I Feel Alone, I Am Not Alone
It’s predawn and dark. I am walking down my street. I hear owls and crickets. I see headlights in the distance. I feel the cool, early autumn breeze on my face. I am alone with my thoughts and feelings. So much is going on inside my head: work, family, the house, the future, and skin cancer.
They don't understand skin cancer
I don’t feel like I have anyone to talk to. Sure, I have friends and family, but when it comes to skin cancer, no one understands.
No one understands the daily grind of self-examinations. No one understands the concern about that crusty spot on my scalp or that odd-looking mole on my leg. No one understands my almost hyper-vigilance in wearing sunscreen and protective clothing. No one understands why I don’t want to be out basking in the sun at noon. I feel alone.
No one near me has it
I don’t anyone around me who has had skin cancer. I don’t know anyone around me who really ever gives sun protection and good skin care practices more than a momentary thought. I don’t know anyone around me who wants to hear about my struggles or my journey. I don’t know anyone around me who considers sun protection in daily planning.I don’t know anyone around me who makes vacation choices based on skin cancer concerns. I feel alone.
- I feel like an odd ball, the square peg.
- I feel like the weird, middle-aged (older) man on the block.
- I feel like the death of the party.
- I feel like a regretful, resentful, bitter person for past choices, mine and others.
- I feel angry that others don’t seem to “get it.”
I feel alone.
What do I do with this? Do I clam up? Do I fold up like a cheap suitcase? Do I fall apart like a cheap suit?
This is my calling
No, after all everyone has their burdens. Everyone is facing something. Everyone has their “stuff.”
Why do I encourage others when I feel alone and empty? I do it because it feels like “my calling” in life. I do it because I can carry this burden. I do it because I can help others who feel alone.
Being alone doesn’t need to lead to isolation and desolation. Being alone doesn’t need to feel like darkness and crickets. I don’t have to accept the feeling alone.
- I can find my support network.
- I can find my “team.”
- I can find others who have walked in my shoes and then danced in them.
- I am not alone.
Finding support online
I may have to do some searching, but I can find support online. I can connect with folks using my phone or laptop.
I can find a local support group by searching “local skin cancer support groups” on my computer. I can engage others in meaningful conversation about my concerns and hurts, especially if I come from a positive position and shut down my “pity party.”
I don’t need to FEEL alone. I don’t have to BE alone.
It’s morning and light. I am strolling down my street. I hear blue jays and doves. I see the sun rise in the distance. I feel the cool, autumn breeze on my face.
I am alone with my thoughts and feelings, yet, I am NOT alone.
How often do you go for a skin check?