Friday, March 10, 2017

Loss of self image

 One of the things we struggle with as humans is self image.  We work on that until we find a place we're comfortable.  My self image is that of  a strong, independent, self-confident woman, ready to take on the world.  Boy, is it taking a beating.

I can no longer walk without a walker.  I cannot get into the shower without help, and someone has to stand by to make sure I don't fall.  I have had to learn to perform bodily functions in front of strangers, and have those strangers clean up after them.  Macho Man has to help me dress.

Last night, I fell.  That shouldn't be a big deal.  In the past, I would have gotten up, dusted off, and been glad nobody saw me.  Last night was different.

I literally "fell and I couldn't get up".  Macho Man couldn't get me up because I fell up against the door and got wedged between the door and the dresser.  I was really helpless.

I ended up crawling on the floor like a baby until I could get to the bed, get up on my knees, and launch myself onto the bed on my belly.  How embarrassing!

I will certainly have to polish off my self-image. How do I learn to let others help me? How can I reclaim my confidence, when I'm always afraid I'm going to fail in some way?

Fortunately, I have a good network of family and friends.  It won't be easy, but it is doable.

I am blessed!




3 comments:

  1. Ah, Patty - this time I really do know what you mean! I lost my independence at 40 when the back started to dissolve and I could no longer walk. During the next two years I learned to walk again BUT also had to learn to live without my own income, my sense of worth as an intelligent active woman and even worse, to learn to ask for physical help. I'm grateful I had support but honestly, it really was up to me to change my own thinking. One of the hardest things to do was to learn to not only ask for help, but to be graceful about saying thank you.... Toughest two words in the world sometimes. Nowadays, I'm struggling again with accepting the reality of aging - some weight gain, some visual and mobility issues - and yet again, am having to learn some of the same lessons all over again. To be patient with myself, to stop the negative feelings and thoughts within myself, to accept rather than be frustrated by my own physical reality in order to preserve what kernels of self worth and self esteem I have nurtured over time. I know your own situation is much more difficult, physically, emotionally and spiritually than my own but it's still the same lessons. Patty, be kind to yourself, be gentle with yourself, try to accept that this is YOUR TURN to receive everything you have ever given to another. Stop with the "bad voices" that come to you, making you question yourself, making you wonder about failing, making you doubt your own faith and belief in the love and caring of others.... And no, there is nothing "graceful" about this struggle to survive the cancer - but you can damned well fight back by rallying your own troops, by admitting that you (even YOU!) cannot do this alone and working even harder at loving yourself..... All my heart and soul and spirit to you my Warrior Woman! Hugs, Stephanie

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