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Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Greetings from Rhinebeck. I'm at the Omega Institute this week, particpating in a writing workshop but getting very little writing done. 

There are lots of reasons for this but a main one is that I've been pretty deeply sad these last couple of weeks. Since my last post, exactly. The panic fog cleared and left me with raw sadness. Crying in the bathroom in work sadness. Going to bed at 7:30 sadness. Nausea-inducing sadness. About nothing and about everything.

Grieving, mourning. This was posed to me by both my regular therapist, and the mind-body person I saw here at Omega. 

During meditation yesterday, I felt a hot, searing pain my left chest. It was specific and precise, a pain I have not felt in three years. It was what I felt post-mastectomy. (PS it was three years since my surgery on Sunday.)

I feel angry about this sadness. I want this to be over. It's what others expect, now that I look normal and only go to the doctor a few times a year rather than every other day, but also I am exhausted.

The mind-body therapist I saw today suggested that this m ay be happening now because it's safe to finally feel this. That perhaps I have been waiting.

Funny about that pain yesterday. I remember feeling afraid, when a week or so after the mastectomy the most intense pain began to ebb. I clung to it. Because that pain could fill up my mind so I didn't have to think about anything else but feeling it, managing it. I could absorb myself in how long it had been since my last painkiller. But once it started to leave me, I knew something else would rush into the void, and it wouldn't be so easily dispatched with opioids and muscle relaxants.

And so here we are. I know there is no timeline for this, no magic expiration date for trauma. But what, exactly, the fuck am I supposed to do now? Take a month off work because I had cancer three years ago? How do I sit with something that will never be okay?

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