I seem to live out loud. Somehow my life always seems to be the anomaly and I seem to plow my way through things other people might be too scared to dive in to. Admittedly the plowing through is occasionally a stumble or a stagger. I don’t mean to live the kind of life that seems brave or unusual. I don’t mean to be The Cris Show, but it seems to happen more often than not. I’ve even sort of hijacked a theme song…..
The Cris Show sort of started in 2007 when I turned my life upside down in an effort to save myself. I mean, it probably started before that, but that’s when I started referring to the insanity that is my reality as The Cris Show. I thought I was just living my life, but it felt like everyone had an opinion and on any given day I wondered if I was living in a reality show that maybe I wasn’t aware I had signed up for.
I look around me and try to figure out why I’m different, how my choices and my life manage to come across as the unusual, the brave, the strong, the ridiculous reality show version of whatever normal is supposed to be. I don’t eat my feelings or hide behind small talk and fake laughs. Why is that? How have I managed to be the one that pushes back instead of hiding behind social mechanisms?
If everything is basically okay and I’ve made it work that week, I’m able to shrug and accept that it is what it is. For whatever reason I’m able to live in a place that’s starkly real but it doesn’t hurt and I’m okay with it all. Maybe because I’m an only child? Maybe because I’ve lived through the kind of childhood that inspires books? (You know the saying…..a creative adult is just a child that survived.) But, as it is right now, when it’s hard and it hurts I try to figure out what makes me so different.
I’m struggling and I’m hurting right now. As the lead decision maker and inherited head of the household because I have 3 kids and a husband that just retired from 24 years of active duty, it seems like my family does not know what to do if I’m down. I can’t be sick. I can’t be the one that relinquishes the in-charge because I have this other thing I need to handle. I’ve been so busy taking care of how everybody else is feeling about me having a brain tumor that I haven’t really had time to sit with the whole thing yet and figure out what I think of it.
So I’m taking a break from The Cris Show and from trying to use my writing to inspire others and to let someone know they aren’t alone and I’m asking for help. I guess I’m still a voice in the darkness and I’m sure someone is reading this and thinking they aren’t the only one feeling like this. But how do you deal with something this big and this hard when you don’t feel like you have a soft place to fall? How do you find your way through the maze of fear, the risk of feeling sorry for yourself, the blow to the image you might have of yourself because you’re faced with a stupid, rare, inoperable brain tumor?
There are a thousand things that come with the diagnosis. Have any of you watch Desperate Housewives? When Lynnette had cancer she struggled with the guilt of bringing this big, ugly thing into her household and her kids’ lives. She (temporarily) fell into feeling sorry for herself, she got angry, she had to decide between fighting her mother and fighting her cancer, she struggled with the reality that she wasn’t the in-charge all the time because she had this other thing she had to deal with.
So I’m asking. How do I deal with this? For those of you that have cancer/brain tumors/big-scary-hard-diseases, how do I do this? I have people that are supportive and in a crazy twist of fate, my best friend actually gets this better than anyone else because she is just now hitting her 10 year anniversary of surviving her cancer. But it just takes me needing someone to get it and them refusing to to cut me off at the knees.
I guess this time I just need to know I’m not alone.