The last couple of years have been dominated by a constant struggle within my mind. When I feel good, things are great! I’m creative, inspired, and productive in the classroom. I have energy after work to do ordinary life tasks of grocery shopping, spending time with friends, and for the first six weeks of this year, I actually completed a Graduate level course, and made an “A”!!! I was regularly moved to tears with gratitude to have a brain that could learn, the clarity to organize, and the energy to feel like I could do all that I pursued!
But then, the darkness of depression started creeping in as the responsibilities, deadlines, and additional duties continued to pile up. It started four weeks ago and I’ve been telling myself to “hang in there; things have to get better”. Meanwhile, I’ve dealt with students who have behavior issues like I’ve never witnessed before…I can now say that a student flipped a desk in my room, screamed obscenities, and slammed the metal door on his way out of the room so hard that rather than the lock catching, it BOUNCED off the hinges. Then, another student has told me about his nightmares of “ripping a friend’s head off” then cried about it because he’d kill himself if that ever really happened. The remainder of my energy must be spent on creating lessons for 4 separate courses, distributing daily Announcements, and monitoring the coming and going of 75 other students. Do you have ANY idea how often high schoolers need to go to the restroom in a day? Whew!
By the end of each day, I drive home on auto pilot, sometimes with tears streaming, wondering if my brain will ever function properly again. Depression comes in waves, and I know those waves eventually pass. But this feels like hell on earth. I sit and stare at my computer, wondering how I can get it all to stop? I thought I needed to stay one more year so that I’d have insurance and income to be able to have reconstruction surgery. But, today, I just want to be okay…physically, mentally, and emotionally, so that I can be a better Mother, Wife, Daughter, and Friend. Boobs don’t seem to matter so much when faced with that choice.
So, this leads me back to the purpose of this blog. My main goal: to share the reality and struggles of life after breast cancer. I wonder how many others feel trapped by trying to get back to normal versus being able to live in peace, and experience the joy of everyday life? I’m weighing my options, and praying for the best solution to become clear to me very soon.