One Day at a Time

One Day at a TimeFor the first time in almost three months I am sitting down at my computer with the intention to write. I took a break to regroup, refocus, and really, to just breath. I was certain I would come back in a week and pick up where I left off, it seemed as I got more encouragement and praise that I had more to say, until I had nothing to say.

I’ve thought about writing a lot, thought about jumping on my computer and telling more of my story and each time I thought about it, I felt weighed down by the idea. My day to day life was too heavy and I couldn’t comprehend using my brain for anything other than binging on Netflix.

Being a caregiver of someone recovering from a bone marrow transplant is so much different than I had anticipated. I assumed it would be similar to being the caregiver of someone going through chemotherapy or radiation: difficult, frustrating, scary, but ultimately, bearable. A bone marrow transplant is, quite literally, a whole different beast. My can-do attitude and desire to take care of everything were irrelevant and those exact things sent me deeper into a space I didn’t know how to navigate.

Anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, catastrophizing, anger, loneliness, guilt: all of the words that have been brought up in my sessions with my therapist since Justin has come home. I had the hardest time understanding that I was grieving, mostly for the life that we had once considered “normal”. There was a new, unpredictable, normal that I couldn’t get a grasp on and it threw me for a loop.

I wish I could describe it to you, I wish I had words of wisdom for you, I wish there was something I could do to keep anyone else from ever feeling the way that I have over the last five months, but as I am learning, I have no control. At all. How disappointing.

I spent many days wondering how I would start writing again. How would I come back? Do I take a deep dive into my experiences over the last few months? Do I just skip over it and talk about all of the things that have gotten me through? Do I just pretend the three months never happened at all? What is the best way to try and regain some of your “normal”? I was apprehensive and insecure. So, here I am, unpolished, raw, and still trying to figure it all out. I suppose that’s all I can ask for at this point.

My world was flipped upside down and I’m still trying to get everything off of the ceiling. It will take some time, and every once and a while something will float back up, but progress is being made on both fronts: Justin’s health and my mental health. For now, we’re just taking it one day at a time.

33 thoughts on “One Day at a Time

  1. That was really beautiful. Right now, I’m sitting next to my husband who took care of me for years when I was sick. I’m crying. I can’t imagine how challenging it is to be a caregiver. Thank you for writing this.

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      1. Thank you for sharing! Congratulations on finishing chemo, it is such a traumatic treatment process. My heart goes out to anyone having to endure that kind of medical “help”. I hope you’re feeling well! Thank you for reading!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a raw, honest article, thank you so much for sharing it. I hope you find your way back to your love of writing, but just make sure you give yourself permission to have this break – it sounds like you’re dealing with a hell of a lot x x

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  3. Sending you huge hugs. Too often the carer’s needs aren’t met. I was my mothers carer before she died and it was both physically and mentally exhausting. Lovely to see you are taking care of yourself and take one day at a time. Wishing you both all the best xx

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    1. Thank you, so sorry to hear about your mother. It’s both amazing and exhausting to take care of someone you love. I had no idea it would effect me so much.

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  4. Your honesty and vulnerability shines out from your writing. How refreshing to read your admission that you don’t have all the answers. Your courage and spirit are the answer in themselves.

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    1. Thank you! I suppose half of the battle was admitting to myself that I don’t need all of the answers, something that took a while for my Type A personality to understand. 😉

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  5. I rather think all you needed for the writing was time to adjust after what you were coping with. It’s so hard to keep positive in all areas of live under such stress and most find just dealing with thing day to day is the immediate goal. It will come back, but no pressure on it. Let if work itself back into your life and the words will come. There may even come a time when you can properly describe what you went through too. Welcome back Emily x

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  6. Welcome back! I appreciate the raw honesty you’re sharing; maybe that is something, too, that will help you through this. I think it’s beautiful. I’ll be thinking of you, and sending positive thoughts your way!

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  7. Emily- you are being true to yourself and sharing your story, your deep valleys with us all, and that is a gift to us in and of itself. How refreshing in a society that places expectations on caregivers to “have a stiff upper lip” to read your words. To hear how you are taking good care of you. One step at a time. I think of mountain climbers who sometimes have to hike after dark with only a flashlight giving them just enough light for a few feet ahead and yet they keep at it one faithful step at a time. Thank you for keeping the light shining for Justin and for us all. We love you!

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  8. Welcome back to writing! While it is tough to let is out in a “raw” form, know that it is refreshing to read your honesty. It is not all roses and wonderful. Times are very tough for you right now and you need to take care of yourself as much as Justin! Being a full-time caregiver is very physically and mentally exhausting. I am glad you have someone to talk to, as it can make all the difference in being able to keep moving forward one day at a time. There are many people praying for you both. You are so loved!

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