Crying has become a part of my everyday life. It is just something that happens and I am almost getting used to it. During my most recent therapy session, my therapist wanted to know why. She wanted me to seek the reason as to why I cry. It started with me describing the memories that like to pop up in my mind daily. All of the ones of me in the hospital, getting poked and pulled and crying out for help. So then the question was, why are these memories the most prominent? What was the common thread that linked these together? I couldn’t figure it out, so we moved on. She then asked, if you could use one word to describe why you cry, what would that be? I had no idea which made the tears come even harder.
Vulnerable. I cry because I feel so vulnerable now.
No, that’s not it.
Independence. I cry for my loss of independence.
No, that doesn’t work either.
Misunderstood. I cry because no one really understands me.
Grief. I cry as I am grieving the life I once had.
Dammit that’s not it either.
Then I thought about the hospital, and the memories that haunted me the most. The ones that like to creep into my thoughts and distract me from all of the positive. What was the common link?
No one was there.
When I was having anxiety attacks on operating room tables. I was crying and begging them to stop because I was scared. They would hold me down as I struggled and I would look up the bright light and wish it would all be over.
When my blood pressure spiked and my heart felt like it was coming out of my chest. I kept fading in and out of consciousness and thought I was dying.
When I was told they had to pull my liver drain out at my bedside and they would not wait for my family to come to hold my hand.
When I was struggling to stand and I had to call the nurse to wipe me after the washroom.
When they stabbed my arms and held me down trying to insert a picc line.
Nurses and doctors were there, sure. For the most part they were so friendly and helpful, but they are not family. I also fully understand it is impossible for family to be in the hospital 24/7, so I don’t blame anybody.
So now that we have figured out the common link, is that the reason I cry so often? What is the word that I feel would best describe my feelings in general?
Alone. That’s the word.
No matter how much I explain, no matter who was there for what, no one has been there for it all. No one is in my head having to live with these thoughts, and the ones described above are just a handful of them.
Alone does not only describe those moments, but so many others. I have met a lot of wonderful people who can better understand my experiences, but no one fully can. No one I have met has had 6 surgeries. No one I have met has been told twice that they are inoperable.
So now that I have named it, I have to work on accepting it. There will never be anyone who will fully understand other than myself. So that is the next step. I am working on it, alone.