I have spent a lot of time working on my spiritual life. I started to pick up on my physical self. I work on my mental health. Mind body spirit has been an important part of my existence. But, I am faced with other’s struggles and with those three things I am at a loss on how to help.
There’s been a lot going on to people around me. Their pain is palpable. My help seems futile. I struggle with doing enough for them, moving ahead with my own life and trying not to implode from my lack. I know that their pain and suffering is not mine but when I reflect during this time it hurts me too. I in no way understand what it is like to have cancer nor have the treatments or be vulnerable to the health system.
I feel that it is such a loss of control to watch people you care about suffer and there is nothing you can do to help. My friends chemo treatments make me look back at when it was my mom going through the same thing. I had no clue. I remember her being sick. But, I was a clueless teenager that suffered watching her and I cried at school and acted out with my friends. She didn’t talk to me about it and I didn’t talk to her. It was a difficult time that I have brought up in my blog on numerous occasions. After listening to a podcast today I know that these memories have to be released and forgiven. Which leads me to my friend now going through this very thing. We talk and I listen and then she wants me to talk about my life to distract her. I oblige her because I am a mess. She said to me that I have to be here with her because this is a lesson for me. Does doing a better job with my friend and her care help to create healing for my mom and me? I don’t know. I think of Maya Angelou saying in her deep voice, “when you know better you do better.” We have to look at our past as we don’t live there anymore and when you learn from experience you move forward. I haven’t always done that especially when old memories comes up and I feel exactly the same as I did 20 years ago. The duality I feel when I think of myself before and how I see myself now is what causes me to feel less then. I feel the shame of poor choices and as I said earlier that I must make more amends to the past.
The treatment is worse than the illness. Chemo is kicking my friend’s ass at the moment. She is losing hair. She’s had allergic reactions to her first treatment which has landed her in the hospital several times. She is feeling sick and has trouble with eating. Her mouth tastes metallic with even water tasting gross. She is struggling. As an outsider, I struggle with watching this happen and have no control over anything. I have no way to help. I bring her food to try because she has to keep trying to eat and keep her energy levels up. I come to distract her with my trivial issues.
I see her. She’s in there. The same girl with the spitfire soul. She is being stripped down now. She’s losing all things that seemed important at one time but nothing she can’t live without. She is a warrior, not of her body, but of her spirit. She’s battling and lying on the arena floor. May she rise. In the meantime, I tell her over and over that I will love her through this.