The Emotional Roller Coaster- Cancer
What are your options when you know your emotions are running your life and you really need to find a center balance point to be there for your loved one?
How do you be the support person when your friend is upset and having difficulty dealing with loss or grief ?
I wish I could give you the right formula that would help you every time.
I can only share what I learned about accepting my emotions without letting them take over my life.
I now view my emotions as waves. Emotional waves can be large or small, expected or unexpected. You can learn to swim with your emotions by accepting them as just your feelings of the moment.
I hate crying, yet I have cried more the last 30 days than the last 30 years. I hate not having the answers, yet there are some questions that have no answers. I like having a plan and knowing what will happen next. Cancer of a loved one does not give you that option. Making plans is a waste of time and energy. Living on an emotional roller coaster is exhausting and unsustainable. So what do you do?
Most of us have tried two things, ignore your emotions or stuff them away to deal with some day. Some day never comes, so that is the same as ignoring them.
Ignoring emotions allow them to build up to a crisis where you are likely to explode over trivial things. Learning to accept and work with your emotions will allow you to accept them as an experience instead of a stress trigger.
Here are three ideas that have helped me stay steady and calm.
First: Accept the fact that you have emotions and they will show up unexpectedly.
Second: Recognize your feelings and acknowledge them. I do that my naming them.
Third: Ask yourself “what do I need right now?” as a way to focus on actions that support you in time of chaos.
Self-care will take many forms. I thrived on reading, exercising and focusing on small daily routines that brought me comfort. Judith Oeloffs’ book Emotional Freedom was useful for my handling this sudden change in my life. She describes emotional freedom as a chance to become better. “ To make this a reality, you must begin to see each event of your life, uplifting or hurtful, earthshaking or mundane as a chance to grow stronger, smarter, more light-bearing. “ My definition has been simpler. Emotional freedom means to flex your emotional muscles on a regular basis until you accept them as part of you. Do your current strategies work for handling emotions? Reach out and start stretching those emotional muscles by connecting with other people, a trusted friend, a coach.