Permission Granted: Take the Time You Need to Heal
Jessica had barely finished treatment for a second bout with lung cancer when her medical leave was over and her supervisor was calling to see when she would return. Her team needed her and the supervisor was subtly probing to see if they could count on her or should look for a replacement. In truth, Jessica does not feel ready to return. She is fatigued, unable to sleep, and her memory feels unreliable. The thought of the high pressure environment with lots of deadlines and expectations feels overwhelming. She thinks she can negotiate another few months away, but feels “guilty” for not being ready to return. She tells herself to be grateful she has a job and worries others will think she’s a “complainer.”
Angelica has 2 children under 12. She’s 6 months post treatment for breast cancer. A lot of people helped her when she was “sick” but now that she’s “cured” her family and friends expect her to be fully recovered. They only want her to think “positive.” She feels pulled to volunteer for every school and church activity, to be emotionally present for her children at all times since they were fearful about losing her, and she wants to show her gratitude for life by saying yes to everything. But she’s exhausted. And she finds herself angry and resentful that no one understands she still has pain, side effects, and fatigue.
Dori is a single mom to her 17 year old son and works as a waitress. Her son wants to get a part time job to help with bills but Dori has ben reluctant to agree, fearing it will keep him from his studies. Dori ‘s cancer has spread and she worries about losing her health insurance because of pre-existing condition. She hasn’t let family of friends know how hard it is to make ends meet because she hates “bothering people” by asking for help.
Give yourself permission to take the time you need to heal.
Ask for what you need.
Don’t rush. You don’t have to immediately be back to full “productiveness.” Your body and your mind have been surviving a shock and trauma. Don’t underestimate the impact it’s had. Don’t over schedule or push yourself.
Try this Affirmation:
I am gentle with myself. I am still healing. I am taking the time I need.