If you google the definition of vulnerable, this is what you will find.
I'm surprised there isn't a picture of my face along next to it because if there is an adjective for the way I'm feeling lately, this is it. I am definitely not too pleased with this particular word that describes me these days, in fact, I hate it and I hate the Big C even more for making me feel vulnerable on a daily basis...just one more of the lasting gifts of cancer. Yuck!
So, this vulnerability thing stirs up all sorts of anxiety and then the anxiety turns to other fun things like decreased appetite, decreased patience and decreased focus. It does also tend to initiate some increased cleaning, purging, and organizing. Some of the characteristics of my anxiety are quite positive, others, not so much. Those living under the same roof with me are the ones most familiar with all the characteristics that feeling helpless can create, for some reason, that is where I feel most susceptible. I am blessed when I see that they love me through it all anyway.
I do not like living each day "waiting for the other shoe to drop", but often when I'm feeling content and happy, I almost always withdraw that impulse so that I can stay in the "safe" mode, just in case. I know, how does that make any sense to take time away from being content and happy just in case something bad is coming down the road? As I said, I can't stand this feeling, I don't really choose to be anxious or feel vulnerable...
I actually do everything I can to fight off these lingering demons of the Big C. It's a process, and sometimes it means I take 3 steps forward and then a couple back.
There's no formula for this wild ride of life, but I guess sometimes that's the beauty in its journey. It is just often a struggle for those of us who like predictability and routine, who have faced and won rounds with an enemy and never wish to do it again.
On facebook this morning, I read a post from a friend who was going for her 4 month check-up for skin cancer and she wrote."The happier i am, the more convinced I am something might go wrong to ruin it."
Ding, ding, ding...wow! Do I get that? And although this feeling of vulnerability is not one you would wish to share or pass on to others, my feelings felt validated and real as I read her words. There are others who get it. My feelings may even be considered "typical" when among other survivors.
Today, like everyday, I will continue to fight the demons by moving on with life, taking deep breaths, going outside, distracting myself, continuing to purge the clutter and trying my best to hug more and nag less. See, I really am not completely helpless. I just need to work a bit harder to rid myself of the toxic thoughts that enter my head on a daily basis, let go, have faith and let life lead me where I am supposed to be. "Every little thing's gonna be all right."
"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity."
Thanks to my friend Linda for sharing her thoughts and this quote on facebook this morning. She helped my scrambled thoughts explode in my head...therapeutic indeed!
All photos taken at Roger Williams Park Zoo yesterday. It was beautiful and admission is half price during January and February.