Yes, going through treatments is about finding the humour in things, it’s about distracting yourself with fun and laughter, it’s the pink ribbons, the fundraising runs and the “bucket list” adventures! There is a level of perspective we maintain while in treatments, recovering from surgery, and sharing our experience in the moment with others, and it’s the notion of “being POSITIVE”. It’s not uncommon to hear or speak of how powerful the mind is, or how our thoughts manifest into things. It’s become almost cliche to describe oneself as being a “positive” person. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being positive, in fact I agree the mind and our thoughts can truly steer the direction of what we create in our state of being. But I also believe there’s a place in our lives, in our cancer “journey” to be raw and real with our emotions, how we’re feeling and what we’d like to express.
Are we showing up for ourselves? Are we able to own our emotions at every step of the way? If you woke up one morning in pain and feeling defeated, did you cry and express it, or did you tell yourself to “buck up” and seize the day because you were alive? Are you sitting in the sheer ugliness of your fear, looking it straight in the face and owning that complete anxiety? Or did you brush it off as just a fleeting moment and convince yourself it was time to be “positive”? Have we shed enough tears at the loss of our former selves, of what our boobs meant to us before the mastectomy, of how good sex was before menopause and mood swings? Or have we chalked it up to “oh well” and tried to never look back?
Are we talking about the guilt we feel for living through cancer, ten years later, while watching your friend wither away in her last days? This was a thought I struggled with myself, just recently, and an even harder conversation to have. But I did and I was reminded of what my purpose was for being here. You see, feeling your feelings and having your “not so positive” thoughts doesn’t make you a negative person. It makes you real. It makes you honest with yourself. It helps you to get through the thoughts into a healthy journey of healing, of self-discovery and self-love. What makes us a positive person is embracing all parts of who we are; physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
I think being supported and surrounded by women who understand, who can truly relate to your thoughts, your feelings, your moods is so extremely powerful. The positivity is in the truth, in the real conversations we have, the ones that could go on for hours over coffee (or wine), that make us more similar than different from one another. Who you are in any given moment doesn’t take away from the person you are every day. The essence of YOU is always within. Let’s feel, let’s be real and raw, let’s have a conversation.
Written by: Lucy, ANGEL Advocate