2018 has brought about more changes in my life than I was ever really ready for. When I’m overwhelmed by the change, I’m reminded that finding gratitude through the ordinary day to day has truly been my saving grace in moments of heartbreak. That even through heartbreak, you can still experience strength.
When I think about my latest heartbreak, it’s unlike any other I’ve experienced. One I’m still trying to process and understand. I haven’t shared anything about this on my blog because I like to keep things positive and for it to be a place that uplifts others. But I find that through our struggles, we can also relate and connect to each other. Most of the time, social media just paints the highlights and no one would ever know what’s happening behind the scenes. Now that time has passed, and things are more stable, I feel inclined to let you all know where my headspace has been over the last six months.
This past Valentines Day, I found out my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was probably one of the darkest days of my life. Like a living nightmare that made me feel so helpless and terrified. We didn’t know what stage it was, or much else about it other than it was definitely malignant.
I thought I had experienced heartbreak before, but this newfound form shook me like nothing else. I was filled with guilt for being in LA and pursuing my dream while my mom was on this battle. If I had a fun day, I felt guilty. If I spent the day focusing on work, I felt guilty. I couldn’t talk to my sister about it because she was abroad and they were waiting to tell her, and everyone else was back home. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so isolated and alone in my life. I was trying to get back to normal, but I just felt completely off. The smallest things would infuriate me, no matter how hard I tried to keep things normal. I felt disconnected from pretty much everything. I was going through the motions.
In the coming weeks we found out my mom had Stage 1 breast cancer. The best kind. We were the lucky ones. She underwent two surgeries, treatment and radiation. I missed all of it, and I don’t think I will ever get past that.
I’ve experienced an abundance of emotions this year: denial, guilt, and shame have been some of the more negative, but the one thing that has gotten me through all of those feelings and bad days is gratitude. When life gets real, it puts everything into perspective and forces us to take a step back and really focus on what truly matters. I’m learning that I can be grateful even in the middle of a really hard day.
As weak as heartbreak makes us feel, its liberating when we come out on the other side- stronger & able to take on anything. No matter what form of heartbreak you’re going through, take it as a challenge and know that this life will test us but it’s up to decide how we want to handle those obstacles. I’ve learned that letting yourself experience moments of sadness does not mean you’re a weak person. For me over the past few months, that has meant allowing myself to experience some pretty low days but also continuing to always look at the positive. My mom is cancer-free now. She is so lucky. We are so lucky, and there is so much to be grateful for. We’re not back to normal, and there’s always that “fear” of the cancer coming back, or the frustrations of different medications making her sick, but she’s a warrior and is dealing with these changes like a pro.
If you’re experiencing a season of change, heartbreak or disappointment, I hope you know that you’re not alone and that there are people that want to walk along side you. You’re allowed to feel sad and strong at the same time. You’re allowed to find the positive in the worst days. Let yourself feel what you need to feel, and be around people who will lift your spirits and bring out the best in you. Then turn towards the things you love. The things that bring out life in you. The things that give you purpose and meaning.
Heartbreak leads to new beginnings. I’m still dealing with the heartbreak of my mom’s diagnosis. Learning that she’s cancer-free for some reason didn’t take the sting away. I feel like once you hear that news, the heartache is supposed to magically go away, but for some reason, part of it still has lingered. I guess, more than anything, it’s taught me to grasp onto a new perspective of life. When I get caught up in the things that just simply don’t matter- it brings me back to what does. That life is about people, love, connection & finding purpose + meaning. When my mind gets cluttered with other things, I have to remind myself of this.
Thanks for reading xx