By Jennifer MacKenzie
Emotional roller coasters are okay. At the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine, I felt really great. As the confinement hit and I was not seeing any people or family, I started to feel alone. It did bring me back to treatment and isolation. Funny how isolation has something in common no matter the situation. It makes us spend time with ourselves and our thoughts.
This sent me on a roller coaster of emotions that I was not sure I could deal with, and also thought I had dealt with them and moved on. Then I thought to myself, “What better time to deal with it?” I could ugly cry and no one was going to see me.
Life is not perfect. We all know this, yet we strive for perfection, and it is an impossible demand. For me, I know if I feel okay, I feel much better and I want the people around me to know I am okay. They spent so much time worrying about me.
I realize sometimes I put way to much stress on myself and I am not sure I would have without all of this alone time. We have triggers from past trauma that can come back up. We have been hurt. We have been deceived by our bodies and or people. We have felt pain other people don’t understand, emotionally and physically.
“I am allowed to feel sad, angry, emotional, and lost, I just don’t allow myself to stay there for long.”
I learnt being strong doesn’t mean I don’t fall. I am allowed to feel sad, angry, emotional, and lost, I just don’t allow myself to stay there for long. Instead I:
- Call my fellow breastie who gets me, and we chat. This is important to me because I never feel alone with someone who gets it. This is why YACC is so important.
- Write down my thoughts and emotions and try to give them understanding (or not). Sometimes I am just feeling emotional, and that’s okay.
- Do a video chat with my niece and nephew; kids just make me smile.
- Hang out with my dog — unconditional love.
Through my treatment and diagnoses, I learned to ask for help, and through all this it hit me — it’s still okay to ask for help. I know life will become more normal again, but for now I am adapting to the new normal as I did post diagnosis. I also remembered to be kind with myself; emotions are okay. They need to be let out or you carry them. That’s my little COVID reminder.