Friday, May 4, 2012

Tea cupping the process

I never would have imagined that at this point in my life I would become teacup obsessed...but it seems to have happened...about 30 years too early. For the past couple of months I've been having daydreams about sitting sipping my tea from a delicate flowered tea cup instead of a big, awkward, heavy coffee mug with some lame picture of a reindeer on it. I'm not sure how or when this notion of drinking from teacups began to infiltrate my thinking, but regardless, I couldn't stand it any longer and I finally ambled on down to "Disarray" (a fine Guelph second hand gem of a store) and found myself 2 very pretty teacups (with saucers) and brought them home with me. I'm sipping from one as I write this.

After giving it some thought, I think this teacup thing I have going is a bit of a metaphor for the way in which I am now entering the murky territory of "processing the experience" of the past 6-7 months of diagnosis and treatment. It's something I am approaching very delicately, slowly and with a wee bit of reverence. It's also a bit like easing into a really hot bath. You have to start with your tippy toes and then your ankles and then your lower leg etc. You have to slowly acclimatize yourself. You can't just get right in there or it's gonna hurt like hell!( On a side note - it's true what they say: tea really does taste better from a tea cup! If you don't believe me give it a whirl! It's also a lot of fun if you do it in a rocking chair. Just a thought.)

It's been about 10 days or so since the last treatment day and it is fascinating the things that have surfaced since then. I realize now that I was in extreme auto pilot lets-just-get-this-shit-done mode for the duration of my diagnosis and treatment. In reading through my journals of the early days of diagnosis I feel as if I have only now experienced some shock that I wasn't allowing myself to feel at the time...I was pretty much  "all business" from the get-go. In finishing treatment all these repressed emotions are coming out and they are in a serious mood to par-tay! They're like "He-ey....we exist! maybe it's time you acknowledged us bi-atch!".

You would think re-experiencing some of this in a deeper way would be a large bummer but ironically it hasn't been a negative or exhausting thing at all (although somewhat alarming at times).  I feel  an immense sense of relief  to finally psychologically begin unburdening myself and unclenching my mind...just allowing myself to feel. It seems healthy to let the reality of what I went through sink in - instead of expending all that energy constantly holding it at bay.  It's also really nice to not have to be "strong" all the time, or brace myself mentally for the next treatment etc.

Being released from this kind of "holding pattern" is a really freeing experience - and a big reason to celebrate (by drinking tea from pretty tea-cups, for example.)

Tucked into my journal I found written on some tattered folded pages a bunch of poems and quotes from various authors. I carried them around with me constantly when i was first diagnosed,  and I would take them out and read to myself when I felt completely freaked out and needing some grounding. It was amazing to read some of them from the "after" perspective - and it gives me hope that things do indeed pass to make way for the new things. Here are 2 of them:

Does a pendulum stop at the end of it's swing?
So war and peace;
love and hate;
togetherness and aloneness
cycle and recycle...

Life is full of little resurrections.
Why then should we doubt the bigger ones?

-Jim Taylor

But then comes change
winter changes to spring
we meet a friend
we rest
forces awaken in our bodies
life seems to surge once more...

as the morning sun -
never faltering

-Jean Vanier

That's all for now - Peace Out! And don't forget to observe...

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