Today is an anniversary for me, not of something good, but an anniversary nonetheless. I want to share my story because I was stuck in the hard things I was dealt for a really long time. I tried to smile away all the things I was struggling through...and it kind of worked, but it really doesn’t work anymore. I hope that I can help even just one person embrace their own story too - the good, the bad, and the real ugly, because we need to remember, “Even the Darkest Night will End and the Sun will Rise”.
So, here we go...
11 years ago today I had the worst day of my life. I heard those crippling words, “You Have Cancer”. Since that day I’ve had many more “worst days” - 11 years of radiation, chemotherapy, clinical trials, another cancer diagnosis, surgeries, fertility treatments, kidney dialysis, blood thinners, broken bones, a stroke, a heart attack, a lost child, an MS diagnosis...unfortunately I could go on.
It’s been HARD.
I need to pause a moment, because I think even some of the people who know me best might have been shocked by the list I just shared. This is one of the reasons that I chose to share today. I need to embrace all these things, because I fought hard to get through them and I cannot discount them anymore. We cannot move forward if we don’t radically accept all the pieces of ourselves.I spent the last 11 years downplaying all these things I was going through. 11 years smiling and making jokes just to literally crumble to the floor behind the door of my home. 11 hard years made even harder by my own judgements and discretion, and my anxiety around everyone else’s comfort.
It’s been so hard, I’ve spent days crying in bed thinking that there’s no way I can get out. I’ve been so angry; I cursed out God from a church pew. I’ve felt so embarrassed, thinking I should have taken better care of myself. I’ve been so confused and overwhelmed that I completely shut myself out from the realities unfolding around me. But, guess what? I’m still here, I’m still standing, and I’m getting better at living this life every single day.
So why am I sharing these “weak” moments here? Because they happened; because they brought me to today; because I need to accept and embrace all the pieces of my story to be able to move forward. Because I am STRONG AS HELL because of all these “weak” moments. I got through them, I’m putting in the work, and I’m not willing to just survive anymore - I’m living for more. For a long time I only shared one side of my story and that isn’t fair - not to me, not to anyone. I’m working to live bravely, and braveness requires vulnerability.
This is life - so whatever your hard things are, let them in, embrace them fully, feel all the feelings, lean into whoever or whatever you need, and when you do fall, pick yourself back up Warrior.