I have started and stopped this post a hundred times in the six weeks it has been since surgery. Actually I’ve only had the strength to try writing it twice I think, and both times I ended up in a river of my own tears and without the words I’ve been searching for. I may not find the words today either, but it is the last day of the year and I am damned if I am carrying this shit over and letting it take more of me than it already has.
I’m ready to fight again and take me back. And I’m working on figuring out exactly what that looks like when nothing about me feels or looks like me. But first, I need to walk through the pain that started this post some five or six weeks ago so I can properly thank it for presumably growing me in ways I am too short sighted to see right now, and then let it go. I’ll die from holding my breath if I don’t figure out how to breathe.
Truth is, this is the hardest thing I have ever lived through. I’ve cried all day some days and I don’t know whether I am crying about what is, what isn’t, or what was. I thought I was prepared for this…I thought I was tough as nails. Turns out, I have let myself down over and over. I can’t look myself in the mirror without crying…without feeling fucking pathetic.
I didn’t plan or allow for any head space that included vulnerability to the extent I am living it daily. I feel so incredibly raw, helpless, vulnerable, and exposed. I don’t know what to do with any of these feelings, so my anxiety with my own self has closed me off to the world at large and buried the me I used to know in a black hole. A black hole that my husband has been patiently breathing light & life into for months on end, determined to remind me who I am; determined to make me believe that I am still here, worthy, and beautiful. And then I feel guilty for all he has given of himself for me.
I didn’t expect to see my body look the way it does now. I didn’t prepare for the depths of depression that would overtake me. I thought I didn’t care what battle wounds surgery would bring, but it seems I do. Nothing in the area of where my breasts used to reside remotely resembles a body I recognize. I maybe wouldn’t care about that so much if it didn’t hurt like hell; or maybe I would still. Honestly, I am so shocked by what I see, feel, and suffer through that it seems I won’t ever be able to unsee or unfeel it. And right now I can’t figure out how to get past that.
I want so badly to curl into fetal position but can only lie on my back. I want to wash my armpit but it is numb, as is my inner arm, so I don’t know how to do that simple task without potentially wrecking something, and I’m so tired of asking for help. I am afraid of the fucking shower. I am afraid of clothes. I’m afraid of bedtime because I can’t get comfortable and my back spasms, and I’m afraid of morning because the pressure of rising from bed is almost more than I can bear.
Maybe all this fear is okay and just part of the process. Maybe it’s me needing to walk through shit instead of trying to sugar coat life and forever rise above or avoid the reality of it. It’s likely me needing to confront some skeletons of truth in my closet and grow past them. Why am I so happy and fulfilled to give to others yet struggle so hard to accept the same from others?
Today is the last day of 2021 – another year of collective bliss for us all – and I am done living in fear…especially of my own body and soul.
As a wise, young soul once told me…the only way out is through. Easy never taught me what hard has…why would I expect this to be any different?
Beautiful and raw Suzy. Proud of you.