Emotional fallout

So I’ve realized that what I said in the last post is not all encompassing.

Flatly, I am experiencing this recurrence as being much harder emotionally than the initial diagnosis and treatment.

Maybe I have PTSD. I’m certainly feeling depressed. As Mayo Clinic says here recurrence can be hard to take.

My biggest sense, is “Oh no, not again — I’m not sure I have the strength (or the finances) to go through this again (with the inference of “over and over again.”)

It is again cutting into and waylaying my life, and Grant’s. Things I want to do I can’t and instead, this. Again.

I’m a mental health professional. I know about depression. I know what is effective for PTSD. I know all about my beloved IFS Therapy. I know about Grief & Loss and the cycle of emotional states that come with it, per Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
  • and a proposed 6th: Finding Meaning

Normally this scale is about people and their bereavement over the loss of someone else.  For me it is about recurrence putting me that much closer to contemplating my own mortality. At least this body’s mortality. Some random things that feel like loss to me:

  • If I “have to” eat keto then there are all sorts of food off-limit to me: all sorts of yummy fruits, pizza, pain au chocolate, ice cream, etc. That feels like an amazingly big loss, for some reason.
  • If I “have to” do all this treatment and lifestyle change and manage myself and my health to the nth degree, then I won’t be as able to do other things I’d rather be doing, like going to France. Or camping. Or improving the house. Or going back for the PhD.
  • If this does just keep recurring and eventually wears me down and takes me out, then there’s 30+ years of life I was expecting to be living that I won’t be. (In some ways this might be for the best, because who needs a beefy retirement account if you don’t live to retirement age? For some reason I’ve never felt the pressing need for a retirement plan — maybe I knew something ahead of time. (Either that or I had my head in the sand.))
  • The idea that I might precede my 85 year old father in death is so distressing to me, because that’s not how it’s supposed to be. At least he has a whole ‘nother family at this point, after he remarried after my mom passed, and I would hope and expect that they would take care of him. But if I don’t beat this recurrence, then I won’t be here to do that.

I find myself just wanting to sit and ruminate. Or disappear into a good fiction / mystery book. Something else to think about. Someone else’s life to get immersed in. Just to be able to stop thinking about it.

So, knowing what I know about IFS, I know that these are all parts of me feeling the way they do.

All parts are welcome. All parts have a positive intention.

While these parts are “up” I don’t have as much access to the Cs. And parts are up because there is a lot to deal with, a lot of emotions to feel, and that is perfectly normal. So the one thing I know that I know how to do is hear them out. Witness them. Acknowledge them. And just keep doing that.

4 thoughts on “Emotional fallout

  1. Dear Andrea, life is indeed not for sissies. Once you go through the weeding process of what is important, you may find enough of the peace you need and deserve to just enjoy the moment. You find yourself having to fight more than most of us for your right to stay here, but you know many of us don’t know what our respective future holds. Since you started your blog, how many readers have found their moment de-stabilized, their foundation shaken, their hopes crushed, their rugs pulled from under their feet, their peace shattered?
    A state of mind is all in the perspective. You do not give up, ever. Take deep breaths. Eat dark chocolate. You are in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart goes out to you Andrea.   Thank you for sharing your authentic journey with others.  I have learned so much from your posts.  I too, have persistent health problems, but nothing like what you are going through.   You have so much courage, and I admire how hard you are fighting this disease……I have not known anyone who has had that much fight in them to improve their health.  I ache for you for not being able to travel and eat the things you desire…I hope that you will be able to do these things again.   Just wanted to let you know that I am sending you love and light, and that I do believe in miracles!    Holding you in the light  Cindy Boomer 

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cindy Boomer! Your words do my heart good!

      Like

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