#cancersurvivor, #mentalhealth, #selfcare, #pten, Random Rambles

Dear 2020,

This was supposed to be my year, where things could really start moving in a favorable direction.  But you proved to be a formidable opponent, one really insistent on raining on my parade and that of everyone else.

Weekend hospital stay for a blood clot. One of moments where 2020 proved to be 2020.

You’ve made me question my self worth more times than I’ve ever done before.  I’ve learned to say I’m lonely because of you and that is never easy to say.  I’ve learned to say that I need help because you brought me to the precipice of losing all hope.  Because of you I’ve learned that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Shrine of the Little Flower church, some how always there when I feel my life is falling apart. In 2020 it was there when I lost my job for the second time in 2020.

But your lessons haven’t all been bad.  I learned that stuff I liked to do as a little kid is still fun as an adult.  I learned that my family is always there and always loves me.  Travel is fun and something I am destined to do more of.  Perhaps most importantly, I’m learning to believe in the idea that things take time but eventually I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be.

Throughout all of this I’ve done my best to keep smiling. I don’t always but I try.

So 2020 I’m glad to see you go and I can only hope the new year gets better because after you there’s really no direction to go but up.

Regards,

Amanda Greenwood

#mentalhealth, #selfcare, Random Rambles

Self Care

Self care has become one of those phrases that everyone uses. Usually, it seems like self care is all about doing a face mask or taking a yoga class. For me once a week my self care is to go to therapy for an hour.

It was about this time last year I noticed that mentally, I was struggling with a lot of things. There were some days at work where I just couldn’t make it through the day without crying, without feeling unappreciated, or just being plan angry at the situation. Add in to a frustrating career situation the lingering effects of cancer and reconstruction surgery and I was just discouraged and heading towards hopeless with everything.

I worked for many months with the social worker at the cancer center and eventually worked some way through my issues with cancer but the rest of my life still had stuff that was unresolved. She gave the name of psychiatrist in May and I was booked for an appointment in September. Thankfully, I moved up the waiting list and went to an appointment in June where we upped the dose of my anti-depressant that I was already on for hot flashes to a therapeutic dose to try and help my quickly growing depressive state. The medications helped but I still needed more, something more frequent than the cancer center social worker could offer.

So every week since August or so I’ve gone to talk therapy to work through a bunch of issues that had been bothering me or are bothering me, its helped tremendously. It is the one form of consistent self care that I have. I’ve worked at finding the deeper meanings of my anger towards such things like my work situation. I’ve learned not to worry about feeling so far behind in life because I don’t have things like a house or a good paying job or that life sometimes seemingly continues to deal me a bad hand. That with a little hope, faith, and a lot of action things will eventually begin to go my way.

Therapy helps me see the forest through the trees, that a lot of what was overwhelming and at sometimes feeling like it was crushing me is nothing that I can’t work through. It makes me realize that I need to take care of myself, to see the things in my life that I have and those that I want.