Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting Through Hell, Revisited

Surviving Chemo #4. More of my videos here.

I was just looking over an old blog post written during the crisis of an impending divorce, titled How to Get Through Hell. In it, I wrote a list of five tips for weathering a crisis. Rereading, I would venture that these five things do indeed apply to more than one kind of crisis. It boils down to the one skill I keep harping on here: asking for help.

People keep telling me how I strong I am but I'm afraid I'm not showing the whole picture. I am not doing this, not any of it, alone. Much of my illusion of endurance comes from daily meltdowns along the way.

There's more than one kind of strength. There's the strength to swim through a lonely and stormy ocean. And there's the strength to flail your arms and shamelessly shout for help at the top of your lungs. The point is to get out of the water and survive. There's no wrong way to do that.

Let's face it, there are very few crises that we must endure alone. It makes little sense to quietly drown out of reticence to bother the lifeguard, or to slog on in solitude through any rough patch when help is within earshot.

Of course it's nice to be a strong swimmer. But asking for help is strength too. Both forms of strength are good to have. So flail your arms and shout. Throw yourself onto your bed and cry. Whatever it takes. And then, when you're done, take the next step along the path out of hell.


Shannon said...

Oh Amy, I hear you. What IS that first step out of hell? For you... an example? I don't know...

I have to say that I love the vlogs. I watched you & your dad. The whole dialogue made me smile and think about the things I need to say to my dad. Soon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share so much. What a generous spirit. As I watched I wondered if you were considering, once in a better place health wise with all treatment behind you, to do full feature documentary. It's raw and it's needed. Hoping today is a better day and congratulations for getting through the last of the "bad" chemo.

Megan said...

The title of your future book about your life should be, "How to Get Through Hell." As a blog newcomer, I had no idea of what you had been through until I followed the link above. Your story is riveting, and the image that keeps coming to mind is when you were in impending divorce hell and wrote about the green sprout of new life coming up through the mess.

Amy said...

To answer your question, Shannon, the first step usually presents itself AFTER the meltdown, and it's usually something gentle and mundane. Like brushing your teeth. Whatever the next thing is that needs to happen to take care of yourself and move through the day.