Sunday, March 1, 2009


I just had dinner with a good friend of mine from college and as we are leaving I had this realization: this is my most sane friend at the moment, and I feel totally insane sitting here with her trying to have a normal conversation. And then on the way home I realized that this is also a person who is investing significant amounts of time and energy in her spare time working on the following recession layoff contingency plan: a homemade popsicle business. This sort of idea is just one more endearing example of the eccentricity that makes her so lovable, but it is worth mentioning in this context as the bar for sanity that I have set recently, and how far from it I am feeling lately.

Most of the time these days I feel like I am standing in the middle of a great windstorm with all the essential components of my life whipping around me, ungraspable. Maybe that's not true, maybe that's just the metaphor that comes to mind because I can still feel the wind on my cheeks from the icy winter snow storm I walked home in tonight. But I do feel off balance and it seems harder than usual to regain my footing these days. I know that is perfectly understandable--My cancer has relapsed, I am in a long-distance relationship, I am back to work, which is great, but the politics at union are such these days that I feel constantly underseige, one of my roommates just moved out, and failed to communicate properly about it, so those of us remaining were left scrambling to find a subletter while we continued to wait for the closing of the sale of the building we live in and get to meet the new owner and learn whether or not we can stay here, and at what price, and I will be starting chemo in a couple of days and the roommate took her couch. So it is perfectly reasonable to feel a little crazy. But I just don't know what to do with it all.

I know that writing helps me flesh things out, but there is just so much that I never know where to start. I think I am going to start seeing a therapist. I am a little worried that I will put up too many walls with a stranger to really let down in that scenario, but I'm putting up walls with everyone else in my life right now, so why not try a new context? If I could allow myself the space to cry in for an hour every week--even if I never finished a complete sentence--it would probably be therapeutic enough to do a great deal of good.

I'm not sure what else to say. I think I've been building walls against myself, because I can feel the turmoil building in my chest. And my brain can list all the things that are making me crazy. But my brain can't quite access the feeling in my chest to be able to articulate the emotional consequences of that ever growing list of worries my brain keeps adding to. And so I am all stopped up. And I wish I could pour baking soda and vineagar down my throat to unclog my pipes and have done with it all.

I guess that's sort of what the chemo is trying to do.


Megan said...

Oh, Rose. I have been wondering about your silence as of late. I have anxiously been awaiting a post so I could get a clue about what you've been feeling lately. As usual, I don't have the right words. I know you realize that it is completely reasonable to feel so overwhelmed. Knowing that helps a little and writing it out and talking about it helps, too. But that feeling of being out of control? That sucks and it's hard to reign back in. I wish I could do more, but all I can do is send you my love and reassure you that since you entered this world with your triangle nostrils, you have never ceased to amaze me. One day at a time you will get through this with all of your friends and family as close by as you will let us. And even when we're not talking about anything directly, we are with you. I love you. Megan

Chuck Lynd said...

Thanks for starting to sort out your thoughts here on the blog... that is a good first step in recognizing and bringing to awareness your feelings and your sense of being overwhelmed with so much to deal with. It IS too much for anyone to have to deal with and part of putting up the walls is simply to protect yourself from letting in even more CRAP. With all this, you are coping and will deal with whatever comes knocking at those walls. I just want to reinforce that going to a therapist for an hour every week or two is an excellent idea. I have done this myself, as you know, and I can attest that however odd it may seem in our culture to open up to a stranger who is trained to listen to us (ok, and paid to do so) really is an important piece of the puzzle when dealing with really stressful challenges. When it builds up and starts to overwhelm, that is precisely the signal to set up an appt. with a therapist.

Sending extra love to you tonight. Know too that we will help you deal with whatever financial fallout happens with the apartment.

*) Dad

eternalsunshine said...

I hope to see you soon in person, Rose, but for now, let me say that I went to therapy once, and cried the entire 45 minutes. But you know what, it was worth it. And strangely helpful, just to realize how much anger/sadness I had pent up inside of me as I was dealing with my disease. I think I had even convinced myself that I was dealing fine, but once I was really able to talk (to a stranger), I realized I was quite far from "dealing fine." I wasn't ready to go back to it (and it was insurance crap too to deal with and I was at the end of my rope with bills), but I have always wanted to try it again, even if I cry the whole time and care barely get the words out because it's 99% emotions sometimes.

Julie said...

I knew there was a reason I'd been obsessively checking your blog in the last few weeks. I must have sensed you had a lot to say and weren't saying it! I don't have much to offer that hasn't been said here already, but I want to add my voice to the chorus of support. We know that you can get through all of this insanity and want to help you do so in any way we can. As Alejo would say, I love you sooooooooo much, all the way to my heart!