My last post about friendships was emotionally charged-reading it again it does read a bit strong! It’s easy to feel guilty with cancer, especially when you’re honest, because honesty can hurt people’s feelings. However, I must remember that I write such posts when I’m in the moment, and I’m not doing my experience justice if I don’t tell the truth. The comforting thing is knowing I’m not alone in this and feeling abandoned. Friends making little effort to see you or be in your life is so common when you are sick it seems. If I was the only one experiencing this I might start to worry that I’m undeserving of great friendships, but I realise I’m just a little unlucky in that area and my social introversion of course doesn’t help. That said, ive accepted things are the way they are and taken a step back from making contact with people or returning calls etc…mostly because I don’t feel like talking much at the moment; before I would feel guilty about that, but now not so much. This cancer isn’t just physically tough it’s mentally draining too, and sometimes I just need to cut myself off for a while. I know this may sound like a complete contradiction when I complain about people not making enough contact with me, but that’s kind of the whole reason in the first place. Anyway why should we feel guilty about disappearing now and then? We are all expected to just be available to people, and there are so many ways to contact each other now it’s shocking-I actually miss the days where we could only contact each other via landlines. Wasn’t life just easier than?
I’m also thinking of taking a social media hiatus. I did previously from Facebook but I’ve always kept twitter. But due to the amount of people I’ve followed with cancer it’s so cancer heavy now, I just can’t escape it. People post that they’re cured or they are ten years clear and it makes me frustrated that it’s not me. People post about cancer progression or not getting access to drugs and it makes me angry. People talk about the fear their cancer will return and I wish I could tell people that worrying is such a waste of life and to feel lucky to be free of cancer-but I can’t because I’d be a hypocrite, I used to worry too but perspective is a very powerful thing, and if I could go back to having no evidence of disease I would be loving life not crying or worrying. In a nutshell, too much cancer reading material can really fuck you up-it’s not healthy to drown yourself in other people’s great news stories or bad news stories because your story is different, and you can’t help but compare yourself to others which is a huge waste of time and surely won’t make you happy.
I really think they majority of us with cancer find it hard to put ourselves first, but it does become easier over time especially if your time on this earth has been cut very short. Take a break from friends, social media, answering your phone and immerse yourself in just doing you! Why the hell not?
Love Caroline x