Dreading the inevitable third round of chemotherapy, my self-talk the past several days sounded something like, “I don’t want to go to chemo,” or “I’m such an idiot,” or “nobody loves me”. Fear had found me and sunk its boney talons into my psyche, seeking to sever serenity from my soul.
But I can tear myself free! My brain is just fucking with me. I’ve got a theory that my negative self-talk is a warped version of self-preservation. My brain is coping with fear by trying to isolate and insulate me from what it thinks will harm me. When I got Narcotics Anonymous and worked some steps, I learned why these thoughts come and what to do about them.
When I meditate it is difficult to focus when I’m bombarded by many thoughts that ebb into my brain like waves upon the sand. While I can’t stop the thoughts, I CAN vigilantly acknowledge that they are coming in, and I let them flow back out to whatever infinite sea they came from.
Meditation taught me to apply this same principle when I sense myself obsessing over compassionless, self-defeating, self-hating, or self-destructive thoughts that stalk me when I’m scared. However, sometimes they refuse to flow away, so I say the opposite of the thought’s meaning to prove my brain wrong. For example:
“I want to continue to live healthy, so I’m grateful I get to go to chemo;”
“I am a smart guy. I can solve the NYT crossword puzzle Sunday through Wednesday, I read literature, and I’m witty;”
“I am loved. My wife loves me like I never thought someone could. I’ve got a great support system of friends and family that love and care about me and offer to help me.
The opposite of self pity, hatred, and destruction in GRATITIUDE. Magic happens when I create a gratitude list in my head and remember the gifts I’ve received because I sought to save my life from addiction.
Chemotherapy today was okay. Rachel couldn’t come, so I played hours of pinball on my Nintendo Switch. I love pinball, and it’s a great simulation. I have such classics as Attack From Mars and Theatre of Magic, and some others that don’t have physical versions. Get a Switch and we will battle for pinball prominency.
I also watched an episode of the show Succession on HBO. Watch it if you have yet to see it; we can talk about how much we hate Roman Roy.
I haven’t lost my appetite yet. Dr. Ucar added a drug to my chemo-cocktail that helps with the delayed nauseau and vomiting. I was miserable and sick last time, so fingers crossed.
I got some feedback comments and messages regarding starting the GoFundMe I wrote about in my last post…
A sponsor taught me that humility is not the same as humiliation, so I’ve chosen to start a fundraising page. I overestimated the goal, just in case. If you can help, GREAT! There is an option to do it anonymously. If you can’t or choose not to, that’s okay too, because your support of this blog is very important to me; but please share it on your favorite social media platform. There is a link to social media on the fundraising page.
Thanks everyone for being part of my support group. I started this blog to vent feelings, but I've grown to cherish the challenge of writing regularly to an audience of caring friends and family. I love you all.