i love myself too much now

You would think that after going through cancer, I'd have that "nothing can get to me" attitude. You would think that I got over my insecurities.  You would think that I didn't care what other people thought of me.

You would think, right?

During my diagnosis and all the elements that came with it: going through chemotherapy and radiation, throwing up, passing out, and all the mess that comes with cancer, I could care less what people thought of me.  During the process, I was too busy having cancer to worry.  I just focused on surviving - that's what I was supposed to do.  After, though?  When I got to come home permanently, for real this time, did I care?  Damn straight, I did.  Unfortunate as it was, I did care. 

It was hard to be me - the me who had cancer then didn't.  I wasn't who I was but I also had no clue who I'd become, either.  I had gone through this life-altering journey and I didn't know who would be there on the other side.  Yes, it changed who I was, but at the same time I stayed the same. I don't know if I'm using the right words to explain this to you, but I'm trying.  I learned so much about myself throughout the cancer ordeal - things I was proud of and others that I wish would just disappear.

To make those aspects of myself disappear was no easy task.

One of the areas I've always wanted to change is how much I care about what other people think.  I'm the type of person who always wants to make sure everyone else is okay before I am.  That's all wonderful and everything, but when it gives people permission to let them belittle you or make you uncomfortable in your skin...well, not so much.

Since I can remember, I've let people control me with their words and actions.  Even when I was finally recovering, sometimes held up in a hospital, I let their words control my happiness and sadness. 

If they called or sent me a text...
If they graced me with their presence...
If they led me to believe that their story was more important than mine...
If they were happy...or not.

I let them take all the control.  That was my fault.  I let them feed my insecurities until I figured something out.  It wasn't okay.  I didn't need to make them important in my life especially if I wasn't important in theirs.  I didn't need to listen to their stories - stories they felt they needed to tell me to clear their conscience - to make them feel better or better than me.  I was the one going through a traumatic time and I had to make it stop.  I had to let them know that I wasn't putting them first anymore.

I want you to know that it wasn't easy.  It wasn't easy to say, "I can't talk about that anymore because it doesn't do me any good" or "that's okay if you can't be around me right now".  There are certain people in my life that don't hold a place of authority anymore.  People that are supposed to be around, just aren't.  It is a very difficult situation to go through, but it's not harder than fighting for my life. 

If I can fight off cancer...be that warrior I said I would be, well then I would have to fight off negativity in my life.  It was that simple and that hard all at once.  These are people I love, but I had to see the big picture.  It wasn't doing me any good.

Please don't think that this is easy for me - I'm a people pleaser.  If you looked up "people pleaser" on the internet, I'd be the first entry.  That's how much importance I've given to others over myself.  It's been very difficult not to pick up the phone and text them saying, "I'm sorry.  Let's start over.  What can I do to make this normal again?" But it's not me who has to please this time and that's a hard pill to swallow.


So, you would think that all of this standing up for myself would change my insecurities and how people see me.  Well...

That's something I'm working on.  This new person I've been transformed into, the person who went through cancer and saw a new life at the end of the journey, is a slow work in progress.  I still seek approval.  I still apologize.  I still want them to like me.  I still look in the mirror and see flaws that I wish could just change with a snap of my fingers.  I will probably do that for a while.  I hope it's not forever, though.

Because what a waste of this new life, right?  I don't want to waste one more minute putting me second.  I'll still be the type of person who cares and loves a little too much on people.  That's my strength.  That's my super power.  I just need to develop that super power a little bit and add loving on me to the top of the list.

That's the lesson, loveys.  Love yourself first even if it means putting others second.

2 comments:

  1. That is your super power and I pray you see the Nay I see. The fucking warrior, and not just the Cancer warrior Nay, but the bad ass wife, mom, friend, aunt, writer and the list goes on! I know putting yourself first is hard, but let that love in! You give it so freely and fiercely. Love you girl! Grateful to be on this crazy thing called life with you!

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  2. I so appreciate your willingness to share your journey. It is so difficult to be open and true to ones self. You inspire me. Thank you.

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Hey Lovey! You're commenting! You just made me happier than...well, me with a Chestnut Praline Latte. (Yes, now you know what to order for me if we ever go to Starbucks - lol)