When The Storm Rips You To Pieces, You Decide How to Put Yourself Back Together Again

It was February of 2013, two years after my cancer diagnosis. A friend of mine had just died of his cancer in the months prior, and others had recurrences and were fighting for their lives again. Another friend whom I had identified with very closely was in the last months of his life, with a wife and four young children at home, who would soon be losing their daddy. There were so many bad omens in the world, I had strange things going on with my body, and was scared to death that my cancer had returned. I felt surrounded by Death on all sides, and as though He had me on his radar screen, and that I could be next. I was so distressed about life that I had been crying myself to sleep on more than a few nights. On top of everything else, someone that I had trusted as a friend had betrayed that friendship and that trust in such a terrible way, that I told them not to ever speak to me again. At a time when I needed every last bit of love and support that I could get from friends, I was left wondering who my friends even were.

These are the storms that tear us apart. This was my rock bottom and ground zero, not when I was diagnosed with cancer, nor when I was going through three months of chemotherapy hell or brutal surgeries, but nearly two years later. I was supposed to have been moving on, closing in on my two years cancer free finish line, yet here I was stuck with the brakes on at the starting line. It hurts to feel so broken like this, but a perk and right that you have, is that you and you alone get to decide how to put yourselves back together. The who and what, the when, the where, and the how, is all yours to decide, and no one else's. Love yourself first, take care of yourself first, and do whatever you need to do for you, and no one else. You have the strength to make it through your storm, but you have to put yourself and your needs as your first priority. Love and care for yourself first. Only by doing that, will you be able to love and care for others in your life again.