Sunday, August 25, 2013

Accepting My Feelings

At dinner earlier this week, I was talking to my partner, struggling to express the confused turmoil of emotion which had been roiling inside me all day, and he was listening carefully and lovingly, reflecting back to me the reality that I am going to feel whatever I feel, and that's going to be the way of it, and if friends or family have trouble with my being less of a rock of support for them, well, so be it.

My sponsor called shortly after the end of that conversation, and I was telling her some of the ideas which had been crashing through my brain that day, and she said bluntly, "You're not accepting your feelings."

It was as though a load had been lifted from my shoulders the instant after she'd said it - I knew it was true, and that this is what my partner had been trying to tell me, although more gently, not so directly. My sponsor and I have been through enough together, that she knows she can slap whatever it is down on the table between us, and I might startle a bit at the impact, but I will be able to hear it, recognise it, appreciate it.

All day that day I had been fighting my feelings, and it made my life unmanageable. I was fighting against the grief and sorrow of the cancer diagnosis, the fear and the sense of loss. My partner and I had barely 3 months together before we found out I have cancer - it seems agonisingly unfair to have met the love of my life and 3 months later be diagnosed with cancer.

Because like it or not, cancer changes everything. Suddenly our lives are filled with doctor's visits, phone calls from doctor's offices booking tests to stage the tumour, and what seem like endless conversations about cancer, with friends, sponsees, my sponsor, family members, it goes on and on and on, and I feel like I am forgetting what it was like to live a life without people crying about me when they talk to me,  and conversations about the cancer.

This morning, I woke up feeling desolate, and that moved into anger - I stood in my kitchen and wept helplessly as a furious anger swept through me. I haven't cried much since being diagnosed because I don't want to cry. I will allow myself a few tears here and there, but I haven't really cried, not the kind of abandoned sobbing I did when my friend died last May. I'm beginning to realise that I may need to allow myself that kind of weeping because I am grieving, I'm grieving the purity of the relationship with my partner before cancer intervened, I'm grieving my health, I'm grieving ordinary life.

Not much of help here today, I'm afraid. Bless you all for your support and kindness.


  1. change, disease grief; there is no help like the truth, thank you,

  2. It sucks. I am so sorry. I of course don't know anything about your cancer, but I do know that overall treatment has come leaps and bounds. There is a lot of hope that wasn't a possibility just a few short years ago.

  3. I am praying for you. Sometimes, there is just no understanding.

  4. I like to believe that being present for myself with the help of Alanon allowed me to feel again...for that I am grateful
    I am not alone when I read your honest intimate feelings in your blog
    Thinking of you

  5. This morning I googled the three C's of alanon and found your blog. What a blessing!! Needed to be reminded of the three C's as I face the reality of my son's drug addiction. Thank you for your writing, I have subscribed to your blog to read more! I am sorry you are having to face and deal with cancer, but I truly believe your mindset will keep you moving forward! Thankful and grateful that they found it, that you are seeking treatment and hopeful to hear that you will be talking of it in the past tense soon!!! Praying for you, mind, body and soul!!!

  6. It's okay. I understand this as I truly believe that I have to feel the feelings no matter what they might be. I refuse to hide them anymore. Good for you to cry and get angry. I believe that stuffing feelings does more harm. My anger and frustration are not directed at another but need to be put out to even an empty house.

  7. I've heard that Cancer "talks" to people in the same fashion that alcohol talks to alcoholics. Sometimes it helps to remember that it's not always telling you the truth. Praying for you as you grieve and work through so many strong feelings.