I was going to take a class this summer, but I decided against it. After the past six months (eight months if you go back to my first trip to the doctor) I had to face the fact that I am worn out.
In some ways, the most exhausting ordeal, worse than the physical toll of surgery, was finding out that I had cancer. I truly had not prepared myself for that possibility. The shock was very strong, and in some ways that was the most taxing part of this process.
I hadn’t planned on dropping my class, to the point where I even attended my first class and did my homework. But a few weeks ago, a friend posted a sign (or whatever those things are called) on Facebook, saying “Depression and anxiety aren’t signs of weakness; they’re signs that you’ve tried to be strong for too long.” The second I saw that, I knew that described me, I had been strong for too long. I thought I could be strong just a little longer. In fact, as I went through my day at work, I kept thinking to myself, “Just postpone your mental breakdown until the fall, so you can take the class.” Fortunately, I had the good sense to realize that this is simply impossible. I had to take the summer off, I had to give myself a chance to recover, and heal.
So instead of studying, I’ll be resting, crying, spending time outside, reading, going for walks, watching movies, and spending time with friends. I’ll probably also talk to my company’s employee assistance program, or my doctor, to get a referral for a counselor. I went to a counselor in college, and I think it would be good to go back after this.
At times, when I think about what happened, I feel frightened. A few weeks ago, when I had to start my diet, I made a mistake at work. I was upset, and the manager said, “It’s ok.” I thought to myself, “No, it isn’t! I had cancer! How is that ok? How will anything ever be ok again?”
That’s the question that haunts me in darker moments, “How will anything ever be ok again?”
In an effort to find the answer, I have decided to take the summer off from classes, to grieve, heal, and enjoy myself.
Treatment is over, now the healing can begin.