I’m Still Here (birthday post, 3/16/13)
|March 16, 2013||Posted by Aileen Sabira under Breast Cancer, Cancer, Consciousness, Creativity, emotional honesty, Gratitude, Healing, Singing, spirituality, Trauma and Trauma Healing|
I didn’t plan to write a post on my birthday, starting at midnight. But I was up watching a movie, after my house mate so kindly made a new recipe of gluten free pumpkin brownies for my early birthday cake. And I just happened to glance at my computer clock, the movie was ending, and it flipped to two minutes past midnight. It was a visceral thing, I started to cry ……
I’m still here …..
It’s my birthday. My “REAL” birthday. The day I was born into this world. The day that evidently, when my mother was in her birthing process with me, my Dad asked her to wait a little. Because his parents came off the boat when they were 16 and 17 from Ireland. Could I be born on St. Patty’s Day? (and, evidently, there was a real threat that I would have been named Patricia, with the birthday of St. Pat’s…..so I’ve been told….)
I’m still here ….
After a scare with what is believed to be a cyst was discovered in December of last year. Something I’ve been living with, cloud over my head and heart, for three months. Was the cancer back, in a new area? Staying more private with it, moving in inner realms that I needed to be with. And the ultrasound for that re-test just this week on Wednesday. It seems to be a cyst, no measurement change, so just a follow-up annual mammogram in December. Stress, anxiety, and even the good news can test and wear the heart ……
And a follow-up with the oncologist the very next day. And just as I got home, feeling good and hopeful (something I’m getting used to, slowly, expanding into, still a lot to go there, in PTSD healing, feeling good, so uncomfortable at times….) and a letter from Social Security for a disability review. Honestly, I get SO very tired. I do work at, try to be positive ~ darkness invites so easily. And, if I’m out and busy, I usually need a day or two to recoup. Chronic fatigue and aches ever since chemo. An allergist was going to diagnose me with an autoimmune disorder, some of my tests were so out of whack. He said he’s seen it before, that people’s immune systems can get totally blown from chemo. At the time, I just couldn’t face another long term for life issue that is caused by the treatments from cancer (she says as she still has to get a new tooth from the one that cracked and had to be removed due to chemo…..) Something I will most probably look at again soon….. but so many little things, wearing, tired, the thought of rushing to a 40+ hour a week job, commuting, when some days I feel like I can barely lift my head due to physical exhaustion, PTSD healing ~ it’s hard to comprehend …..
But, I’m still here …..
When so many others are not. Amazing fellow young survivors that deserve to be here, too many to name all of them. Including my sweet Flee. And even on days when life is exhausting and I can’t lift my head, or I have a wave of depression ~ I’m still here. Grateful for that. Moments when happy begins to creep in ~ I’m still here. It rushes over me in waves, the grief, the gratitude, sitting in the quiet, TV off, cat slumbering nearby, insomnia this night fueling into this post ….. tears cascade, breathing in spurts …. I’m still here ……
When fears come, and they do, no matter how positive or faith filled I may try to be, often am, sometimes not (because if we’re all honest, many of us DO face fears ~ it’s just how do we move with them?) It’s real. It’s honest. It’s normal and healthy to admit feelings, admit fears. It’s just being with how much they can rule you (and they can, anxiety can overtake like a freight train that is near impossible to stop, like after the ultrasound I got so wired, or terminology in PTSD healing “activated” that I couldn’t get to sleep until 3 am, insomnia is a dark partner I often dance with……). Sometimes I do great with it, sometimes not so well. We’re all human, all Divine. It’s dancing the balance that we have to do. I work to live in the LIGHT, the LOVE. And, I’ve had a history of depression, and severely since cancer, anxiety crazy. Progress yes, but it can lurk. Something to work with, on, be present to …… And here, a birthday to celebrate ……
Is that less inspiring? Honesty? Vulnerability? Admitting human failings, not always being a “cheery” survivor? I hope not, though sometimes it seems society doesn’t “grock” this raw place, this deep honesty, that can be a wasteland at times, and can grow beauty as well. Like a tree that can grow out of an abandoned building, souls striving for birth in the chaos and desolation of the barren places. I believe the beauty comes when we DO get as real and honest with ourselves as possible …… we must go through in order to have more brightness, polish our mirrors of darkness, misperceptions, and I face the reality that ….
I’m still here ……
It can be daunting to LIVE into, to not know everything, to follow the heart when I may know not where it leads, but I MUST follow it …. to try to learn to take more risks, when PTSD can grip at times so strongly ….. I have my beautiful little safe routine, my healing in yoga, writing at home, work at REI (my awesome store manager, when I explained PTSD activation, how I might behave if I’m activated, he just smiled and said “Sabira, don’t worry, we’ve got your back, I will NEVER let anything happen to you here! Wow…..), writing dates, spiritual practices and community, my PTSD healing sessions I receive, performing on occasion, dipping my toes in new waters, the beauty in serving by giving the profound healing sessions I am blessed to give via phone on occasion. Sometimes it feels boring, but grounded and right, this little life of mine. And making art, my inner time more and more precious. Time in nature whenever I can get it, so precious. Sensory input can be downright overwhelming. So I have to pace myself. Not something I could do fulltime, rush around in the world. Not yet. I hope and pray I get to keep pursuing what is right in my heart, my art and healing work, what seems to help others heal and be inspired as well. The places of stillness and deep truth. Sprinkled with lightness, and a deeper reality of love and peace that I am just beginning to fathom. Can still feel so foreign. Stepping into more in this world, performing ~ edges, dancing over and back, over and back….
And I’m still here ….
I keep hearing the Sondheim song from Follies “I’m Still Here”. A true testament to strength, challenges. Yanks on the heart, chokes up the throat. So here it is, with a wonderful talk on the meaning of it to Carol Burnett when she performed it also. I keep hearing it. I’ve been slammed with some of the hardest and darkest things in this world. Time. And Time. And Time, again and again ….. and, I’m Still HERE.
I will do my best to keep being here. Being me. That’s the best any of us can do ~ just be ourselves.
Thank you for being in my life. Really.
If you’d like to share what you’ve been through, survived, lived beyond, I’d love to hear it in the comments ….. and how do you celebrate beyond it? Sometimes, it may seem strange, but the openings for joy DO open the grief as well even wider. So I know we all can help each other, in good times and bad times, still be HERE ~
Thank you. And thanks, yes, Happy Birthday to Me. Bless you all ~ Aileen Sabira