I am loner. Yes when I meet you I am quite personable. I wasn’t always a loner. I enjoyed people. I just kind of figured things out over time. People eventually hurt you. When I was a young girl I struggled with becoming a teenager. Acceptance and people pleasing made my life difficult. I felt alone so I would do things to keep me occupied. I would bounce between surrounding myself with people or pushing them away because they became too much for my head. One day I cried in front of a friend. I had been being bullied by an ex boyfriend and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I took a razor blade and cut my arms. Not because I wanted to die but because I wanted the pain to stop and it seemed logical that cut pains healed and the bullying pain was not outward so it couldn’t heal. My friends told the school counselor on me and I went to her for a while trying to figure out my pain.
A year later my best friend died and I never felt so alone. I also never felt so much pain. It crippled me and I didn’t know what to do with it. I promised I would never cut so I got lost as to what to do with the pain. I surrounded myself with people and pretended I was alright. It didn’t work. I started to become angry and I developed anxiety. I feared death so much it became the reason I wanted to isolate myself from fear of loving people and having them die. I isolated more. Then the worst possible thing could have happened to me being so afraid of loss. I had children.
I became the most neurotic Mother imaginable. Losing those kids would kill me and I knew it. But they started to get older the pain of them leaving me started to become real. What’s worse is I became sick with a mystery illness that made it easy to isolate. But my depression started to get high. The more I couldn’t do things the harder it became. I felt like a burden and hopeless. I had to bring people into my life to help me with the kids while I was sick but with every swimming trip I missed and every time I had to sleep instead of help them with the morning routine I became guilty and hard on myself. I studied psychology. I knew I had to find ways to let go and bring my seratonin up. I used exercise everyday. I ate well. It still didn’t work. Then I gave up and started on medicine.My doctor mistakenly saw my anxiety and sickness reactions as a possible bipolar disorder and put me on a med that was strong. I gained 100 lbs and slept all day and night. The guilt was becoming unimaginable and I started to become apathetic. I saw the news and blissfully thought about the Koreans starting a war and just disintegrating us all. Of I was going to die it had to take my whole family because I didn’t want them to suffer the pain I feared so much.
By the grace of God I got a rash that got me off that medication but along side it came a new problem. Unexplainable fevers that eventually turned into a diagnosis of Cancer. I was letting my family down again and this time it could cause them the very pain I had been trying to avoid so much through out my entire life. I felt like a failure and a bad parent. What was worse was that as the treatments went on I really started to contemplate suicide. Not normal suicide just easily stopping treatment and allowing the disease to take me.
I thought about how much pain I was in on a daily basis and wether it was worth continuing. I thought about my children growing old and not needing me anyways. I thought about the usefulness of the life insurance for my husband. Mostly I thought about this supposing to be my life forever and I just couldn’t live like this forever. The pain is too much forever and you just cannot see a light. It is hard to find hope in this situation but God was faithful.
I first told my husband who freaked out and desperately explained how much I was loved and needed. I told my friend Janice who understood me and just asked for a hug. I found the more I told people the more I felt hope but it comes back with the pain. Cancer and depression are a lot alike. There is pain, there is fear but most of all there is darkness and a feeling of being alone. I find it is the loneliness that is the hardest part. People want to understand they just don’t and their patients wears out. They want you to be better because it hurts them but they don’t realize that you would be better in a heartbeat if there was a choice. Maybe that is why people get sick so that people can learn long term compassion. Taking things a day at a time and learning when you need a break from it all.
What I know is evertime I say I don’t want to do the Chemo anymore my daughter tells me how much she needs me and loves me. When I am going through the pain my husband says it will be better tomorrow even though it may not. My pastor mysteriously gets a hold of me and gives me hope.
The difference between me and others who struggle with extreme depression is that cancer is more acceptable in society. So as a compassionate person I ask that we not dismiss that. Give these people hope and when you can’t stop their pain hold their hand and let them know tomorrow will be a better day. Do that until it actually is a better day. Take care of them because they are sick and they need it. That goes for mystery illnesses as well. We can’t do this world alone and I know that. Without letting people in, despite the fear of the pain of losing them, I would have stopped the Chemo and died. Mental illness is a sickness and it causes pain. Don’t let people suffer alone. I am so grateful for my people. For my unexpected Facebook friends that lift me up everyday to my family and friends. You have stopped me from saying no more Chemo more times than you can imagine. Thank You. Thank you for being my light. Thanks for letting me share. “God Bless the meek for they shall inherit the earth” Mathew 5:5