I wrote a post yesterday about working through a depression regarding my financial & creative funks. The response was overwhelming, to say the least– well, on Facebook; I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get people to comment directly through WordPress. I wrote a post about the nurses’ strike one time that elicited several comments, but that’s about it.
The reason for the follow-up is that I wanted to demonstrate the effect that these responses can have on an individual experiencing such a low. We all scroll through Facebook and ‘Like’ or ‘Haha’ or ‘Sad’ or ‘Wow!’ a post about kittens and Trump, but we rarely talk to each other and never ask how anyone else is doing.
This is one of my main themes behind writing My Cancer Story— When one experiences such a catastrophic event and then lives to tell about it, they’re filled with many emotions: gratification, hope, self-reflection, and a newfound sense of appreciation for life.
But there are other mental reactions to such an ordeal: fear, hypochondria, Survivor’s Guilt, and a sense of purpose. So often when a loved one survives a life-threatening disease we “check off” their survival and move on with our own lives. Over the past ten years there were so many times I went to the Emergency Room or had to pace outside in the dead of winter to calm myself down (to prevent a trip to the ER) because my mind raced with the fear that whatever medical issue I was facing at that moment in time was somehow related to a recurrence of cancer.
I’ve had girlfriends, friends, and family all be there during these panic fits dumbfounded by my strife and unable to help, but it was only through the open discussion of what I was experiencing that helped me ease my nerves and relax my heartbeat.
I write this post and its predecessor to shine a light on something of which we don’t discuss enough: Our well-being. So do me a favor: put down your phone or the remote control and talk to someone to whom you haven’t spoken to in a while, catch up and ask them how they’re doing. We will only get through this life’s struggles together as you have all proven by helping me through mine.
Thank you for reading this, and I love you all.