Three weeks ago I felt a seismic shift in my mental health. Whether this is the result of the new tablets or time working its magic is irrelevant. My depression has lifted.
I’ve waited this long to write about it because I wanted to be sure I wasn’t just having a couple of good days. I did go to Barcelona and that may have helped too. Time away from the normal every day routine can be the best medicine. But it’s been three weeks now, and every day has been a good day.
I’d like to say I feel like my old self again, and in a way I do, but I feel changed too. I care about life again, I don’t want to die of cancer, but I feel less charged, less hectic, more in control of my own mind than I was before all this started. I’m less inclined to make rash decisions and spend longer deliberating whether I need to do something or not. And why. I’ve learnt about my values and how they play a part in my mental well being. I’ve learnt to be mindful of the present and try and live in it. And I’ve learnt how important my loved ones and friends are in supporting and guiding me.
It’s hard to unpick how much of my illness was down to cancer and how much was the hormonal imbalance of childbirth mixed with hormone suppressing medication. Then there’s my marriage break up to take into account. I’ve often wondered if I’d have been better sooner if I hadn’t had the devastation of that to deal with on top of everything else. I’ve come to terms with never knowing that answer and not needing to. It doesn’t matter, that was part of the journey. Obviously I would prefer that not to have happened, but you can’t make someone love you when they don’t. You can’t make them change their mind when they don’t want to. And you can’t make them take back the pain they’ve caused you when they didn’t want to hurt you in the first place.
As far as cancer is concerned, I still have a long way to go to accept it into my life and learn to live with it. I still worry about a recurrence, I still research what new advances in medicine are being made just in case I need to know again one day. A good friend said to me a few weeks ago that I need to find a new me that isn’t defined by cancer and my marriage break up, and I feel like I’m doing that now. Or at least in a position to start. I’ve walked through the storm and come out the other side a changed person, but I do finally feel like the sun is shining again.