G is for Guilt

I can’t seem to shake the amount of guilt I have for being sick, I’m trying to be everything to everyone all at once without neglecting myself either but it just seems like no matter what I do, I’m plagued with guilt. Time is the most valuable thing to any of us and it cannot be taken for granted, I definitely have a deep understanding of that but it still feels like no matter what I’m doing, the time is being wasted and I feel guilty about it. If I take time for myself, I feel guilty I’m not with the girls, when I’m with them, I feel guilt that I’m shirking the responsibilities I have to myself. I try to manage and balance the time in the days but it always seems to go out the window. Because I can’t say ‘no’ to anything, if rach asks me to go for a walk or Riley wants me to watch her put her pyjamas on, 45 minutes later she’s got one leg In and I’m just happy to be sitting there watching her figure it out. At the same time, I feel bad that I’m not writing, or playing music or exercising and then I’ll do any one of those things and I’ll hear Riley somewhere in the house having fun and that feeling bubbles up again and its hard not to feel frozen. In a lot of ways I understand why my dad self medicated with weed and spent his last months in solitude at the cottage, when your given a timeline like this, its easy to want to numb everything out and hide away from all the things that would make you ‘feel’. And there’s some days where that’s all I want to do and I could! But I wouldn’t, I don’t want to be numb, as hard as it is to feel everything, it’s still a blessing to be able to feel it. I can’t seem to balance the feeling of wanting to be as close as I can all the time and wanting space and silence to organize my thoughts. A couple friends of mine gave me some sage advice and said that instead of focusing on time spent focus on if its making me happy in the moment and lead with that feeling. I try to do things that make me feel normal and let me forget for a moment how fucked up my situation is, hanging photos on the wall or going for a drive. The little simple things seem to make the biggest difference in my day to day life.

 I keep having this recurring dream that Sadie and Riley are arguing and Sadie tells Riley that she was lucky because she got “healthy dad”.  I’m not the same person I was when Riley was born, I’m not as available to Sadie, mentally or physically and it hurts to know that they aren’t getting the same father.  I was laying in Rileys crib this morning and felt the urge to tell her I’m sorry, I know she can’t possibly understand why I said it but as she was drinking her bottle and looking into my eyes I saw a tear form at the corner of her eye and I know it had nothing to do with what I said but it made me cry nonetheless because maybe somewhere I her little brain she does understand the pain behind those words but just has no way to express it. I wiped her tear away and then wiped my own away and she finished her bottle and asked for purple socks and we went on with our day.

Regardless of my diagnosis, I always tried to live a balanced life between living like I’m gonna die tomorrow and living like I have all the time in the world. I think we all strive to live like that because life would be boring if we didn’t, we would never take risks or do stupid things if we only lived on one side of that fence. Being told you have stage four cancer at thirty-three years old, really is a fuckin’ death sentence, I didn’t luck out with the type of cancer where they say you have it but you’ll be able to live with it for another thirty years. I got the kind where they say you have it and you’re gonna die before you turn thirty-five. I sit typing these letters with tear soaked cheeks, hammering away at the keys like they’re the ones that diagnosed me and it doesn’t solve anything. I’ll still be sick when I’m done writing this, all I will have accomplished is leaving a letter to the world where I piss and moan about how unfair this is. This whole thing kind of went off the rails because I’ll start writing with an idea in mind and then it takes me weeks to finish it and while the world continues to shift around me, new thoughts and ideas pop into my head and it changes the initial intention. And right on cue, I get a text asking if I’m coming with to walk Riley to school and I can’t say no because I don’t know how many more times I’ll get to do it and I have to take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with her and then with rach as we walk back together and now I choose to do that because It will make me happier than sitting here alone and writing this shit letter, so I’m signing off and I’m not coming back to this one.

4 thoughts on “G is for Guilt

  1. Aron says:

    Wishing you continued strength and sending love. Your letters are a gift to all, and to your family especially. Your words are beautiful and heartfelt. Your friends are right.. be in the moment and enjoy what makes you happy. I wish you many more moments of happiness on your difficult journey, and tons of courage, which clearly you already have. See you at next year’s car show/ fundraiser 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Teresa says:

    Your honesty is inspiring Lorne. Even though I can’t imagine exactly what you’re going through, you convey your experiences in a way that is incredibly relatable. Keep sharing whenever it feels right for you to do so; I will cherish your words, forever. Love you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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