Life was good back then. The world was my oyster as they say, but even cooler than that, I was happy. It was so long ago I can’t remember how that feeling went, but I think it was something like when you wake up a little bit excited for your day and what lies ahead, when ideas become opportunities and those opportunities just seem to unfold into a fruitful reality, when you have enough of everything you need, when you’re in a partnership that is fulfilling, strong and connected, when the ever dominating negativity that surrounds you doesn’t penetrate your super cosmic hippy energetic field. Everything is as it should be, it’s really really good and you feel like you’re on some blissed out high.
And then the phone rings….
It’s Mum being all light and funny; the mother always strong for the child, telling me she had a tumour. A WHAT? I was distraught; straight away I remembered all the things I hadn’t done, what a terrible child I was for pretty much everything and how I wished I’d been more present. I had Mum dead, boxed up and six foot under before our phone call was even half way over. There’s a fine line between intuition and imagination and I can safely say that on this day I was right onto the imagination thing.
I have read a lot lately that when we are under duress we become our “inner child”. The stuff we’re programmed with and learned not only as children, but also in the womb and past lives, etc. In the first seven years when you’re living in this state of hypnosis, you don’t yet have a developed conscious mind so everything from your parents, family, friends, culture, society and community gets dumped into your unconscious. And whether these beliefs or programs are true or false, we carry them with us so they can pop out at the most random of times. Usually when you’re wanting to be calm and reasonable!
Looking back on that phone conversation, I could hear that inner child, when crying I told Mum I didn’t want her to get sick. Actually I didn’t want Mum to die, but sick sounded less like a crisis. It was almost as if I said the word “die” someone would be listening to me and it would really happen. Even my thought processes were childlike.
Many appointments, surgery and a slow recovery and Mum is fine. I am fine! Well, I’m not hippy blissed, but I’m mostly happy. I have a successful yoga studio which is growing and for the most part a fulfilling way to spend my time and life has some semblance of normality.
Ding Dang if that phone’s not ringing again! I’m sitting in a place I know well; the unhealthiest of cafes at St John of God Hospital waiting for Jason, my husband – the glass is half full type of guy – to take him home from a routine colonoscopy. You know, that thing you do when you hit 40 just because that’s apparently what you do. I’d had mine (clean as a whistle) my brother and sister-in-law had had theirs and now it was Jason’s turn. I answer the ringing phone to find him, still high on that good stuff they give you so you can’t feel the camera being threaded up your funny bits, telling me they’ve found a rather massive tumour and could I come down to recovery.
It was like deja vu. I’d been here 12 months before with Mum. The same doctor, same hospital, same treatment and even the same cancer. Still sporting the sexy hospital frock Jas is now in a wheelchair being taken upstairs to the surgeon and is booked in the next day for surgery and to get a chemotherapy port installed.
Jason is the last person I would expect to get any kind of disease and was quite thrown by this state of affairs. But I’d been through this before with Mum, it was like a warm up for what was to come and after the shock had settled in I felt quite calm and ready for action. Surgery, radiation, chemo, bag reversal and bang, we’re all done in 12 months.
A couple of weeks holiday in Thailand and we’re back home getting things on track. Life’s kind of okay. It’s definitely not going off the richter, but overall things are “pleasant”. We settle in for a couple of months of day to day before heading off for the first major test results.
BANG! Not good, tumour count is through the roof, it’s spread to liver and lungs and prognosis is average. The room spins, I can’t hear and I think I’m about to spew all over the oncologist’s tidy blue carpet. Hello inner child! Not nice to see you again. An Oscar winning performance the child made this time round. I’m glad I was home by myself on this one I have to say!
Chemo, blood tests, recovery, buy a gym and close a yoga studio and build a new one, scans, blood tests, liver surgery, recovery, yoga studio opening, scans, more blood tests, lung surgery, recovery and, well….you get the idea. Lots of shit going on for 18 months. A yoga studio though, what am I thinking. I’m just kind of tinkering along doing my thing knowing I’m not growing professionally where I am, but knew that could wait. Or not as it were! I think I must have been inhaling chemotherapy drugs because I definitely wasn’t thinking straight. The doors opened on 5 December 2011 and I’m fully aware that I don’t want to be running a business. Too late! It’s on and it’s just me for 5 months – 7 days and 22 classes a week. I sat in a constant state of resentment and hatred. Oh and seriously trapped, like a caged lion. So I employ some teachers and teach less, but now have to manage people. I’ve tried that one on before, managing a national customer service department and it’s not my go. I vowed never to do that again and here I am….doing it again. But not only doing it again, doing it again under high voltage stress. A couple of jolly good wake up slaps is what I needed, but it was too late for that.
It’s 3 months after lung surgery and it’s the first of many tests. We were both edgy about the results to come. I walked into the hospital as Jason was stepping out of the lift. And there it was, the fist pump, the news we’d both been desperately hoping for, big gold star on the first test. We spent the next hour leaning on the back of the car in the hospital carpark not saying anything, crying a bit, staring into space, incredulous at what had just happened. He was meant to be dead by now and he wasn’t.
It was over. I think. Was it?
So okay, here we are, back to life as it should be; all bright, breezy and full of fairies. But it seems the fairies forgot to come out and play. The studio is all consuming and I start to feel this blackness seep into my marrow. Fatigue sets in and this heaviness I can’t shake. What’s wrong with me, I have everything I need and my family are all still alive. I’m in hate of everything, but I must pretend to be in love with my life, my business, yoga, my students, my teachers, my friends. I don’t want to see, hear or speak to anyone; I just want to bunker down and not be here. Even holidays hold no appeal. I am the Queen of holidays; my whole life revolves around the next trip away. I gauge my happiness on how excited I’m feeling abut my next holiday. This is a definite problem. I have figured out I am too logical and probably a bit too much of a wooss to knock myself off, but for the first time I understood it and I got why you would contemplate that idea. There is NOTHING that makes you happy and the sense that you will never ever get away from that feeling is disheartening.
Was it burn out or post traumatic stress? I couldn’t contemplate the idea that I had depression so I’m pretty sure it couldn’t be that. The really cool thing is I’m pretty sure I had all that going on…depression from burn out and stress. Quite simply, life has turned to shit.
Fast forward to today and I am excited to say this no longer applies. A number of synchronicities later, a big guiding hand from some dudes in spirit world and I have found my way back to the sunny side. A few years of dragging the net with spiritual healers, energy healers and hypnotherapists and I’ve got myself together. It was not an easy path and it's not over; there is a lot more trauma to sift through, but I’m here and that’s an excellently excellent thing! There’s so much more to write about on this spiritual healing journey, but maybe another post.
My message to you is that we all suffer hardship at some point in our life and it can make you or break you. There IS a way out and I’m incredibly happy I found it. I’m not done with this life yet and I’m glad I’m still here to make a difference somewhere, somehow. It is said that the greatest triumphs in life follow the most difficult journeys! The last five years have been the next best thing to living in hell, but for now that’s done with and as I write, I sit and wait for that greatest triumph.