Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Had Cancer. . . . Does That Revoke My Right to Sweat the Small Stuff??

I have been pondering this a lot lately.  Probably because I have been struggling with an anxious mind in recent days.   When I am anxious I worry.  When I worry I tend to complain.   I hate when I am like that.  

I swore to myself that if I survived cancer I would never complain again.  Not about a bad hair day or even a bad day at work.  I wonder how I thought I could pull that off.  I felt so grateful to still be alive I was afraid to complain.  I felt as though complaining about anything meant I didn't feel glad to have survived.  I felt like I had no right to.  Sometimes as a cancer survivor I feel as though I should be dancing and singing through each and everyday.  I put this expectation on myself to never feel bad.  And then I just worry about that!  I live with alot of anxiety of my cancer coming back, or losing my husband as I lost my first one.  I don't know how to find balance...inside my head.  

Don't get me wrong, I have many a great day.  I have many days when I am dancing like nobody is watching and laughing, and just being happy.  But I still struggle with my "after cancer" life and feel guilty for the struggle.  I put way to much pressure on myself striving for perfection in my life since having faced my own mortality.  I am kind to others but the one person I need to be kinder to is myself.  

Do you ever feel bad when you sweat the small stuff?  How do you find balance?  Are you a glass half full or half empty kinda person?  


Anonymous said...

Hoo-boy - this is a doozy. I totally understand where you are coming from. I still feel guilty complaining about ANYTHING. It's almost as if I asking for fate to show me "just how lucky you are, missy..." I blogged about this a while ago, and how hard it is to give yourself permission to feel "normal" things, like any non-survivor would. (Can I say non-survivor?)
It's important for us to give ourselves permission to sweat the small stuff, but to remember that it isn't important to dwell on it. I am definitely a glass-half-full kind of person, and lately I've been struggling with the emotional after-effects of chemo, and it's been hard to keep that "silver-lining" attitude up.
For me, I've found that giving myself permission to have a day to sulk is good enough - it's like I can take the time I need to feel bad and sigh and moan and mourn and bitch and complain, but I make damn sure that I don't let this get to be an every-day thing. By doing this, I allow my psyche the down time it needs, but it also helps me realize and remember why I fought so hard to beat the cancer, and it helps me appreciate the good things that inevitably come along.
(Hope this helps - feels like I was ranting, but it's all for a good cause, right?)


Daria said...

I think as human beings we sometimes are slow learners ... and forgetful too.

The trick is to be gentle with ourselves ... forgiving of ourselves ... as we are just human beings.

Cathy Bueti said...

Michelle, Great comments! Especially what you said about remembering that it isn't important to dwell on it which is the hardest part for me. And no you were not ranting!! Thanks for sharing! :)
Daria, thanks for sharing as well! I so agree about forgiving ourselves....that is tough for me...