Lately I feel like every time I catch up with people I haven’t seen in a week or two I have more bad news to share with them. Then yesterday I basically won the award for darkest conversation ever held at a bridal shower when a complete stranger and I talked for 30 mins about BRCA, cancer, and genetics. I also recently connected with a second cousin that I’ve never met, not for fun or for the sake of getting to know her…but to talk with her about this genetic mutation that she may be at risk for as well.
I’ve never been a particularly happy, bubbly, sunshine-y person, but the past 4 months have transformed me into a serious Debbie Downer. I try not to complain and get all woe-is-me about everything, but I’m still probably not very fun to be around these days. My mood has been pretty low, I’m overwhelmed, and I find myself getting resentful way too easily.
The upside, I suppose, is that I haven’t been shutting down or isolating myself which I have a tendency to do during stressful times. And I’ve been making a concerted effort over the past week to be as mindful and present as I can be in my interactions with others, and I was even able to really have some fun this past weekend for the first time in quite a while.
For the past few months the dark cloud of my BRCA status has seemed like that most prominent thing in my life, and I do not want it to stay that way. I don’t know what it will take for this to slip into the background…maybe just time, or maybe good news will eventually outweigh some of this bad, or maybe it won’t. But I know that by making space for my feelings and consciously choosing to engage with life in meaningful and authentic ways I can at least find a little bit more light in these dark days.