Friday, September 21, 2007

The come-down kid

Okay. The high I was feeling coming off chemo was going to have to result in some sort of an emotional come-down.

Since earlier this week I've been feeling increasingly emotional and angry at life, and all the feelings that I thought were dealt with from my initial diagnosis, or at least parked out of the way for a bit, have been bubbling up again. Plus a few new ones have emerged to add to the pot.

I've read a lot about people who emerge from a course of treatment as extreme as something like chemo, only to find they start to feel depressed because they lose the routine of the appointments and the drugs, and the attention of the medical professionals.

I don't feel like I miss the routine or attention that chemo gave me. I don't miss that in the slightest. I never want to have to walk into that day care unit again as long as I live. My body physically rebels at the thought of it.

I think it's more that having gone through the liberation of myself from the draining, energy-sucking, drudgery of chemotherapy, I now have the time and the energy to think about the bigger picture once more. It's as if feeling physically better all of a sudden has removed the distraction of just struggling to get through the days and left me with a space to fill. Chemo, or certainly the last few treatments of chemo, was all about just getting through each day, waiting for the cycle to be over. Simply dealing with being that sick was enough to occupy every waking moment.

Now I see an end in sight, I feel so much better, and suddenly I get hijacked by emotions that have been waiting pa tiently for this opportunity.

I've been crying a lot, over-reacting to little things, indulging myself in sentimental flights of fancy, struggling with my feelings about work (I'm back in the land of fresh perspective and 'I have/had a big disease.... what on earth does a silly little small thing like a job matter?), picking fights with drivers who cut me up on my daily bicycle rides to Harley street, and generally feeling really miserable.

R is in Hereford this week and when this black mood first came upon me, I feared that maybe every time he's not there to distract me from this the same thing might happen. But I think it's just coincidence. Up until now I've had chemo, or a manic work schedule to distract me. But this week, with little on my plate in the office, and noone at home to make bad jokes and watch Family Guy with, suddenly the realisation that there is still a long way to go, at least emotionally, is upon me.

After considering all of this, and hijacking an evening out with a friend last night who happens to have a background as a trained pyschologist, I'm going to bite the bullet and take Macmillan up on their offer of a counselling service. I've been sceptical of my needs of this before but if nothing else, it would be a chance for me to offload some of this shit on someone who is trained and paid to listen. Not one of my poor friends or R or colleagues or anyone else who's heard it a million times before.


Dr Jude said...

you need a hobby. I'm learning chinese and trying to tell the difference between ma, ma, ma and ma. no luck so far.

i think feeling down is natural. i was feeling down just because i'd been sitting by myself for four years at home at my desk. but wasn't ready to admit that i'm not made up for that kind of isolation. nothing like cancer, but still enough to get you down. realities of life are collapsing back into you, and life isn't always that great...

Anne-Marie Weeden said...

Hobbies... hmmm. I have plenty of those already. None managed to actually distract me this week when the going got tough.
I think half teh problem is that the hobbies succeed in distratcing me and maintaining some momentum to keep me moving forward for a certain period of time, but there has got to come a point where things crash and you just need to deal with stuff. It sounds melodramatic but I got myself into such a black hole this week I can't think of any other reason for it.

Then Friday night sees me drive to see R in Hereford, and I now feel light as a feather. Mentally speaking at least.

I think it is all a big adjustment thing. Like you moving to new job & AA - that's got to have you feeling some weird old upheaval and missing S no doubt too.

Life may be a box of chocolates but lets face it, some of them should never have made it through the taste tests.

Of course, maybe I'm just so down because someone beat me badly at scrabble
:) x

Anonymous said...

The photos capture the spirit of the evenning and that's what matters. I'm actually quite selfishly glad they didn't capture me... a female Alex. We were all wondering what innocent gig goers must have thought of our entrance, so it was great to see your site. It was also a relief to know our rowdy dancing etc didn't spoil what was a totally brilliant gig.