Tuesday, July 22, 2008

playing it safe for now

i'm feeling a little better today. sunday, when i wrote my last post, was a hard day overflowing with tears. i am worn out from the release, but lighter in spirit too. i faced a difficult personal confrontation and it went much better than i could have hoped for. the good result is a big chunk of nasty stress i have been carrying around for weeks is now dissipated. whew.

and then there is this: a couple of weeks ago i tried to start dating again. i thought it would be healthy to put myself out there and try, just try to connect with someone new. i guess from the standpoint of trying, it was a successful experiment. from the standpoint of, um, other desired results, it was a flop. we met through a personals site, the first date seemed to go swimmingly. i was pleasantly surprised! there was easy conversation and even some promising chemistry, i thought. we planned a second date. it too, went well. although i was having a hard time reading her signals. something wasn't quite connecting.

after that second date only one thing was clear. dating was stressing me out, the anxious feelings wondering if she likes me like that, worrying over how i look, trying to put on a happy face when i'm in pain and so crabby...whew, that was all too much. we planned a third date but didn't make it that far. she called and said can we just be friends instead?

that's when it hit me, how very thin my skin is at this moment in time. i don't have the emotional chops for this dating adventure. i immediately listed in my head all the things wrong with me right now, all the reasons i am not attractive and honestly, dear readers? it made sense. why would anyone want to date me right now? i am a mess with a capitol m.

if there was any positive from the experience of trying to date, its just that through getting rejected, i realized how angry i am. it opened the door for me to really sink into my sense of loss. and i know now i am not ready to date. i think i need to get to a place (or at least much closer to a place) where i'd actually like to date myself before tossing it all out there for someone else. dating can be a discouraging, brutal process in the best of circumstances. when i have my A game on, i am pretty good at it.

right now, i don't have a game going at all. so i'm not going to even try to play.

and that makes me sad and mad, too. i feel like i have wasted so many years just working all the damn time. not going out, not having enough fun, certainly not enjoying my healthy body when i had one. after cancer, i feel like i need to make up for lost time and fast! i am turning 42 in september, for heavens sake. in many ways, i feel like i wasted my 30's being single and keeping my nose to the grindstone.

will i ever get my body back? not the one i had, certainly. one i can live with and love with? i sure hope so.

thanks for your encouraging and affirming comments, friends. it's good to be heard.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

the endless horizon

it's my body that is the problem. the pain is there, my disease manifest there in the cells, the soft tissue, the muscles. i am angry at it all. i am sick and tired of healing, of being a patient. fed up with being the woman with all this shit broken in my body. i just want to be healed NOW, to be done, to move on and over and past all this. i can't even walk away from it, let alone run. and i am angry enough to run long and far.

as i explained yesterday, it's not just the cancer. it is these other conditions that seem to have no end in sight. when will i be healed from this weak arm and this disabled foot? why do i have to deal with them now, when i am so fragile from all the cancer bullshit of the past few months? don't i deserve a break in this life?

holy hell, will i ever get to dance again?

it feels like the joy is sucked out of life. pain and an endless horizon of more treatment, more time, more waiting, more babying my body...there is too much to see beyond. i don't know if it will ever really be better. i am too young for this. to young to give up enjoying my body and just live through my mind and heart. too young to wear only comfort shoes by day and wrist braces to bed every night. too young to give up feeling empowered, feeling sexy.

i want dancing. and sex. and freedom to move through the world . i want pleasure, not pain.

my mom tells me gently that i have been angry for months. she is most likely right. i didn't realize it until recently. i was so busy dealing with treatment and scrambling to make ends met every month that i buried those dark feelings. they pop out around people i know well. here on the blog, i've tried to tap into the fruits of my experience, to mine the lessons. i have wanted to feel there was some value to all my suffering. some gain.

now, i touch the loss. i am feel the texture of it and weigh it in my hands. in my heel. in my breasts. i have healed so much emotional damage in my life. clearly i am not afraid of hard work. i am in fact working really hard at healing. but the anger thwarts me.

this. this is beating me down. i am exhausted by it. the injustice grips my heart and doesn't let go. i just wish there was a place i could escape from all of the loss, a place to put it outside the door and be free for an hour, even. i've thought of relief just dying now would bring. yes, i have thought of it, but don't give that "out" serious consideration.

oh, dammit all to hell!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

angry, not pretty

i haven't written for several reasons. one, i don't have much good to say. two, my arms and shoulder are really in pain right now from aggravated tendinitis. this arm pain making typing difficult and i need to save all i can for my studio. and three, i am just in the thick of production for this big show and my "internet energy" is quite low.

angry. angry is how i've been feeling lately.

my skin feels thin. my resistance to stress isn't strong. my emotional immune system is compromised.

i have two chronic conditions that have flared up quite painfully in the past several weeks. being in pain usually makes me depressed (ok, i am depressed, but medicated) yet lately the pain is just making me so angry. i want to scream from the rooftops - it all seems so unfair.

in the past three years, i've spent months and months in pain, trying to heal first the arm issue and then the heel. i have a bone spur on my heal which makes even walking just awful. it was nearly better after 8 months of working on healing last year. then the cancer and months of being sedentary. when i finally got back to exercise, i walked slowly, i wasn't crazy about it. i was doing pretty well at the beginning of may. then i got some treatment from a chiropractor that seemed to irritate the heel, followed by going to my dear friend's wedding and dancing just to 3 songs. it was a mess after that. but really, what kind of life is it when you cannot dance at your friend's wedding? that makes me so mad!

mad at my body for failing me. mad at myself for not being healthy, for letting my job(s) be more important than my health for so long. mad at the waste of it all.

for months i've tried to look at and write about what i was gaining from this cancer experience. i didn't even know how angry i was.

angry is not pretty. it is not sympathetic. who wants to read about angry?

a dear friend told me this week it doesn't matter what anyone wants to read. i need to write it, the ugly stuff, the unsavory. so i am writing about loss. not what i've learned from the cancer experience, (hell, from all my shitty health problems). but what i have lost. what i lose on a daily basis.

i think i will make a list. tune in tomorrow for more.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

all questions, no easy answers

i have to admit it, i have been a bit discouraged of late. an abysmal evening last week really took the wind out of my sails (and sales) in the little ship that is my jewelry business. i spent the greater part of the holiday weekend just asking myself "what the fuck am i doing with my life?!" the little high i was on last time i posted blew way in the warm wind of 1st thursday's art stroll.

you know, the multiple health problems that have arisen in the last 3 years can be traced to working too hard, pushing on when i should rest. but i couldn't. to be single and self-supporting, to work 2 jobs and start a business - that recipe is composed of work, sacrifice and focus.

is it worth the price i've paid in my health?

this past weekend i pondered that. things got dark in my heart. i thought about the kind of shape i am in now with my body and good heavens was i even going to make it to 60? and beyond? i'll care for my mother when she gets too old or sick to care for herself. but who will care for me? you can see, dear readers how ugly things got in my head.

when i quit my job last fall and got a business loan to launch into my business full time, it was with the plan that i would give it all i've got for a year. if i wasn't seeing significant progress then, i would reconsider this path.

ah, the best laid plans. cancer doesn't care about your plans, how much money you have, the state of your relationships. you just wake up one day and there it is. moved in to your life without so much as a "how you doing?" rude bastard, cancer.

so now as i stood in this fork in the road and wondered...do i like this very hard life i've made? should i choose an easier path, take the road of employee, not boss? would that fit me?

i'm not sure how or when to measure my business now. i lost so many months, so much money. my business loan became a health loan. either way, i am behind and it must be paid back, every month. sometimes literally everything feels uphill, both ways.

don't we all just long for some ease in our lives?

i'm within seven weeks of the one-year mark. the date i got the loan. i go off to a big festival where i vend my jewelry in a 6-day art fair in just four weeks. i worry (even though it changes nothing) that the show won't be lucrative enough, that the struggling economy will mean that folks steer clear of buying jewelry. i feel like i need a miracle, actually.

on a positive note, i joined a gym and am working out. my heel continues to give me pain, so using the machines at the gym is much better than walking outside on the pavement.

as i am posting less regularly here now, please do subscribe to the RSS feed (link in sidebar) so that you'll get a little message when i post. and feel free to check in over at my main blog, where i post 4-5 days a week. it's here.