I’ve learned that grief doesn’t end just because things have gotten better. I feel like we were hit with a tsunami. The huge wave knocked us over and held us under for awhile. Once we caught our breath, we sat in the mucky mud figuring out what the hell just happened. And now we’re in this weird rebuilding stage. Taking the pieces of our old life and figuring out how to put them back together.
And I feel like maybe I’m being dramatic. I mean we got knocked down but we survived. We got a cancer diagnosis, but Ryan’s okay for now. Things are fine right? He’s running and working and playing soccer and snowboarding; and in 2 short weeks he will be driving again. So is anything really that different than before?
But it is. “Cancer changes everything and nothing at all.” I heard that on TV recently and it really stuck with me. On the outside nothing has really changed. We have a few more prescriptions in our house and we see the doctor way more than we used to but life keeps going. But on the inside? Oh boy. Yeah. Everything has changed, and I don’t know how to function in this new normal.
My new normal, though it looks the same to most, is full of anxiety and fear. It’s full of constantly worrying. My new normal is feeling like I have to hold it together, like I am everything to everyone and everything will crumble if I stop. And it’s exhausting, and I’m tired.
I remember longing for this when we were in the thick of it. I remember just wanting to be normal, to go back to when everything was okay. To a time before we knew bout the cancer because that life was easy. And this new life? This life is hard. And I feel like such a whiner because we are back to normal and things are good.
I need to give myself grace. I don’t have to be okay and I don’t have to be strong. It’s only been 6 months since our world turned upside down. I’m allowed to be mad and angry and upset and confused and scared. And I’m allowed to fall apart. But I’m also allowed to be happy and hopeful and find joy. But most of the time right now if I’m being honest, I’m scared and angry and sad. And that’s okay. Because I’m still figuring it out. I’m still learning who I became through all of this. I’m still learning the person I want to be now.
We are in transition and we’re rebuilding and it is hard and painful and exciting and full of hope and scary and hard all at the same time. And that’s exciting but also so so scary, and that’s okay.
*quote was from NBC’s New Amsterdam*