I’m now three weeks post-op and doing well.
Healing is an interesting process. It is both demanding and boring. Challenging and innate. It cannot be rushed but can easily be delayed. And small choices add up to either support or hinder your journey.
One thing I’ve learned in this process is the importance of giving myself permission to heal. In our high-paced, do, do, do society there isn’t a visible precedence for healing. In fact, years ago I mistook healing for being lazy.
Going into this, I gave myself permission to make healing my full-time job. I gave myself permission to sleep when my body needed it. I gave myself permission to say no to things that distracted from my chief aim. I gave myself permission to ask for and receive help. I gave myself permission to let go of being productive, in fact I had no illusions of “accomplishing” anything although a part of me wanted to.
Above and beyond that, I gave myself permission to let go of self-criticism, negative self-talk and judgment. In its place I have shown myself unconditional love and compassion.
I think this might be the most important ingredient in any healing journey. It’s definitely been critical for me as I’m not only healing physically but adjusting to my physique being forever changed. I no longer fit the image of “what a woman looks like.”
Sometimes I look in the mirror and feel aghast at the void in my body. Or I look down and feel sad about what’s missing. When that happens I show myself love and compassion.
I remind myself I am whole and complete just as I am.
While my cancer treatment is now complete (yay!!!) my healing journey isn’t over.
I have gotten over the biggest hurdle. But the marathon continues. I don’t know when I’ll reach the finish line but I know I have to pace myself.
I believe in my ability to heal and know that in time the demands of this process will fade into memories.
Healing is a part of the human experience. None of us can escape this process. We can either embrace it or resist it. At times we might deny our need to heal. Eventually, things will catch up with us.
Hard as it is, we become better people when we lean in and do the work of healing, which is unlike any other job we’ve ever had! Through it, we learn to listen to important signals from our bodies. While also cultivating empathy for others.
What are you healing? And how can you give yourself permission to see your journey through?