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.


beadbabe49 said...

I'm trying to figure out how much to write...how much to share...what will be enough but not too much...so forgive me if this is too much or too little...it's the best I've got.
Healing from a major illness like cancer is a long process...longer for some than for others...but I don't believe anyone comes to the end of their treatment totally ready to bounce back into their life, even when it seems necessary to do so. (I'm thinking of folks like you who have to make a living and parents who have to continue parenting, etc.)
It will come in it's own time...first in minutes, then in hours, then days and finally you'll realize it's been a whole week of feeling "normal" and good...and those are all times to celebrate. But until then be patient with yourself if you can.
I just read a wonderful post about grief here


she's talking about losing a child, but the process is the same for all losses in your life, I believe.

The part that resonated the most with me was about going through it on your own timetable....friends and others may urge you to move on or get over it, but they haven't been there and it's not like a switch you just turn off or on.

I hope this is some help to you, tay...

Catherine Chandler said...

Take your time. You'll know when you're ready. We love you :)

PetalsYoga said...

I can already tell you are working through the most difficult parts of recovery, Tay. Once again, I am so impressed by your determination to do the hard work and dedicate yourself to healing. That includes healing the mind and spirit as well as the body. Keep plugging away girlfriend! The love piece will come your way when you least expect it... I just have a strong sense that this is so for you.

Thanks for reading my blog. It's a blast all right!



Tay said...

Bobbi...that was very helpful, thank-you so much for such a long and loving comment. I know you get what I am going through and I appreciate the thoughts on timelines.

Catherine! thanks for all your love and good energy.

Jan, I am glad someone has conviction for me about the love piece. I certainly don't feel it right now. Thanks for continuing to check in on me here!

kristin said...

Okay, first of all, I am glad you wrote this. As I said to you the other day, I can't really remember ever seeing you get angry about any of this, and I think that must be part of your grieving process for all the loss you have been subject to.

Second, I know you feel like a mess right now, but to the rest of us, you are beautiful, strong, funny, sexy, inspiring, and creative. I turn to *you* for support because you are so loving and special. Those are all incredibly valuable things - things that make you very attractive. But I think until YOU feel all of those things from the inside out, it will be hard to allow someone new to really see it.

I know, I can talk the big talk, but I have been single for almost two years now. We are going to be okay. Hell, we are going to be happy and loved, and well -err- satisfied! Have some faith and try to be as gentle with yourself as you are with your friends.

Anonymous said...


I was reading through the michfest posts and saw just the start of your conversation on the vendor's thread. I had spent most of yesterday looking for t-shirts to wear to work this coming schoolyear, and I found that there were a lot of very funny shirts about cancer. Of course, as a 34 year-old with no experience of it, I was surprised, but also thought it was really cool--it would appear that some people just get bold about it and put it right on their shirt. Anyway ... when I read your michfest post I would have picked one of these out and just handed it to you, if I knew you. (I don't, total stranger, so pardon my butting in!)

emily b. said...

Hi Tay. Thanks for your thoughtful ideas this week. I am always reading and following. Not a very good commentor though. What you said about making sure it was worth it, made lots of sense to me and is big food for thought. thanks and sending you good energy for healing.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Hi dear Tay,
I am just back from Cairo and your blog is the only one I have checked.

Before I met my husband I had come out of a terrible love affair and was, well, not well. I dated people to take my mind off of things. But finally I realized that I needed to be alone and get myself together. It was such a hard decision but such a right decision. I think I recovered so much better by forcing myself to do that hard thing. I really opened myself up to just loving my friendships and cultivating them and myself.

Surround yourself, if you can, by the love of people who love you just as you are with no pressure and no timetable.


michaelendo said...

I'm with you T. I am probably the worst date on the planet. If Michele ever left me I'd probably die alone. The fact that I am even together with anyone is a miracle of happenstance.