^My Chemical Romance – “I’m Not Okay”
(Throwback to my teenage music years haha)
Within the last couple months, I truly feel like I have hit “rock bottom.” Things seem like they are falling apart all around me and I have no control over it. I am trying very hard to pick myself back up, and new things are starting to arise and take place of what left me on the ground.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my relationship ended. And although I have made peace with that and I am working on moving forward from it, there is still a lot of stress and anxiety that lingers. I am still in Michigan, with no friends or family, and that can get very lonely very quickly. You can only talk to your animals so much lol! There is still a lot of stressful things I have to figure out: packing and moving, where I go next, etc. It is overwhelming just to even think about it, and it makes me sad that I was finally settling down in this new place and now I may have to leave. I have not made any decisions yet. I am staying in Michigan for now, and honestly trying to just take life day by day. And although this has caused a lot of sadness, pain, and heartbreak, I am trying to find the positive from it. This experience has helped me finally begin to self-reflect and discover who I truly am after my second cancer. I realized I have become an individual that lives with a lot of fear. My second cancer changed me and my body so much that I was hiding away in my home where I am comfortable, instead of challenging myself and strengthening this new Nicole. I should have started this much sooner, but at least I am acknowledging it and trying to work through it.
On top of the heartache and stress of not knowing where life is taking me next, I then lost my job suddenly and without notice. Because I do not know if I will be in Michigan long-term, I lost my job as a nanny. And although this caused me even more stress and made me feel like literally everything around me was crashing down, I understood their decision. I was in constant panic, worrying about how I was going to make all my bills, if I needed to just pack up and move in with family back in Illinois…my mind was all over the place. But just like my breakup, something else came through. A better job opportunity was offered to me. This was actually a position I was considering before I took my nanny job, so it is interesting how things work out!
Losing a relationship when you thought you were settling down, unexpectedly losing your job, can you see why I felt like I hit rock bottom? I am the type of person who always needs a plan and tries to get by on my own. When things start to go wrong, I am also very hard on myself. So to not have a plan and not know what was coming next was a very scary experience for me and I was very disappointed in myself. I am still anxious and feel sadness and heartache, but I am trying to pick myself back up. Focusing on myself, discovering who I am, and a new job came from all of those difficult experiences. Things are not 100% better, and they won’t be for a while, but I am working at it. Healing is not linear and it takes time.
I also decided to go back on medication to help with my emotions. Medication is not for everyone, but it has helped me in the past, especially after my hysterectomy. I fell into a deep depression after my surgery. I have also always dealt with anxiety. Menopause also causes mood changes and because of that, I had lost my ability to make hormones that help regulate our moods. So, when I feel down it seems harder to come back up. I was on them for a while during and after treatment, but then got off of them when I was really feeling okay. After talking with my doc, I agreed it was time to go back on them, to give me that boost while I am working on everything.
The next thing I was to talk about is not being okay. It is so important to know that IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. I am not okay, even though I am moving forward in a better direction.
I appreciate all the support that I receive from family, friends, and social media. Whenever I am struggling, many tell me “You had cancer, you can do this” and other similar words of encouragement. And although that is kind and appreciated, sometimes it makes me feel like BECAUSE I had cancer, other difficult life experiences should not bother me. Because I had cancer, other life experiences should be a breeze? For me, it can go either way. Sometimes that mentality helps me and I do realize I have been through a lot and will get through this too. Sometimes it causes me anger and sadness, and I question why difficult times happen to me after everything I’ve been through. Or, I feel guilty for feeling so sad and stressed about these other life experiences, like I should be grateful all of the time because I had cancer. These are just my feelings, whatever helps you is great. Most of the time, reflecting on my past experiences do help me get through other tough times. But there are those times where I do not want to hear those words, and instead just let me be sad and release the emotions that are present from these tough times. We have so many life experiences of all different magnitudes. It is impossible to compare them.
So, if you have been touched by cancer please know IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. It is okay to be sad or heartbroken or angry. Yes, we’ve had cancer and that is probably one of the hardest things we will go through, but that doesn’t mean we need to be strong all the time. Other experiences are going to occur, that is life, and do what you need to do and feel what you need to feel to get through it.
I am slowly but surely coming back up from hitting my rock bottom. I am not okay, but I will be. And honestly, I know experiences like these could happen all over again to me. It happens to every single one of us. But, we get through it.