It just occurred to me a few minutes ago, after returning home from walking Saffie, that I had decided to live as though I’m living again. I wanted you to be the first to know!
I don’t understand what happened to me just over a month ago. When I received the follow-up call from the neurosurgeon’s nurse that my MRI showed no tumor growth, the best possible outcome that I could dare hope for, I spiraled down into melancholy and despair. Some unseen balloon inside me was popped and my faith and hope leaked out.
I stopped researching, stopped writing, stopped reading other brain-tumor patients’ blogs. I ran out of energy to care. I had given up on living, and was just existing.
It did not help that I couldn’t sleep. I was physically exhausted since I had been doing the most labor-intensive work than I had done in 20 years, cleaning animal kennels 40 hours/week. However, the anxious little hamsters in my head ran around on their wheel all night long, assaulting me with “what ifs” and “why bothers”.
Last week, I finally gave myself permission to not criticize myself for wanting to do nothing except sit on the couch and eat my non-dairy ice cream and binge-watch a TV series every night after work. I finally let myself off the hook for no longer giving a shit, for not doing the things on my list, for letting my dishes pile up in the sink, for having no plans for a secure future. I let myself off the hook for not meditating enough, for not eating healthy enough, for not trying medical marijuana, for not visualizing the tumor shrinking, for not praying enough or the right way, for not having faith that I’m going to be healthy, and for feeling anxious and depressed after hearing that this fucking tumor did not grow.
So what shifted? Did I finally sleep enough? Finally watch enough streaming TV? Spend enough hours scrolling through Facebook instead of meditating? Did all of that not giving a shit finally force me to let go of my insane desire to control what’s going on in my head?
I really don’t know. Yesterday after work, instead of coming home and binge-watching tv while binge-eating ice cream, I took my dog hiking in the mountains. Today, instead of napping, I hung out with a friend I haven’t seen in a month, and spent a couple hours studying for a course I started a year and a half ago. Then it quietly occurred to me, a few minutes before writing my first post in over a month, that I feel like I’m ready to live again instead of just existing in fear of this thing in my head growing.
It’s nice to be back. I’ve missed me. 🙂
Thanks for reading… more will be revealed!