Have you ever been confused about your role in life? I mean, have you ever had the feeling that you were living a life parallel to the life you are supposed to live? I know this sounds a bit strange to those who have not had this feeling come over you. However, for those of us that have experienced this phenomenon, is your parallel life better, worse, or about the same in quality?
The life I am living right now is about the same in quality as the parallel life I feel like I should be living. This possible imagination of an alternate reality did not stem from a break down in my mental faculties due to the diagnosis of cancer, nor did it begin during the tumultuous time leading up to the diagnosis of cancer when everything – and I do mean everything – was completely and utterly uprooted, tossed around, and landing with giant thuds back to the path I was living. I had these feelings come over me at random times in the past.
There was once when was sitting on the porch admiring the humming birds that come to the feeder I put out, I thought about the opening versus not opening a door. If I wouldn’t have opened that door and entered the new doctor’s office, my life would be different. If I hadn’t opened the door to the hospital and began working there versus another hospital, I would be possibly still there working. If I hadn’t opened the door to the former “doctor”, and would have sought a different primary doctor based on research of my own instead of someone’s word on it, I could have been treated sooner before a lot of my physicality had been affected. If I would have opened the door for a different group affiliation, and on and on and on…
This “what if” cycle that I go into regularly caused anxiety at times, but it also causes a calm at other times. The anxiety comes when I think that I have made a grave mistake by choosing one choice over another. However, the calm comes when I am grateful for the choice I made and what it led to. And these choices become clearer the farther away in time that I get from them since they led to choices that were made that I feel are good for me and others around me. I especially feel confident in my decisions when what I deem to be helpful to those I love and respect are positively affected by them.
When I became a nurse, it was hard work. However, I loved every minute of it because I was positively affected others in ways that many can’t. I was able to ease the pain of people and hear them out. Some people that were going through a very difficult health crisis needed that extra care in talking to someone that is a third party, non-judgmental, just to hear them. I was able to listen to them work through their feelings about their life choices and anxiety inducing decisions. And I believe that it truly helped them…… leading me back to the beginning: if I wouldn’t have gone to nursing school and stayed working at a fast-food restaurant or factory, there would have been big differences in my life by this point.
I wonder if we should explore that collectively as a group, or one on one with a therapist or friend, or simply on our own in writing or verbally to ourselves. It’s worth a try don’t you think?
Gotta go fill up my cup…..