1. I put myself through elective surgeries in order to gain mastery or control over what I never had any control of: the need for major, life and body-altering surgery four years ago – the double mastectomy and reconstruction – on a more or less whirlwind, out of control (for me) basis.

2. I deal with loss by minimizing the importance of that which is lost. Thus, knowing that I will be forced to give up my practice for six weeks starting on Wednesday, I am already dismissing it, blowing it off, suffering through it when I do it and undermining it with thoughts like, “Eh, what’s the point? Why does this matter? I am going to be interrupting it for six weeks anyway…” That’s not the way to deal with loss unless you want to experience dissonance and depression, like I currently am. Instead, the way to deal with impending loss is to live in and enjoy what is to be enjoyed about the present, not fearing the loss that is coming.

Tomorrow, I practice.

3. I talk to myself in horrible ways, ways in which I would never speak to a friend or a loved one. I say things like, “Why do I have to be such a wuss, bitching and moaning about not being able to take Advil?” Would I say that to a friend in my position? Hell, no! I would be all, “Awwww, of course you feel bad without your Advil. You have grown accustomed to that feeling of well-being that comes from feeling no pain or inflammation in your muscles and joints. Don’t worry…it will be over in a couple of days.” If someone spoke to me the way I spoke to myself, I would feel pretty shitty. Is it any wonder that I have been feeling shitty lately?

No more self-flagellation. Yes, I have a dependency on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. I am not able to take them right now, so I am suffering. And it sucks. It sucks bad. It effects a lot of things, including my practice. But I LOVE my practice, and I should practice for the benefits I do get, in spite of the fact that it won’t feel as good as it usually does without the Advil.

4. The Husband does not nurture me. And no matter what I tell him, no matter how much sense I think I make, it won’t make sense to him. I will be taking a limo to the hospital on Wednesday morning because he doesn’t have time to take me. Too busy at work. The Husband thinks I have no right to feel depressed about my upcoming surgery or about any aspect of my preparation for it because…it is elective surgery, so….it’s my bad. Buck up, Chickie.

I have one more day before the big day, and I want to do what I can to make it a good day. And that means allowing myself to grieve my Advil, my yoga practice, the fact that I have to have the breast surgery at all to fix a problem that I never wanted to have. Grieving is hard when you’ve never really been taught how to do it. I think that knowing that I have the right to do it is a step in the right direction, at least.



2 Responses to Revelations

  1. Julie says:

    My dear YC… if only I lived near you… I would pick you up and I would take you to the hospital (of course, Kathy would have to steer me in the right direction since I’d get lost… she knows the way quite well at this point :>)… I know exactly how you are feeling. I want to smack your husband upside his head. As if you ELECTED to have cancer. As if you ELECTED to have a breast that feels like a piece of granite pasted onto your chest. As if you’d ELECT to do any of this… give up that which you love most (which includes your yoga practice, lifting up your kids, doing the grocery shopping in peace and a bazillion other things you won’t see for 6 weeks)… as if you ELECTED to live through the anesthesia experience (however, please note, the anesthesia guy, he’s REALLY REALLY good and if you bring a little statue of Ganesh, The Best Doctor In The World will carry him in his pocket for you) or the recovery or the fucking mental preparation to put you in that OR. Okay, okay, I’m getting a little upset on your behalf.

    Sweetie, I know, first-hand, that you are in the best care possible. If anyone can help you, I know that OUR doctor can. I also know how much it sucks to to take the car service, to have the needle stick in you, to wake up in recovery and to give up your yoga practice just when you’ve hit your prime (because let’s face it, it’s ALWAYS your prime).

    I am here for anything you need. Please tell OUR doctor to send me an email when you are done and let me know everything is okay… I’ll ping him Wed morning (what time is your surgery?).

    Tomorrow, drink a cup of coffee, take your Advil without reservation (hey, wait, you can’t take Advil???? Is that like Motrin?) and have a nice and long relaxing practice, breath deep and long… love Mari D, love your backbends, love the practice, love the breath… I’ll be thinking of you.

  2. lesley says:

    Hey, that sounds like me!

    I just found your blog on yoga and just starting reading it. Sounds so familiar to me… the thoughts and the feelings.

    Every time I am preparing to go away for a while, I will start to think how much I will miss my yoga…

    Take Care!
    Lesley from Singapore

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