I was dealing with depression and anxiety long before cancer. Now I feel the most fragile I’ve ever felt. Just when I think I have a handle on things, everything explodes. I’ve written about this in the past. What happens when the strong need to weep? They weep alone.
I’ve struggled finding people to talk to and let my guard down, really and truly let my guard down. What tends to happen is they listen for a few minutes and then inevitably tell me the following:
You’re so strong.
You’ve got this.
This goes on for a few minutes until the shift happens where I become their therapist and shoulder their pain and their fears. They assume I’ll be just fine and can handle anything.
When others can’t handle hearing your fears or darkness because your “normal” personality is sunny and zany, that’s pressure to always appear okay. That’s my current situation. Heck, it’s been my ongoing situation.
The chronic pain makes it harder to keep my emotions in check. I no longer have the energy to keep up the appearance of being okay. I don’t get a break from what my cancer treatments and multiple surgeries have done to me. I wake up hurting every morning and go to bed hurting every night.
I’ve been very down on myself about my weight and being chronically single. I grow even more frustrated with being told the following:
Weight isn’t everything.
Dating or relationships are overrated.
You’re your own worst critic.
Not understanding my body and loneliness just adds to my depression.
Sure, I’m resilient. I don’t know where that comes from, but I somehow always get back up after being slammed to the ground over and over and over again. I’ve wanted to give up, but my nature just won’t let me.
I don’t want to be alone.
It’s not fair.
It’s not easy.
Wading through the darkness while leaping from one friend to another, sharing spurts of what’s hurting the soul but knowing there’s no one shoulder big enough to hold all your darkness is my daily struggle.
This is what strong people do.
Until next time,
This post originally appeared on Life on the Cancer Train. It is republished with permission.