This is going to be raw, deep, and I’ve held it in for so long, I need to tell it.
Two years ago I went “ghost” as my best friend calls it. She had just been through hell, she needed me, and I just fell of the radar. I wasn’t the friend that I should have been for her. I was going through such a dark time emotionally and mentally. Instead of leaning on my friends, I just pushed everyone away. “Going Ghost” caused me to lose one of my closest friends, and nearly lose my best friend. It’s now 2 years later, and I’m still recovering from losing my friend, and from my friendships changing..
I had been dealt a blow with my health, told I’d be an idiot to have another child, that I need to get a hysterectomy. That I’d eventually end up in a wheelchair. That my immune system was weaker than we thought. I shut down. I became angry, bitter, depressed. It was probably one of the darkest moments in my life. My family rallied around me, told me not to shut them out, not to shut my friends out. They all tried to get me to see the light, but I couldn’t. I was in a never ending battle with anger, grief and feelings of being a burden. The darkness was soul crushing. I was constantly drowning in emotions I couldn’t understand or even verbalize.
Being a burden..I’ve said that more times than I can count to my family, my friends.. I’ve thought they deserve so much more than this sick person, draining them mentally. They didn’t need a burden. We’ve all thought that in this journey. This diagnosis, whatever diagnosis you have, we’ve all felt that way at some point. We’re not a burden, never think that. My biggest piece of advice, talk to your spouse, your family, your friends when you start to feel that way. Listen to them. Share your worries, fears, goals. You are NOT your illness. It doesn’t define you.
Grief… We all deal with grief differently. We all grieve different things. Those of us that can’t work, we grieve that, or not being able to walk, have children, those extreme changes in our lives. These are all life changing things, these are all things we can experience grief over. Don’t let it consume you. Please. I did, and it caused so much damage.
I put up a front, I pretended I was fine, my dad saw right through it, so did my boyfriend. Finally everything came to a head. I missed important things in my best friend’s life. I can’t ever get that back, I can’t ever get a do over. That’s something that sticks with you. I decided to seek counseling. Through my sessions with my counselor, I learned so much. I learned coping skills, I learned that leaning on your friends is an amazing thing, friends are there, they love you. I learned I can’t control everything, I can’t shut people out like I was. More importantly, I learned it’s OKAY to grieve your old life, grieve who you were, and what you could do, but that you should rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.
We always try to protect others from our moods, our bad days. That doesn’t help, that in a sense can make things worse. Shutting people out hurts not just you. I look back and realize had I let my friends in, let them know the darkness swirling, they would have cared! They would have been there. Instead I acted like I was a burden and shut them all out. I can never apologize enough to those I hurt during that time, to those I lost their friendship over it, it’ll always be something etched in my heart. All I can say is that I wish I could have done it differently, but when you’re in such a dark place, you see NO OTHER options.
Depression, anxiety, anger, grief.. We in this community experience these. We need to not shut people out. We need to not feel ashamed for feeling these emotions. Going though the motions won’t help, it’ll drag you further down. Lean on those closest to you, reach out to me if you need to, but please don’t bottle it all up. It will eat at you, it will hurt you. It’s ok to feel broken, it’s ok to feel pain, anger, bitterness. Let it strengthen you, let it transform you from the ashes into a beautiful soaring Phoenix. You are a warrior, you are beautiful, strong, amazing. YOU are YOU!