Sometimes we just need to Breathe

   As humans, we aren’t perfect. We fall down, scrape our knee, get back up again just to limp to the next hard time. We constantly struggle. We go thru ruts. We just feel like we live in this constant chaos and that we are drowning in a sea of despair. At least I feel like this.

I feel like this semester has been the hardest one yet. My classes are really cool like Informatics (Social Media and Advanced Web), Theater Makeup and Digital Production, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I spent the entre summer taking care of my sick, cancer ridden Grandparents. My Abuelo was diagnosed with prostate cancer very early. He needed to go through treatment but we knew He was going to survive. What we didn’t expect was the news that came after…

One night, my Grandmother called my mom at around 9:30 pm, which was kind of frightening. We were on the highway on the way home from my night class. I guess my mom has her phone on mute because one second we are driving and the other she’s randomly was on the phone with her mom. Abuela was is horrible pain in her lower abdomen… and it was worse then we ever imaged.

After visiting the doctor a while later, my Abuelita was diagnosed with cancer for the third time, and it wasn’t backing down. Originally it was in her bladder, but this time the cancerous tumors were outside her bladder, in her lymph nodes. That’s the system of the body that gets rid of the toxins. And holy crap, was she in pain.

So imagine: Both your grandparents, happily married for over 50 years, with cancer at the same time. It flipped our world upside down. That summer me and my mother spend almost every day at their house. Making them food, helping Abuela use the bathroom, listening to their sorrow from the pain they were in. It was draining, not only for them, but for us as well.

By the time this semester was about to start, I was suffering from the worst burn out I had ever experienced. I took care of them with love, because I wanted to help. But I never imagined that it would take so much out of me. I remember thinking:

"Classes hasn't even started yet and I already need a vacation."

    Things didn’t get any easier. Because when my grandfather got his certificate of completing treatment, Abuela got worse and began saying her goodbyes… 💔 Now I’m here trying to teach my grandfather how to fry an egg for the very first time.

The other very difficult thing I was struggling with, and still am struggling with, is my mental health. It’s something I have been shamed, ridiculed and laughed at ever since I was a little girl. The huge secret darkness I keep buried deep inside. The fact that I get inexplicably sad, angry or anxious. How one moment I can love someone and the next I hate their guts. My painful shyness to talk to people. Usually not being to handle stress well. The list goes on…

What other’s don’t understand is when you talk down at someone with mental health struggles, that marks them for life. It creates scares in their heart & little words of full of trauma and abuse they use to beat themselves up with later. Also, it destroys one’s ability to trust others.

So going through all of this, on top of other personal problems and situations completely out of my control… I was broken. It was like I was in a car and the tank was on empty, running on fumes, but there wasn’t a gas station in sight. 

After everything, trying to navigate through my classes and do the best I can, work in therapy to cope with my mental health. I just have fallen off of everything. All my healthy habits, all the things that brought me joy. I can go an entire day with barely any food in my stomach. I can’t remember the last time I actually cooked something. I’m killing my plants due to the lack of water, the clutter is building up everywhere…

My point with this blog post isn’t to complain to the internet, it’s just to show that behind these screens are real people with real pain. So let’s all stop being so hard on ourselves. Just take a moment to breathe and take care of ourselves. Stop starving ourselves because “we don’t have time to cook or eat” or “can’t find any healthy food in the fridge.” To stop leaving our rooms a mess if we know that the clutter affects us. To stop sleeping in until noon because we know we always wake up feeling even worse.

Life is hard as it is, so why would we make it even harder?

So if you stumbled upon this blog post and are going thru a hard time, just know that you aren’t alone. That we are all humans just trying to stay afloat and that life is hard but not impossible. 

I’m rooting for ya.
PJ Cage 🖤

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