In years past, when I felt tired I could always push through it. A little extra oomph and I could do more. So I did, most of the time. Wives and mothers — isn’t that what we do? It’s what I learned and it’s what I did. A friend, a mother, once texted me late at night. Aren’t you sleeping? I said. I’ll sleep when I’m dead, she replied.
Yeah, so I think about that now.
I’m tired and it scares me
I start wondering why I am so tired. Is it because my body is beginning to heal a little? or is it because things are getting worse? I don’t spend a lot of time wondering, but it’s there. What if I never feel any better than this? If this is as good as it gets? What then? That’s the kind of thing that goes through my mind.
I was in the hospital 2 1/2 days. So tired! I wondered whether it was the painkillers that made me so tired. When I got home I felt a little better after a few days. I convinced myself that I was healing already. We began a radical diet shift the day I came home. Why wouldn’t I feel a magical change? It made sense to me that I would. After all, I was home. My soulmate was there, cooking for me, loving me. Love heals so much…
But I’m tired and it scares me
I may be the champion at thinking that however things are RIGHT THIS SECOND, they will always be that way. When things are amazing and magical, I think they will always be amazing and magical. When things suck, I just assume things will always suck. Life for me is this endless parade of surprises, from Amazing to Suck. I don’t know why this should still all be a surprise, but it is. Nothing ever stays the same.
So I am tired now and see Tired as my forever stamp, as a kind of perpetual postage of the future. I know that it won’t be that way, that I am wearing gray-colored glasses while my rose-colored ones are being shined, but Tired is one of my big fears. It leads to the fears of Not Getting Better, and of Missing Out on Having a Life, Finally, and of Explaining To My Kids Why I’ll Never See Them Again.
Those are paths I do not want to go down.
What am I doing about the tired?
Listening to the soundtrack from Amelie.
Choosing to believe in my ability to heal and to make wise + magical healing choices.
Claiming my life, right here, right now.
I claim my right to live a magical, amazing life
About a year ago, I did some group emotional process work. It was beautiful being held in community while doing deep process work. One piece I worked through was about claiming my right to be here, to take up space. It’s amazing how many of us lose our grip with that very fundamental thing. I grew up with a parent who took up a lot of space, energetically and emotionally. I didn’t think there was much room for me so I kept getting smaller. Did that lead to cancer? Of course. A bunch of things did.
Me: Hi Dad, the doctors say I have less than a year to live.
Dad: I don’t know what to say so I’m sending you a card that says it.
I was going to Facebook that exchange as a snarky plea for love and support, but it felt angry and not very downstream. I am all about the downstream these days. So I stuck the exchange over at the blog nobody reads but should, and tabled it for the future until I could figure out how to downstream it.
And I did. Here it is:
That exchange, the first I heard from my dad since this cancer thing went down (I called him — he doesn’t call me), was what I needed to let go of asking anyone for MY right to live. All my life I tried to get validation and approval from my father. Silly me! We can’t ever get our right to live and take up space from someone else. We have to claim it for ourselves. So thanks, Dad, for making it easy for me to finally let go of wanting something I could never have. I’ll take it from here.