My feelings are my feelings; I am where I am

I’m amazed by how quickly I am getting my energy back. I’ve been doing walks – about half the time and length as my ‘usual’ beach walks, but still over a mile and over an hour, though when I get back to home base, I am tired. I’ve been doing light workouts and not napping nearly as much as before. My biggest exhaustion is social and that continues. I really do not want to be in a large group of people and even when with a group of 6 friends at dinner, I can only stay engaged for a limited time before I’m ready to check out.

Last week was my birthday. It was a low-key one this year, but there were a few mini-celebrations, including a birthday brunch. Here are a few photos of that with my birthday pancake.


The other day, Steven, a man I have known for many years here on Fire Island, was on the beach. He started to chat and sat next to me. I just wanted to be alone and not to have to tell my story yet again. Not his fault, but it takes time and energy from me. I was thinking that I should have a card printed that says and hand them to people when I don’t want to have to explain myself for the umpteenth time.

In speaking about this with my psychotherapist, he told me that he had read a story in a psychology journal about 6 months ago. It was about a woman who had breast cancer and had to have both of her breasts removed. She did remarkably well in that the cancer was stopped, she had a reconstructive procedure and had even nicer, perkier breasts than before. She regained her energy to pre-surgical levels. Everyone she met told her she looked amazing! Problem was she didn’t see herself in the same positive light others saw her. She didn’t want to be a cancer “survivor” – she missed being someone who never had cancer; she missed her sagging breasts that had nursed her children. Even her first therapist was not all that understanding of her self-doubts. We talked about that story and while I obviously am not in the same situation, I feel a bit like her in that others tell me I look great and that my energy is higher than many people who have never been through what I have. And while objectively they may be right, subjectively I don’t want to be a cancer ‘survivor’ – I want to never have had this, even if I know that is impossible and am learning a lot from it, both about myself as well as all of the people in my life. When I look in the mirror I don’t think I look so great. I see my scar and the changes in my body and don’t like what I see. So what to do about it? I can’t go back in time – this is where I am and what I have and I am grateful for surviving and know that my physical signs will improve more and more over time. I am extraordinarily thankful for everyone who has accompanied in this process – friends, family and health professionals. And yet, my feelings are my feelings and while we can control our behavior, we can’t control our feelings. I just wanted to put this out there for all of you who have supported me, asking you to be patient: accept my dissonance for right now as I work through it – I will continue to move forward, but there will be times I am sad, disappointed in where I am and perhaps, sometimes, even angry.

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15 thoughts on “My feelings are my feelings; I am where I am

  1. I understand! find and take as much happiness as you can from the moment. much love, paulette

  2. I am totally with you on this. No one can really know our inner experience and no matter how it may seem skewed to others it is our experience. And people who love us do not want us to feel "bad". But as Popeye also said, " I yam what I yam." Feeling it all makes me really alive! More hugs.

  3. Just accept all the love without having to respond or reciprocate. We understand that you don't have the need or desire to deal with all of us and that's fine, doesn't change anyone's basic appreciation of you...

  4. I hope that modest little birthday pancake was the first of at least a half dozen or so !! 🙂

  5. Happy Belated Birthday to you. I have learned that feelings aren't right or wrong, they just "are"! We all love you!!

    1. Thanks Georgi! Hope to see you when I come to see Chester - probably end-July or early-August!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday I totally understand and no one knows how anyone feels, not profund but true! Feel what you feel in this moment since that is your truth. Sending you much love!!

  7. Happy Belated Birthday Silvermanlymanlovitchski! You'll always be the Silver ManlyMan to me! Sending love and positive energy. Hugs, Marko Domanski

  8. Respect for those feelings. And mine are feelings of gratitude that you were fit and healthy before and no doubt bracsuse of that will soon be again.

  9. I promise not to say a word when I see you. Vamos a comer en silencio ! Te quiero mucho. Nos vemos pronto

  10. Alan,
    you're a wonderful fighter !
    guess it's about your birthday /
    many happy returns of the day and only good memories !

  11. An amazingly honest message. We are just human after all and I completely understand all of these feelings. As Georgi says, feelings aren't right or wrong - they just are. The marvelous thing is to recognize them, whatever they are. Sending you much Love. xp

  12. Amigo AS, respeito teus sentimentos e pudera eu estar junto a/de ti, nos momentos menos bons. Melhoras e muita força. a luta continua. g


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