A few weeks ago a fellow survivor friend reached out to me because she was having a moment, like we all do, and she needed help – she didn’t feel inspirational, commented that most days she sat in the bathroom and cried , and so forth. She had a speaking engagement quickly approaching and had no idea what to say. It didn’t take me long to write back and got the wheels spinning in my head – wait, do the survivors/women/people who follow me not think that I feel the same way?!?
Let’s get one thing straight – I’m FAR from being Super Woman, NO WHERE CLOSE! I’m holding it together by a string most days, just like you.
I’ll be honest, I don’t feel inspirational, strong, or anything else people may think of me – I’m merely a girl who when faced with a HUGE challenge, did what I’d hope anyone in my position would do, fight. Why don’t I feel any of those things…because I’m not any of those things, I’m just like any of you reading this…I chose to not let something as stupid as cancer defeat me, win, or take control of my life. I didn’t/don’t have another choice, it’s my life we we’re dealing with.
And some days, you’ll find me in the bathroom, on the floor or in the shower, crying as well – it’s the place no one can hear me, if the kids are home or people are here, it’s cold, dark, and quiet. I am just like all of you reading this who are fighters/survivors/thrivers – the bathroom is my favorite place too, followed closely by the car, with my head on the steering wheel, parked in my garage.
I’m no more inspirational than anyone else, the way I live my life is a little bit more public than yours might be, but that’s really it. The word “inspirational” makes me extremely uncomfortable. Now, I hope that because of me, someone didn’t give up, no matter what their “hard thing” may be, and they pushed through and hopefully pay it forward. I guess you could say the only thing I want people to see, is that hard things can be done – over and over again. That life after cancer can somewhat resemble what it looked like before. That you can still do the things you once did, differently, but you can do them. I struggle through most things I do, but I get it done, and that’s the part I want people to see. Who wants easy??? Easy is more comfortable, but it’s usually not as fulfilling as choosing the more difficult option – trust me, it’s worth it.
Wanna know exactly what I said to my friend – I told her we all spend many days sitting on the bathroom floor. That she has a lot of things to say, but what about her story does she really want people to hear – being “inspiring” isn’t always the goal, sometimes it’s about being brutally honest about all that ovarian cancer is, incorporate the positives with the ugly truth of it all. That this is hard, that things need to change for more women to have a fighting chance. I told my friend that none of us are really great at standing behind the microphone, but she was going to kill it. And ya wanna know what?!? That was exactly the advice she needed – she killed it! I smiled the entire way through hearing her speech, because I was so proud of her – she took something difficult and flawlessly nailed it!
Things scare me, just like they scare you – I don’t sleep much, I’m always on the go because it’s my way of coping at the moment – it means I don’t have time to think – I push myself when it comes to a lot of things, because I can. And yes, I cry A LOT…this shit is hard people! (sorry, not sorry!) No one should ever have to do this – and everyone out there fighting/surviving/thriving, I take my hat off to you, and I’m cheering you along the way! I’m just like you…I’m not Super Woman….I’m merely someone choosing to do hard things with a smile on my face, because I can, not because I’m a super hero.