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.
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:
- 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.