I don’t have cancer, haven’t experienced a life-threatening diagnosis but there are many other challenges in life that leave us floor-bound, wishing for the strength to stand up again and wondering if standing up is worth the effort.
Your piece resonates with anyone facing trials that overwhelm and devastate. Those eternally chipper people experiencing similar tribulations are not always inspirational or uplifting. As you say, the circumstances of your life have a direct impact on your acceptance of, attitude about, and reaction to your illness or problems.
While suffering through our suffering we carry the guilt of not emitting sunshine and rainbows because some Suzie Sunshine or Randy Rainbow wrote a book about celebrating and conquering their disease or tribulation.
Saying that those people may have a negative effect on someone’s recovery experience or, worse yet, their failure to recover, is not trashing them or their experiences. You are simply stating that others expect us to be like Suzie and Randy when our personas, lives, and circumstances are not comparable.
And, should our path not lead to the life-affirming recoveries of Suzie and Randy, we are left to feel less-than, as though we didn’t try hard enough, as though our prayers were not heard because we are not as worthy as they.
I loved the raw honesty and anguish of your piece, Rebecca Thomas.