far to short to keep your head stuck up your ass.