Wincing like something brittle trying not to bend

Tonight was hard.

We’ve had tickets to see Neko Case for weeks and I told the boy at around 7pm I wasn’t going to go.

He’s overwhelmingly supportive the majority of the time. He understands that when I say I’m tired it’s not just the ‘oh I didn’t sleep great last night’ version of tired. He always asks how I’m feeling and he messages me when he knows I’ve been to the gym in the morning to see how I’ve pulled up and tell me how great it is that I went.

I’m really, really lucky.

But tonight was hard. As soon as I said I wasn’t going I felt that overwhelming thud in the gut that comes from disappointing someone you care about. He didn’t take it well. But I woke up not feeling great this morning and I have had to really bully myself through today. I have a PT session tomorrow morning, and I could really do without being awake and on my feet until midnight.

He’ll be fine, because he always is. But fighting for space to rest can be difficult.

I remember, at the first specialist appointment I had after the cancer diagnosis we spoke at length about the effect stress has on the body and the documented impact it has on cancer patients. Then, I got back on the train and rushed back to the office because I was already panicking about the amount of emails that had come into my inbox.

But that afternoon I was brave and I set a meeting to talk to management about what we’d discussed and the need I had for decreasing my stress levels. What I ended up with was a rushed ‘yes yes whatever you need’, and then a number of passive-aggressive emails in my inbox over the next week insinuating I wasn’t keeping up with the workload. It ended up with me in the bathroom having a panic attack, feeling like pushing myself to keep up with the job might literally be the death of me.

It’s funny that the notion of ‘rest’ conjures up passive images of reclining and sleep and relaxation, when really, you often have to be downright aggressive in your life to get even close to enough of it.

Tonight I am grateful for the company of my dogs. They would prefer I rest as much as humanly possible because that is also their favourite pastime. I am also grateful for the fact that I’m working from home tomorrow, and that I have a job that allows me to do that.

One positive thing about myself: Day 2 and I’m already struggling. Which is I guess the purpose of the exercise. So a positive thing today is that fact that I am still here, and still trying. Still showing up and trying to make more forward than backwards steps. I feel like there have been more backwards than forward steps for a while, but if I keep showing up that will turn around, right?

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