let’s just kiss & say goodbye

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?

turtles & ducks

It’s Tuesday and I’m sitting on a concrete bench in front of a little lake occupied by turtles and ducks. The turtles are harder to spot, but having grown up in the land of 10,000 lakes, I’ve had plenty of practice catching their little heads pop up for air while their bodies stay submerged under water. The ducks, on the other hand, are a bit too comfortable with human existence for my liking; encroaching on my space to the point where I fear they may go for a finger if not offered a bread cube I am forbidden to offer.

I understand their frustration – there is a sign posted by the lakeshore, as if written by the ducks, that says “please don’t feed us.” After years of being fed with the bread offered by gleeful children and adults, they are now left to scavenge for the food they don’t really want, but is better for their health. My dog has the same frustrations with human food not being offered to her…although there is no sign posted on our premises that purports to be her saying “please don’t feed me your human food.” She just takes a bite of your cheese stick if you don’t offer her a portion of it within her desired timeframe, and she carries no shame about the act. Neither duck nor dog has actually bitten my finger, but I still don’t trust either to not do so. (wow – tangent) to be read as (avoiding real feelings that are too hard to process).

Directly across the lake is the first condo building my realtor showed me ten years ago, when I was looking to buy a home for my kids and I to plant roots in for the remainder of their growing up with me years. I didn’t like or buy the condo – although it did have a great walk-in closet in the master bedroom – but I had forgotten how much I love this secret lake that seems oddly staged in the middle of suburbia. And I found it interesting that it was here I landed today when I needed a safe place to land and sort out my head. Note to self: Must come here more often.

I remember falling in love with this lake back then. It felt serene and peaceful and pure; everything I wanted for us. I remember imagining my kids fishing off the little makeshift pier and the memories we would build together. They were so little then. Life was so different and full of promise. A fresh start for us as a family of three; a community they could grow up and thrive in. We eventually found that community a few home showings later, and close by – and my kids have both grown and thrived, but they hold no ties to this lake or space, yet that doesn’t stop me from telling them the same boring “mom story” every time we drive by.

How could they know what I wanted for them then? This is what I find myself pondering as I sit my ass on gravel so my back can rest against the concrete bench that has no back support…that and the fact that I also have no sensible shoes and can barely walk. At this point I am seriously wondering if the cancer has spread to my bones…I have seemingly aged ten years in three months (another tangent, but getting closer to real feelings).

Back to the peaceful lake, and the turtles and ducks, and all that both was and was not that is currently swirling through my head. My children exist there in my memories and visions of this lake, but in reality they were merely babies trying to understand what it meant to live without both parents and in an entirely new place.

Someday they may come visit and sit at this lake, likely after I am dead and gone, and they will yearn to feed the ducks; try to spot the turtle heads, and have the “remember when mom said…” memories that will make them smile amid their tears; but for now these moments are all mine, just as some things in our lives are meant to be at certain times.

In 18 days I’ll be having a double mastectomy. Now that it actually feels real, I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it, and mostly I am schizophrenic. At first I thought I didn’t care, and wasn’t even considering reconstruction. Fuck You was all I could feel. Then I graduated to deciding that some fresh boobs might be nice. If I’m being as honest as I can be, I was never a fan of these current ones anyways, and especially hate them now that they are filled with cancer. And now that it is getting more real, I am scared as fuck.

I think what I’m starting to mourn now is the loss of those breasts that fed both of my children, but I don’t know for sure if those are my feelings or the feelings of someone else’s blog I read. Maybe I’m just nostalgic because of where I’m sitting right here and right now, looking at my surroundings and remembering how hard I fought then for me and for us…and how proud I was to have done it all on my own. The only thing I know for sure is that I am filled with emotions and fears; anger and tears; the complete messiness of life that makes us real. So what is there to mourn in being human?

I can put on a brave face, but it’s fake. I have decided that either way is OK. I think I’m also figuring out that I can’t and don’t have to be anything for anybody else right now – I just need to be 100% behind of and in support of myself, because I need to love and embrace every part of me to get through this.

Nobody else can do this for me. Some things we have to just fight through and trust in ourselves. We buy the condo or we don’t. We do the best we can with who we are in the moment. And the only way out is through.

the climb

I decided the other day to stop giving a fuck about this whole cancer frustration process. It’s gonna happen how it’s gonna happen, I’m gonna trust in the universe, and the suffering is all part of the process to get to the other side.

Suffering doesn’t mean I have to feel angry or sad or batshit crazy all the time. Suffering is just part of the fight I am willing to fight, but I am no longer giving a fuck about the how. The pain that accompanies the fight ain’t gonna dictate my every thought and action.

Coincidentally, a couple days after I decided to stop giving a fuck about the parts of this I cannot control, I pulled a book off my shelf that I had bought a couple years back but hadn’t yet found the time to read: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. I had already decided to stop giving a fuck…and then somehow there it was, screaming at me to read it.

I’m only two chapters in, and I don’t want to put it down. Not giving a fuck truly is an art, and it is an artform I want to continually practice. Here are a couple of my most poignant takeaways thus far:

  1. Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a fuck about. I give a fuck about the fact that I have cancer, but losing myself in negative emotions about how the process is going isn’t providing me any positive results...that is not worth giving a fuck about.

2. The belief that it’s not okay to be inadequate sometimes produces a continuous mental feedback loop from hell. I’m going to have good days and bad days; mostly good I have decided. Shaming and blaming myself for having bad days only serves to keep me in a constant loop of negativity…feel down, shame myself for feeling down, feel worse, shame myself more…you get the picture. We’re all inadequate sometimes, cancer or not, because sometimes life is just hard…and that’s okay.

In the words of Miley Cyrus:

There’s always gonna be another mountain

I’m always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be an uphill battle

Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there

Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side

It’s the climb

It’s the climb.

cancer you can’t see

I have cancer that is not visible. It’s there and growing, and it seems to be no medical priority to anyone on my “care team”.

At this point, almost 10 weeks since the tumors were discovered, it is old news deeply buried in the editor’s pile of things that aren’t really considered pressworthy; at least not right now.

My mom was already dead from cancer in this exact time period.

I am the unwritten page. It feels like this whole torturous process is bordering on abusive neglect of ethical humanity.

Cancer lives in me. Cancer permeates me. It is there in my head, heart, breast, soul, and body every second, minute, and hour of every day that I remain a stagnant nothing to anyone who can do anything about it.

It’s in one breast but feels like both. My entire being has become riddled with cancer anxiety, and I have no fucking idea how to plod through any given day; I try to be the mom and wife I want to be, I take a stab at the job I am afraid I will lose, and I attempt to cook a meal once a week. Any portion of any of those tasks leaves me completely exhausted, and then the guilt that I am not “doing cancer better” sets in.

I cannot make sense of anything. I get lost in my own neighborhood. My entire existence is a question with no answer, and I’m pretty sure my family, if given the option, would avoid me at all costs. It’s a wonder any of them even come home any more, knowing that they have no idea which version of me is going to be on the other side of the door. I think they know I am trying, but it has to be scary as hell for them too. I’m too much for my own self to deal with, so they surely dread me as much or more than I dread myself.

I don’t want to be scared and mean and on edge and bitchy. I don’t want to be any of the worst qualities about myself that have become my prevailing behavior. I’m trying to not be shit yet I keep finding myself buried at the bottom of a shit filled porta-potty trying to dig my way out, and the cycle of self-hate and shame starts all over again. I need a Bobcat to excavate my entire being and start over.

My pod of human connection has become so small…most people are too scared to talk to me, and my closest connections have become random conversations with strangers who also have or are cancer survivors. We are not afraid of each other. We get the fear. We fear and can talk about the unknown. We share tears and shots and hugs of gratitude that we have each other even though we have just met.

We understand what it feels like to be scared as fuck. And somehow that knowing makes it a little less scary for us all.

ebb & flow

I’m learning that this whole cancer experience, much like life, is just a cycle of ebbing and flowing. Any expression of what I am feeling or thinking, at any given moment, is just fine. And I need to stop thinking that I’ve finally mastered my emotions…there will be good days and there will be bad days and I have to figure out how to love myself through all of them. I’m not suddenly cured of fear, or cancer, but I can make a bit more eye contact with it now than I could a few weeks ago. And today was the first day I have not cried in about 4 days, so I am calling that a win. Also I will never be the master of anything.

It’s so easy to let this cancer thing take hold of your very existence, and there is nothing healthy about that. It mutes every relationship in your whole life because, somehow, your CANCER is the only topic that anyone can talk about. That is about as healthy as me going on disability before I even knew what the fuck was going on; it’s a helplessness that strips away everything you thought you knew about yourself, and before you know it you’re a self described pitiful piece of shit. And you cannot stop crying no matter what. And I know that’s only the beginning of figuring this shit out.

The silver lining is that you have no place to go from here but up. And up I will go. Or die trying.

I know there are five stages of grief. I know that you can vacillate between them. I guess I’ve never faced or felt them head on. So this is me, right now, just trying to find peace among it all. I don’t want to feel scared and I don’t want to feel pitiful. I just want this whole thing to feel like any normal other day. The struggle is real.

That has been my past few weeks. Dying inside because I assumed I was already dead. Angry at myself for not doing whatever it is, when you find out you have cancer, that is the exact opposite of what my saboteurs would tell me to do. Dead and lifeless to everything surrounding me. Tears I could not stop; reasons I could not figure out; empathy I didn’t know how to offer myself; self hatred that is abusive.

Depths of depression I have never experienced.

I’ve been thinking a lot, trying to understand why I feel the way I do. I’m working on coming out on the other side of it; I want to live with that version of me that I both recognize and love. I’m trying to excavate that woman I have known all my life from the depths of self hatred. I am working really hard at offering her kindness and an open heart. She is so worthy of my love.

It’s completely normal and expected to have fears about cancer. It’s quintessentially human to be excruciatingly human. I don’t have to hate myself because I don’t have this whole thing figured out. I don’t have to judge myself because I don’t have this whole thing under control. These are the words of kindness I would speak to anyone else in my situation. There are so many reasons to feel sad, mad, hopeless, helpless; downright fucking just fucked up in the head. Hate has no place in any of those spaces. Life happens how it happens, and whatever the other side of this presents me, I wanna place bets on myself that I will handle it with the best grace I can muster.

It is scary as fuck, this whole cancer thing. It claws at you from the outside while simultaneously eating away at your insides. The period of time from the initial diagnosis to when you know some facts that you can actually work with, the plan options, and exact scheduled date for said plan to step into action seem like eternity. And you seriously lose your mind.

In reality it has been six weeks since I had a radiologist tell me, on the spot, that she was pretty damn sure (minus the swear word) I had breast cancer. I think I entered an alternate universe in that moment she told me that I had four masses, and that all four of them screamed cancer. In addition to my own intuition, there were immediate signals given at that appointment (that I doubt they knew they were giving off) from the radiology techs that highlighted my filled in my blanks before the radiologist stepped in to factually fill in the blanks.

While driving to the appointment that was to “take a second look”, and I think maybe 24 hours prior to said appointment, I had already intuited that this time it wasn’t a false alarm…that it wasn’t the “dense breasts” routine…this time was the real shit.

In this age of technology, we all have access to patient portals if we choose to join them, and technology can be both our friend and enemy. I made the mistake of googling every fucking word I could find on my initial mammography report that somehow got uploaded to my patient portal before I got an actual phone call to schedule a second look. I wasn’t scared, but I had intuitions that I couldn’t explain.

Those intuitions though, I did not share with a soul. I don’t think I even shared them with myself…I was either too scared or too blocked by the walls I have built around myself to confront them. I deflected anything that felt uncomfortable. I buried my intuitions beneath other things that were happening in life around me.

Fast forward to the follow up appointment. I had zero fears when Mike insisted he accompany me to that appointment. Honestly, I thought he was being over protective. I had zero fears when life’s circumstances took him on another journey and he ended up not being able to go with me. It was only in those 30 minutes driving there alone that I was scared to a point that I didn’t want to feel. And I knew within the first 15 minutes I was there that I was scared as fuck. And then I decided I had this shit nailed. Whatever this was going to be, I was going to be a badass warrior and face this shit just as I had faced any other adversity in my life.

And then I became a fucking wreck for a bit.

Sometimes we don’t know that we don’t know shit about what we are trying to be or say, and sometimes we think we know what we have no clue about our prattling on, and then, in those precious of moments of what I think life is all about, we finally realize that what we could never presume to know the unexplainable wisdom that is so far beyond our everyday simplicity.

The journey carries on. It is going to be what it is whether or not you waste time fretting about it.

I am choosing happiness and gratitude for too many people and reasons to list.

moth balls

Do you ever feel like you just keep becoming more crazy by the day, and you can neither find the pause, nor stop, nor eject button?

That’s a pretty clear description of how I feel right now, and it may not say much at all, or it may give a clue that I am trying to traverse the bridge from cryptic fear to honest reality.

I am nothing that I recognize of myself. Maybe, in the end of it all, that matters little if nothing at all. I’m just trying to figure out how to feel comfortable in my own skin. And I know that requires so much more work than a blog post, but blog post is the bravest I can be right now.

I cannot figure out how to offer myself the same human acceptance and empathy that I would offer anyone else if they were wearing these shoes right now, and I don’t know what is blocking me from being that version of myself either. I just know that there is this space in which I exist that I cannot control; that I need to let go of trying to control; that I need to just trust. A space that requires nothing and just lets me breathe, or allows me to hold my breath in as long as I can because that actually offers more peace. Test my limits and then let me analyze them while I gasp for air.

Seeing these words written out makes me feel like I am on the higher end of the crazy spectrum. Seeing them written out also removes them from my head, and maybe that offloading will offer some stabilization of some sort , which lowers my placement of myself on my overall “crazy” rubrick.

I should be elated today. I should be so fucking grateful that it appears I’ll be able to avoid both chemo and radiation after my double mastectomy. And I am. And I’m also not. I don’t know what I am. I just have this mothball of depression stuck in my throat that I neither invited nor expected, and I just don’t understand it. I was celebrating victory until I wasn’t, and then I was just mad and scared and angry and bitter all over again.

So how do I get her back? Actually, I don’t need to get her back because she is me. She is the most honest form of me that has ever existed. And, if I’m being honest, she’s also the version of me I like the most; am most proud of; feel most comfortable in the suit of.

So it seems that what I am struggling with the most is figuring out how to remind her that she is capable of so much more than she ever had any idea of.

The only way out is through.

I knew that tattoo was going to serve me in exactly the ways it needed to. Actually I didn’t know shit. I just knew I needed it to guide me, so I got it inked. What we think we need isn’t always what we actually need. And then there are those times that our intuition drives us home while we are completely oblivious. In this case, I’m calling it both.

Different situations. Different pains.

Yet still, the only way out is through.


In case you never noticed, the path you never chose has chosen you ~ Jason Mraz

I wish I wasn’t so damn conflicted about everything in my life right now. I don’t even know if conflicted is the right word or feeling. These are probably thoughts that need to just be buried inside some private journal that I burn after I get them out of my head, because they are likely about as helpful to anyone as snake venom. But they’re me and my heart; my fears and my truth; me trying to be some form of myself that has just a tad more bravado than the cowardly lion.

My husband and I have vacillated between Team Us and Team Separate these past few weeks. We’re both struggling as equally as we’re trying to wear our fake smiles. We are imploding with heightened emotions that neither of us knows what to do with quite yet.

It’s so fucking awkward and hard to find the place of appropriate grieving or whatever it is we humans do during times of hardship. The plethora of thoughts that race through your head are overwhelming, and we each have our own batch of concerns that we might be afraid to share with the other. If there is anything Mike and I are doing as a unit right now, it is trying to remind each other that we will fight our way through this together.

We both have cancer. Every single person of importance in our lives has cancer.

It has infiltrated our entire existence.

I think our longest space of not talking about it was today – likely because I slept in and the he took a nap so we had less awake time together…but the hours we did spend together were mostly cancer-talk free, and we both needed that space to just feel normal. We have come out on the other end of a hard couple of days. We laughed real laughs today. We’ve had some time to deal with the what-the-fuck ness of it all, and we’re ready to get to work.

I, personally, am tired of crying. It is exhausting. I just want to get down to brass tacks and fight this thing. We meet with the surgeon this Wednesday and will hopefully leave there with some options and plans to ponder and choose from. I have to believe that we will get some answers this time.

I am running out of patience with the inertia of it all and I need some ammo to ignite the fighter and get me out of this funk.


It’s like getting ready to have a baby. Everything about the experience is unknown until it isn’t, so you spend your minutes, hours, and days just preparing for who even knows what…you just know there’s gonna be something new coming into your life, and you trust that you’ll figure it out.

In the meantime though, you’re folding haggard towels and fluffing pillows that are past their prime, and completing other menial tasks that somehow give order to the mayhem that is trying to rule your every thought. I think I have nested the shit out of everything I have the patience for here in these humble surroundings we call home, so I’m just gonna sit back and focus on breathing in every possible aspect of life that is just there waiting patiently for me to notice.

I have exactly 17 candles lit and glowing at me, and the flickers and flames fill me with tranquility. Something reminiscent of growing up around campfires maybe. I think campfires always work and that maybe we intuit that knowingness on a guttural level; thus we keep having them, no matter the generation.

I’ve not really thought about that before, but you can just be, without having to be anything or anyone at all. You can choose your degree of participation from 0 to 100 and there is no possible way that every single one of us can’t find our perfect number along that spectrum. And you don’t have to be the same number each time either. Just trust the flame. Get lost in the flicker. The rest will work itself out.

Walking my way through this cancer thing is comparable to when I was beginning to learn ASL as a 26 year old I-just-have-to-commit-to-something community college student. Somehow I chose a profession where my most comfortable place was always a 0. Anyone who knows the pre-40’s version of me knows that I much preferred being the wallpaper as opposed to anything that had to try and display confidence in any way.

It makes absolutely no sense that I chose the worst possible career for myself…except that it actually ended up growing me from a 0 to a much higher level of comfort with life in general. There are myriad reasons why, but the most important is that I grew because of my discomfort, not because I avoided it. And I love those battle scars. They remind me who I really am and what I am capable of.

I like the analogy I just made. I like how it feels, and I like how it helps to raise my comfort level from a 0 to at least a 9 right now. It’s likely even higher than that, but 9 is my favorite number so it seems a fitting place to set as a benchmark.

Shout out to my candles tonight, and the bottle of Malbec I procured that makes me feel like my daddy is sitting here with me. That was his wine of choice the last couple times I was gifted with a little splatter of time to spend with him. I choose Malbec more times than not now, just to feel my soul dance in his honor.

Funny how facing your mortality for real makes you really just step back and think. I’m a solid 99 in that space. I love how tears are winning me over now too. They are so essential to honesty; vulnerability; life. I’ve never been afraid of the tears of others; in fact, I find them comforting and so humanly beautiful. In the last couple of days I have actually grown in my acceptance of said tears when it is my eyes from which they fall.

I believe this to be true though…we all know that tears don’t originate in the eyes. Tears are a byproduct of our souls just blowing up with emotion and probably so many other things that we don’t understand. The most beautiful and telling and honest and vulnerable and deserving conduit through which to share the very best of ourselves is through our eyes. Our souls are screaming to come out; our eyes are trying to protect us. Sometimes our eyes are a 2 and sometimes they’re a 27, and sometimes, just sometimes…they’re an 89…and that is where the magic happens.

I’m gonna try real hard to make this journey an 89. I think allowing myself any less would be complacent in being the both the version of myself I love the most, and the fighter I know how to be.

And it would be disrespectful to every one of you who is on this journey with me. None of us chose this, but we’re all going to be better because of it.

life 1; cancer 0

I have a couple of things to share that all contribute to today feeling like a normal day. But first I’ll point out the obvious that it is 5:01 am in my timezone and I have not yet been to sleep. This leads me to believe that what I have read about cancer and insomnia being bed partners is true. It kind of compares to the nesting you do when you know you have a newborn baby on the way.

We did more normal life today than cancer life. We laughed. We talked about other subjects. We met friends for dinner.

Today, we won.

i think i’m scared

I don’t know what day it is. Seems easier now to gauge time in terms of how many days it has been since I had which appointment or received which diagnosis. And since it has now been two days since I started trying to write this, my only way of capturing time currently is by how many days it has been since no one has called me back to let me know anything. So it’s all that garbage above that likely makes no sense, plus three more days of medical crickets. But I do know it is Thursday because dumpsters go out. Is it pathetic that trash day is my only point of reference? Oh – I also know Tuesdays and Thursdays as referents because they are 7th period band practice and late pickup for Quinn…so maybe I am winning in more ways than trash collection. I’m just not winning any information collection.

Aside from today being trash day and band practice, my best guess is that we are around two weeks-ish of sort of knowingness something bad, and seven days under the belt of positive knowingness of well, shoot… minus all the details that are actually kind of important in the overall what-the-fuck-do-we-do-now-ness place in which we find our state of collective existence. It feels like forever since I sat on that exam table trying to digest information I already knew somewhere deep in my gut. And now it feels like a more forever kind of foreverness, if that’s even possible, since fucking anything at all has been done about it by the powers that be, which are definitely not we (power, that is).

Wow, I need to breathe. Not sure I even remember how. I’ve earned an A+ in nail biting though. √+ for me.

I’m starting Tai Chi tomorrow. At least in my head I am, and perhaps my body will follow. I’m gonna make Mike do it too, because if nothing else, we will laugh our asses off at each other, and just the thought of that makes me smile.

Back to forever… it’s all relative. Mike and I keep trying to tell ourselves that in just another day or two we are going to get into some kind of fucking rhythm that makes us feel like we have control over something. Like if we walk the dog at 7:39 each night then we have mastered some part of our day with success, and that it won’t matter that we have no fucking idea what is going on in this world of cancer because we checked something off our list of the forever that we want together. That did not pull together as wittily on paper as it did in my head, but trust me – it had potential.

I am no brilliant orator in general, and especially not when the topic at hand challenges the strength of the shell I am most comfortable hiding behind. In the past few weeks I have tried to claw my way through more emotions than I even knew I was capable of…and no matter which one it is that hits me I still emerge hating myself for not being strong enough, or stoic enough, or Scandinavian enough, or Suzy enough…and I have no fucking clue what any of that means. I only know that I am struggling, so I guess that means I know I am alive.

I’ve been having lots of talks with myself about how I’m gonna handle this shit, and at this point I would be happy to produce even the smallest morsel of grace. I have not witnessed that yet; I am clearly a work in progress. Humanity as a whole is a work in progress. It makes no difference how you break it down; it is neither shitty nor beautiful; it is both and so much more. It’s just that some days it feels like it can swallow you alive, and that’s when you really have to stand up on your wobbly legs and fight back; that’s when you know you are really living rather than simply existing.

I don’t know what to do with these tears that fall, or this inability to smile the smile that used to define me. But I am working on it, and I WILL figure it out. This isn’t the me I know. This version of me scares the shit out of me and I want my real self back. If I knew how to skip across the bridge I would joyfully do so, but I am so busy being mad at myself for feeling sad that I mostly just feel blah and pathetic and then I start a whole new cycle of not knowing what the heck to do with any of it. And I get mad at myself all over again.

Yes, I know I am boiling over with anxiety. Yes, I know this post is angry. And yes, I know the root of all anger is fear. And I am fucking scared.