The thing about cancer survivorship is that after a few years, I started to believe that people were sick of me hanging on. And once my brain had that firmly established, I started to believe that I am all alone in this world. But the loneliness is a lie.
I’d heard of the concept of the brain lying to itself in the context of depression, but I didn’t really feel what that meant until I was living it and it was pointed out to me. (Ain’t that always the way.)
A few weeks ago, I experienced pain and fatigue at extremely debilitating levels. And everyone did something to show me I wasn’t alone, and yet I leaned in to my lies instead of the observable truth. I’ve been wronged a time or two which has caused legit trust issues, but the inner turmoil was mostly due to my habitually telling myself I was worthless and burdensome.
I remember years ago seeing Man on the Moon in theaters and being struck that Andy Kaufman believed the guru could heal him and then he died anyway. (I don’t know if that’s actually what happened in the movie because I don’t trust my memory 100%, but that’s what I took away from it.)
So, anyway, I think I was reluctant to get into meditation too seriously because of that movie. I saw meditation mostly as a giant, sad waste of time. I mean I fiddled and farted with it here and there, but saw the woo in a lot of the highly marketed “life coach” type stuff and just knew it wasn’t for me.
And that brand of self-help still isn’t. But a couple of questions that have helped me address the anxiety that exacerbates my pain and fatigue are: What are you believing? And, Is it true?
Sometimes I believe I am alone, that no one understands or cares.
It is not true.