Sunday, 18 November 2012

Lost in chemo world (and my own head)

Well I have been absent for quite a while – lost in chemo world.  But also lost in my own complex struggle with the world of blogging.

You see writing isn’t cathartic for me. I have never been a diary writer, except for the one attempt in my early twenties while overseas where most of the entries involve some description of alcohol and weed (yes my children know).

I am also not a journal writer. When I was diagnosed the first time my beautiful M gave me 2 blank journals with the direction to write it all down. There is one entry in that journal – a profound one that still rings true today – but the rest is still pristine and empty.

So why on earth did I start a blog to write down my experiences this time?

Well it seemed like a great way to communicate with people, keep them up to date without having to repeat the same story multiple times, a leap into the world of social media and the highly egotistical belief that I am hugely funny and have a way with words that the rest of the world just had to be exposed to.

So I started.  And there was a part of me that initially found it hugely satisfying but not in any cathartic way.
Rather than help me work through the issues that I was confronting dealing with a  second diagnosis of breast cancer, it became a vehicle with wish to play to an audience and entertain people about a fairly deep and distressing experience.

And yes I proved that I am in fact funny, have a way with words and say things that most nearly 50 year old woman wouldn’t say.

I was overwhelmed by the response to the blog.

But that was the catch. I then felt obligated to write, perform to an audience and keep delivering.

But once the initial “blogger’s high” wore off it became like a school assignment hanging over my head, with this self imposed pressure to keep writing posts. (Welcome to the world of the writer I can hear some of you saying)

It is true that after my first round of chemo I was in no shape to write anything but as I started to feel better there was this constant chatter in my head about the need to write something, people were expecting it, even waiting for it 
(OK so I am slightly co-dependent ), that I was lazy and self sabotaging an opportunity to create something that could be used to launch my post cancer writing career.

So much for learning to be kind to myself.

The other contributing factor is that I get bored quite easily and once I have achieved something then I am looking for the next thing to get me excited.
It happened with the marathon that I ran two years after my first diagnosis. I committed to achieving that, put in the training and completed it (in just under 4:30). I then thought about doing another but just couldn’t get excited about it.

Bit like been there done that…next.

So that’s the conflict – writing privately doesn’t give me a buzz, (and for those of you who know me, know I do love an audience) writing publicly does but then creates this pressure.

I also can’t bring myself to just write a summary of  what has happened to me – that would bore me and probably you as well.

So where does that leave me?

Not sure but it does provide great material for me to work on with my psychologist.

And I bet you thought that I talked about my cancer diagnosis, double mastectomy, chemo and all the stuff that comes with that. Ah that’s easy to deal with cos I have no responsibility for any of that. (and who am I trying to kid?)

So if you have made it this far through my self indulgent justification as to why I haven't written for ages let me just reassure you that I am in fact doing OK, there is no "nasty news" reason for me not writing and chemo is not all that it's cracked up to be.

Just like I am working hard on incorporating mindfulness, meditation and self-kindness into each day I may try to also set aside time each day to write and accept that whilst it may not be cathartic there is some intrinsic value in it.

Besides while being lost in the world of chemo and in my own head I have actually composed many  amusing blogs, which I know the world is just waiting to read. (Not)

No promises though.

I am still as always

P xx

1 comment:

  1. Write each day . Or not.

    Whatever feels right on the day.