When I was going through cancer I was told countless times that I was strong. I wasn’t strong I simply had no choice. Or was I considered strong because I chose to have the treatment offered or was I strong because I chose to get out of bed each day and get dressed and put makeup on? On reflection I think I was on autopilot for the whole year and had a loving supportive husband and family who enabled me. It was only two or three years later when I had the time and space to reflect about not only my breast cancer journey but my journey after my Father’s death, my journey as a mother of a drug user, my journey as a grandmother and foster carer that I had become strong because of the different journeys I have been on.
Now I am on a new journey- one that I had always been petrified of and yet one that is a certainty for us all.
I recognise and appreciate that because of the other journeys that I have been on that my current strength, but also a new strength is developing. Being comfortable by myself and loving myself are my weaknesses and yet I am gradually, by having to face both, developing a new strength.
I wrote in a previous blog that I was desperate to move on from this raw grief. I wanted to go to sleep and wake up in 2020. Better still, I hoped I would also die because anything was easier than this.
However as the weeks pass I am developing not only ways to cope but an understanding of how to become stronger. I was hurt by the lack of support from friends I considered good friends and grateful to other friends for their continued support and yet, because of this hurt I have become stronger. I am learning all kinds of things that are helping me personally. I had my haircut the other day looked in the mirror and sobbed. Not because I didn’t like the cut but because I had always relied on Julian to tell me I looked beautiful. It took strength to re look in that mirror and compliment myself.
I had an evening and night by myself and spent the first half crying because not only was I lonely, but I fell into the trap of thinking of the future and before I knew it I had fallen into trap of imagining 365 days of sheer loneliness. I calmed myself down by doing a breathing meditation. This morning I came downstairs I took one look at a photo of Julian and burst into tears and again before I knew it I was imagining a long road of loneliness. Whilst crying I begun to truly understand the importance of living in the present and not creating a future that I cannot possibly predict.
For me personally meditation, EFT, and writing the unsent letter and exercise, and seeing a counsellor is ￼my go to at the moment.
Everyone’s journey is different and what works for me may not work for others I just know that through adversity I am developing a new strength.