In search of my peeps!
I’ve never been one to be super open with my personal thoughts and feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share of freak-outs, tantrums, and crying fests throughout my life. But expressing my true, deep in my core feelings takes a while, if ever, to surface. I just quietly simmer on my thoughts and push forward.
Is this the healthiest method of coping with anything? Probably not. But the thought of attending a breast cancer support group really freaked me out. I went to one at the very beginning of this whole process and it was a complete mess. And by IT I mean ME. Plus, there weren’t any tissues. Who holds a newly diagnosed breast cancer support group and NOT have freaking tissues?!? There I was a blubbering mess with no tissues. Sigh. This just reinforced my “never going to share my deep thoughts in an open forum” frame of mind.
It’s kind of like when you buy new shoes and you don’t want to wear them right away because you’re afraid you’re going to somehow mess them up. Breast cancer was too new. My feelings were too raw. I wanted to keep all of my feelings in this little shoe box forever. I was afraid I would be judged or treated differently… like I was SICK and I was NOT SICK.
A little after my mastectomy, I tried to give local support groups another try but lo and behold there weren’t any! I heard about some in the area but when I called to get more details the groups weren’t going to start for months! But I have cancer NOW. Where is the I HAVE CANCER NOW support group? And why aren’t these groups meeting all the time? Isn’t that some shit. Just when I am ready to share and connect to other women in the same boat, crickets.
I craved for a place where I could quietly cope with what was happening to me and that place ended up being a morning yoga class at my gym. Each pose we did in class reminded me that I was strong, both physically and mentally. I had a quiet space where no one was talking to me, no one was looking at me, no one was touching me, and no one was thinking I was sick; no one was judging or worrying. If I needed to release a tear or two no one could tell because who can see anything in down dog or child’s pose?! That yoga class became my support group and I never had to say a word.