eventually you suffer battle fatigue.
the wazoo because of a liver enzyme test that came back extremely elevated.
Granted, it’s the first time they’d ever run this test since I finished chemo
last Spring, but don’t try and tell them that.
to stop drinking alcohol immediately (check), to get another test immediately (check), and
asking if I’ve had my hepatitis vaccines when I was a kid (check).
not pushing the panic button, I’ve done pretty well these past two weeks, doing
what I’m told, following up diligently, and trying to follow the new all-organic
diet suggested to me by my naturopath.
prudent. But yesterday I came to see, while reduced to a ball of tears in front
of a friend, that there is a third option between panicking and “soldiering
on.” There’s acknowledgment of my fear.
trying to maintain an emotional equilibrium is hard work.
of veracity, is fear. They can co-exist, but I have to acknowledge that they
is not my favorite thing to google “autoimmune hepatitis” (which, we learned, I don’t have). It is even less my favorite thing to contemplate that the reason for
this trouble in the first place is a result of something doctors did to me – despite the rational
fact that they had to. I had
Leukemia. The cure is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy causes havoc.
out, but I am concerned. And I am “activated.” It’s hard not to be – I’ve had
legitimate reasons to freak out in the past – but even then, if you were a
reader when I was going through that, you saw that the times I freaked out were few and far between –
and then, they weren’t panics or freak outs, they were the falling-armor
acknowledgments of a real threat to my security and joy.
trustworthy. To acknowledge both sides: Bravery and Vulnerability.
second. And I’m pretty sure the second enhances the first.
allowing all of my emotions to be valid. I sat yesterday with a group of
folks, and by the end of our time together, I was leaking silent tears. I
didn’t anticipate to do that, but we create a sacred space together, a place
where it was safe to allow something I didn’t know was happening arise. And
because of that, a friend was able to see my pain, and sit with me while I let
the soldier take a rest, and let the scared and weary and angry woman take a
spin for a while.
And coming to realize in conversation with her that I’d been forcing my
experience into two categories: Panic and Perseverance. Acknowledging fear does
not equate panicking, is what I learned. And it was important, so important,
for me to let some of the rest of my emotions out, besides good humor,
diligence, and perseverance.
out, without allowing that vulnerability to arise, our capacity for soldiering
is greatly hindered.
hampering my ability to move forward.
only organic meat and my fear of the cost and the inconvenience,
and wondering if I’ll have to now be like those people in food addiction
programs who have to carry around heavy-ass glass containers of their own food
to restaurants because they can’t eat anything else and become a burden to
myself and my social life…
these are thoughts and emotions that are happening, too.
Middle Way,” but fan or not, I seem to be learning all about it.