Riding the Waves
It is the Christmas Season. And though we are going through the motions – decorating, baking, buying gifts, donating, visits to Santa, the Santa Claus parade, watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, advent calendars, and so on and so forth – of late I simply have not felt that ‘Christmas Spirit’. I feel restless. I feel sad. I feel – here it is – LONELY.
I know that this time last year, I discussed loneliness in my post Tis the Season to be Lonely. I talked about how isolating this time of year can be for some, and how it can bring out feelings of angst and sadness in lieu of joyfulness and cheer. And I don’t want to feel this way – again – but I don’t know how to shake this gloominess that I feel deep within.
Last year I joined two networks to help me feel less isolated – giving me an opportunity to talk with others that have gone through what I went through. It helped – tremendously – but the last few times I have reached out I have received little-to-no response. People are busy. People are preoccupied. I understand that. But what do you do when you are reaching out and no one is answering? Who do you turn to? How do you alleviate your feelings of isolation, fear, and sadness? Let me say right now, that I do not have an answer to these questions. All I know is that I am not feeling myself. I feel anxious. I feel sad. I feel like I am jumping out of my skin, and the simplest task seems incredibly overwhelming. And I am frustrated because it is Christmas and I don’t want to feel this way. I just want to feel happy.
This time of year is often a time of reflection, and that may be what triggered the darkness within. In fact, I think that is exactly what has triggered my feelings of angst, sadness, and loneliness – reflecting – I remember two years ago feeling very uncertain about my life. I was scared and I was vulnerable. I was struggling to cope with my own mortality while watching my father-in-law’s slip away from us. I remember feeling the frustration of his passing while I was fighting to survive – to have a life to live. I was determined to beat breast cancer, and because I felt so strongly about living I had a very difficult time accepting my father-in-law’s surrender to death. These feelings resurfaced last year and they are back again this year, and I can’t prevent these raw emotions from seeping to the surface. Is this normal? Perhaps. Perhaps this is exactly the new normal that a cancer survivor experiences. Perhaps my life is now like a succession of waves – where you have moments of calm, and moments of breaking. Mind you – that sounds like all life. Our lives are like the water. But maybe, surviving a trauma, makes you feel the depths of that water far greater than ever before, because you are acutely aware of your own mortality and how swiftly life can alter – for the good and the bad. Perhaps your senses are heightened and your emotions are more profound. Perhaps riding these waves is what we must learn to do all over again, to the extreme heights and to the immense depths in which they plunge. And perhaps, finding the calm within, is the goal.
…and perhaps, allowing myself to feel all of these feelings, is what will help me through. Because I now know the depths of my inner strength. I know the courage I carry in my soul. And I know that – as lonely as I feel – I am never alone.
Riding the Waves. Published by Crystal Joy Hall