Thursday, April 29, 2010

Changing Breaths & Caffeine

I wasn't going to blog today: I wasn't ever going to blog again. I couldn't see why I would discuss my health in a public space. Then I remembered why writing is both a torment and a pleasure. It may be narcissistic to write openly about yourself or it may be therapeutic or it may be part of a inane need to simply write - about anything: everything, the mundane, the devastating. I recently did a short course on relaxation and the one thing I really took away from it was the power of something called a 'changing breath.' It is when you take 3 deep breaths with the aim of moving from your current emotional state to a new one; it was all about letting go. Writing also fulfils that need for me.

I was feeling pissed off and angry earlier about having cancer: about having to go for yet another bout of treatment, to sit in another waiting room, to have my 'real' life on hold whilst I live this shadow existence but I knew that if I blogged about I could use that as my 'changing breath.' I knew it would make me feel better, lift the darkness and restore me to feeling pretty good again. I could have put all this in my journal so maybe it does come back to narcissism or maybe it is a hope that someone will read it and comment to simply say they 'heard' me.

The thing I know about myself is that I can be restored by a simple gesture, a word, an acknowledgement. When I feel in this mood I rarely pick up the phone and ring anyone close to say what I'm saying here - I will probably recall it and share it at some point but I go into a kind of emotional lock down. Not always but today I have. I shed a healthy amount of tears with my husband earlier as I chopped the fruit salad for breakfast, reached for my peppermint tea (whilst fantasising about coffee) and put a dollop of natural soy yogurt on my fruit. I feel better for the tears. I also know that I am actually just knackered and want a day free of medical intervention. I also know that I appreciate the medical intervention for saving my life. I know a lot about the whole experience of cancer.

What I really want is to stay in my PJs, watch frivolous TV and order pizza for lunch! What I will do is get ready, drive to the hospital, have my treatment. I don't think I'm feeling sorry for myself - just think I'm a bit weary. I think what I will also do is go and buy a great latte en route. The changing breaths I will do after this, the blogging, and the caffeine will all help restore me. I love my life, I love living: it's just really hard work somedays having treatment for cancer. I'm not this conscious about it everyday - if I was I think I'd have gone insane somewhere over the past nine months. Maybe it is because I can see the end of treatment is approaching and maybe I'm scared of that as well. Somewhere inside me a tiny voice tells me that if I'm actively being treated it won't come back.

When I finish here I am going to ring a friend and meet her for lunch afterwards. A few deep breaths, some writing, tears, caffeine and talking to a friend - that'll do the trick.


B said...

i'm having one of those days too, for completely different reasons.

thank you for telling me about the changing breath. i will try and use that.

Lane said...

I'm glad you've blogged and I hope you carry on. I don't think it's narcissistic and if if helps in any shape or form to write it down here (help you and those reading), then you should just keep doing it.

Hope the rest of your day is good.

Chris Stovell said...

Difficult to know where to start commenting except to say keep writing, keeep breathing keep hanging on in there.

JJ Beattie said...

It's wonderful that you've discovered ways to move onto a new emotional state.

All the very best. JJx

NoviceNovelist said...

Thanks b - the cb is so simple and quite transformative - hope your day got better. Thanks Lane - it defnitely does help to blog - great therepy! Thanks Chris & JJ for stopping by - I am much happier than yesterday! Hope you are all well.