Quite frankly not a topic I ever wanted to discuss, which is all the more reason to put it out there and let the chips fall where they may. I was pretty much forced into this conversation by a seemingly well-meaning gentleman, although the aftermath let my insides twisted and feeling like minced meat.
He asked why I participated in Race for The Cure. A walk/run fundraiser for breast cancer research and awareness. Please spare me the comments about who you should be donating to and why…I originally started doing the walk with my mother as she and my grandmother were both breast cancer survivors. I then began doing it with my work family as I worked in plastic surgery and watched many other women battle the disease, some won….some did not.
I then started doing the walk after my own diagnosis and battle, walking in January, only a few weeks after my mastectomy and reconstruction. And somewhere along the way the walked morphed for me…
I started feeling guilt for surviving where others had not. I started feeling guilt for allowing depression, OCD and eating disorders to take over my mind and ultimately cause me to be very unkind and unforgiving to a body that survived for me.
For as much light and happiness and gratitude for life as I feel, there is also a consuming darkness at times…a darkness that has almost cost me my life several times. So I feel guilt. There are far better women, women better at life than I am that did not survive, for whom I know would give anything for a second chance at this life….and I have had more than my fair share.
So when I look at it like that, I am consumed with disgust for myself. I wish in those moments I could trade places with someone. I feel like I could have done better with my chances. So I walk as an apology… to myself, to other survivors, to face the other women out there that are doing the right things..to earn back my place among them.
I walk to show solidarity and appreciation for this life of mine, no matter how many times I may have fucked it up. That truth sits on my chest like an elephant, takes my breath and makes me feel like I do not deserve to be here at times…but I am trying to make my life right. I am trying.
So there you go…the ugly truth.