I feel like my life before BC was some kind of strange dream. In hindsight, I was a disembodied zombie in some strange land where up was down, and self love was an interesting concept to read about, but not something I believed I was capable or worthy of experiencing.
Most of the time, I was bordering suicidical, not necessarily actively wishing I was dead, but often wanting to “disappear” in some ambiguous and painless way. I would never have killed myself because I was too afraid (and my depression monster, we’ll call him “Hank”, would often twist and contort that very normal fear of death into an excuse to hate myself more… The taunting and teasing voice looped in my head over and over, “You’re a Fucking baby, you can’t do anything right. You should just die, but you won’t, because you’re a coward”. Exemplary self-talk, obviously.
Depression is a boa constrictor that coils itself around your body and soul, crushing bones and dreams, dissolving hope into its scaly skin. It wraps itself around your throat, rendering you paralyzed in fear and voiceless.
3 months post breast cancer diagnosis, I can happily say, “Hank”, as I always knew him, is a fairly infrequent visitor.
The remnants of a familiar and fatally toxic love affair evoke electric and nauseating pulsing and throbbing in my abdomen. Do I sometimes find pieces of Hank’s shed snake skin lying around? Sure. But dealing with a layer of dead flaky skin is a lot more manageable than trying to singlehandedly fight off a bone-crunching, soul-crushing, blood-thirsty beast.
I believe my diagnosis was a gift of renewal. It has shown me how much I love life. Even with all of the good in my life prior to diagnosis like getting into top grad schools for opera, having this huge outer validation of my internal truth (that I am in fact a gifted singer, and an intelligent person) was not enough for me to begin to see myself as worthy. Only from beginning to unbury myself and climb out of the depths of Rock Bottom (with emphasis on the capitalization) have I been able to see the glinting glimmering sunlight peering directly at me through the cracks. 🌅
Also, guess who ran her first whole cancer-free mile in the blistering heat just 1 month post-op? This girl. And then I power-walked/jogged 2 more. And then lifted my 3lb weights. 💪🏼
Happy Sunday. 💕🌿🌻💕✨