Cancer Enters Your Life
When you and your family first find out your partner has cancer it can be very disorienting. In the space of a day your whole world turns upside down. All sorts of emotions come at you, from shock to anxiety to fear to grief… it can be a whirlwind.
In these initial days and weeks, you are trying to process so much. You are coming to terms with a major upset in your life. Perhaps you had plans that are now are on permanent hold. Other things you had to cancel altogether.
You have to start educating yourself about cancer and the different types of specialists. You have to learn how the medical process works and what tests are needed. You may be navigating insurance for the first time. It’s no wonder your emotions are all over the place!
It’s like being on an emotional rollercoaster. There are constant ups and downs, flips and turns. You never know what’s ahead and there is no visible end in sight.
Gripping The Rails
Most people’s tendency when they are on this rollercoaster is to grip the handrails super hard, brace their arms and close their eyes tight. They try to brace themselves for each turn and flip, so they just grip the rails as hard as they can. They grip harder and harder to keep themselves from getting flipped all over the place.
Gripping the rails of this emotional rollercoaster is the equivalent of trying to resist all the emotions coming at you. You try to push away the fear, anxiety, and grief. You try to hold them off so you don’t get jerked around by all these feelings, but this only tires you out. The emotions keep coming and you get exhausted trying to resist them all.
You Can’t Brace Yourself Against Emotions
When you try to brace yourself against emotions, you only cause yourself more suffering. You fear getting overtaken by the emotions, so instead of feeling just grief, you now also feel anxious about the grief. All this resistance is also exhausting and will wear you out.
Relax And Lean Into The Turns
Instead, you have to relax your hold on the rails. You have to lean into the turns and relax on the flips. The more you relax and are willing to let the emotions come, the quicker they will leave.
Emotions are only scary when you don’t know how to allow them. When you resist them and judge them, they will for sure flip you around. Just like the roller coaster, when you don’t grip so hard, the turns aren’t so scary or tiring. You may even be able to anticipate them and prepare yourself in advance. You can relax into them and feel them and they will pass.
Learning to acknowledge and feel all the emotions is one of the key skills I teach my clients. If you are interested in learning more, you should join me for a free consultation. I’ll help you figure out what you’re struggling with most and what you can start doing to feel better.