Regular readers of this blog will know that I have just returned from a weeks holiday. For a lot of people this is not such a big thing, but due to my illness and treatment regime, this is only the second time I have been abroad in 6 years. Considering that I was a regular traveller, both socially and commercially, this is a dramatic change in lifestyle for me.
After struggling with my change of circumstances for many years, tossing and turning in my own life, trying to make sense of things, I have finally found a way of life that fits in with my health commitments. My treatment and hospital visits involve a strict routine, so I have had to adjust my family and work requirements around that. Everything now fits, and I have accepted my new life for what it is.
I hadn’t realised that I am now in a new comfort zone. Whilst working, I knew how my life was going to run, and had got used to a regular way of life. Although my work was demanding, I could handle it comfortably, along with my very busy social life. I sort of knew what to expect with everything!
As the holiday approached, I became strangely anxious. Why? Our friends, who know Cyprus well, had booked the holiday, and were even driving, to remove all stress. As we approached Gatwick airport, I started to sweat. Everything had changed, it was bigger than I remembered. We didn’t even have tickets, just e-passes. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling as I did. I hated being on the plane for hours, and felt like a prisoner.
Once we had reached our destination we then had to collect the car, and find our way to our apartments in town. This is where we found a problem! My pal had printed the directions in Greek! It was midnight and very dark, and quickly we became lost. We stopped at least 5 times to ask people, but with a combination of accents and language, we got further lost. We were tired, and I was feeling very uncomfortable. Finally we found a man on a motorbike, who, sensing that we were really lost, very kindly told us to follow him. After many winding roads, and hills, he took us to our destination. What a lovely man!
The reason, I wanted to write about this today, is that I am shocked, how cancer has taken away so much of my self confidence. Never one to be shy,I can still smile at people and good things will happen, but internally I feel so different! I used to thrive on anything out of the ordinary happening, and was always up for a challenge. The life and soul, wherever I went. Now, self doubt, has entered my world.
For those of you that know me through social media and my cancer work, you might struggle to believe it, but it is true! I still have that air of confidence, but a lot of what I had, has disappeared. Travelling around the world meeting new people was a way of life for me. Now I get worried about a week in Cyprus with my wife and friends!
I don’t remember loss of confidence being on the side-effects paperwork I saw before my treatment started. In fact so many thing that I have encountered through my treatment, were never ever mentioned. How do you deal with issues like these? Not through reading a pamphlet, or checking it out on the internet. This is real life! I can only imagine, what would be happening to me now, if I had very little confidence, going into the process.
Feeling lost, brings with it the feelings of helplessness and fear. Being literally in the dark without help is frightening. This is how many of us feel when we enter the uncharted waters of cancer for the first time. This is another feeling, that you would struggle to understand unless you had experienced it personally. It is difficult to deal with things that are outside your normal experience, when you are feeling well. But when you are not, the hills of life appear steeper and higher, and at times insurmountable.
Have you felt like that on occasions, or even regularly? Even if you don’t have an illness to contend with, have you ever felt lost in your life? How do you deal with it?