Before I started my own, I read so many blogs. My 'blog time' was usually Saturday morning; I'd brew some coffee, get some toast or snacks and hunker back down in my cosy warm bed, scrolling and reading for several hours. They are partly what inspired me to start my own blog. I'd wanted to write one for so long and yet, now that I have my own blog, I don't read others nearly as much. This is partly due to time - blogging is really time consuming, so after spending hours prepping my own posts, the last thing I want to do is spend any more time looking at the computer screen. And it's also partly because sometimes other blogs make me feel bad about myself.
This is in no way the fault of the authors - it is entirely the fault of cancer barging its way into my life and leaving me what feels like miles behind everyone else. I have a period of about two years that are just a black hole. In my mind's timeline, it's still 2012, yet in reality two years have passed. Two years of everyone living their lives, whilst I was fighting for mine. Little else existed during that time and it's only really now that I'm able to start to piece things back together. I feel a bit like someone who's been kept back two years at school. I'm so far behind in terms of technical skills, programme knowledge, networking, not to mention my life path, home life, career.
I know all of these things take time, but when you've had cancer, time is something you're very aware that you may not have much of. Not to mention the ongoing side effects and general aftermath of cancer treatment, which sticks around long after the medicine stops. I have very limited energy with which to get everything done day to day and when I see other bloggers (and just other people in general) living the life of Riley (does anyone know who Riley is and why his life is so good?) without a care in the world, it really starts to get me down. I especially can't deal and have no patience for people complaining about things like how terrible their hair turned out, or that their eyebrows are wonky today. If that's all you have to worry about, then you're living a pretty blessed life. I will never forget how it felt to look in a mirror and not see myself looking back, but an alien instead. Completely bald all over, no hair, no brows, no lashes, deathly pale, thin, weak, a shell. That is what ugly feels like. To have everything that makes you 'you', taken away against your will.
I live in fear every day of having to go through that again, or worse.
I'm getting a bit sidetracked. What I'm trying to say is that every day is hard. And it's hard not to beat myself myself up about the fact I can't do what everyone else does. That my body and life is forever changed and I can't go back to how I was before. Accepting that is difficult. I get angry and frustrated at not having the energy to do something. There is so much more I want and plan to do with this blog - projects, DIYs, crafts, an online shop, but the amount I can do at any one time is tiny. It feels overwhelming, like an impossible task sometimes, that I'll never manage to achieve. I have to repeatedly remind myself that I haven't just had a cold or 'flu - I am recovering from a life-threatening illness, which may return.
When I put it all into context, I realise just how far I've come and that what I am managing to do, I should be proud of. Living with the physical and psychological impact of cancer is a huge task. It takes a lot for me post anything, let alone share personal thoughts. My posts may seem silly and like nothing to some, but to me it's putting tiny pieces of myself back together. It's learning how to live again.
It may not be in line or keeping pace with the majority of people out there - comparatively I'm moving at a snail's pace. But it's my pace. I'm doing all I can and I have to remember that that's OK.
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