April 1, 2022
I announced at our last meeting that I am stepping back from facilitating our group in June. It is time for me to take the lessons I learned from this group and apply them more broadly in my life. Part of that means shifting my focus and energy, moving out of this phase of limbo.
Limbo was brought up in our last meeting. We all have experienced this at some point in our lives, and cancer can exacerbate the intensity of limbo. The feelings of limbo between appointments can seem vast and overwhelming. We can linger in limbo as we wait for lab results or to hear back from our doctors. There is a listlessness that comes with this feeling. I certainly felt that limbo before I started facilitating our group.
Here’s a bit of writing from that time: “What the hell man? I had so much hope for humanity. I thought we would be further along than this. Such dreams and aspirations. I am utterly disgusted. Like a strain of bacterium in a cesspool of waste, bloated wanting. A vacuole, filled with cellular waste. An appendix, inflamed and ready to burst. I am ready for cosmic bliss; ready for my particles to ascend into the void. Emptiness and nothingness. No attachments and no expectations. Sometimes, I drive fast; faster, faster than I probably should. I like to feel the possibility of losing control. I have these thoughts. “oh, I might be dead then.” It makes it hard to plan. I feel like all my parts are everywhere. Like I am not completely in my body and my head has gone on vacation. All that’s left is a bleeding heart and legs ready for running.”
Those were intense feelings and intense times. I felt heavy with grief and did not know what to do with it. The writing was helping me process, but I still felt lost.
I stepped into this role because I needed this group. After Athena passed, I felt a calling to facilitate the group because it is an important coping tool for all of us. Stepping into this role gave me a much-needed purpose and direction. It became a way for me to explore mental health resources and gave me space to cultivate personal growth.
In turn, I shared this healing journey in our group, using my personal experience as a framework for our monthly topics within the context of our shared experiences with cancer. Because of our time together I found healing and a renewed sense of direction. This phase of limbo was needed in a way. It yielded a quality of time that forced me to process the trauma of cancer and caused me to make thoughtful changes on my own terms. The wisdom of this group has guided me back to myself. The practice of writing and peer-t0-peer support is fundamental to how I process feelings of limbo.
We will continue to write together this spring with meetings in May and June, and I will be around as the group blossoms into its new form.
And we are working to develop new ideas and direction; and by “we” I mean Karen and the wonderful staff of BGHP, who have kindly stepped up to help this transition. We will be announcing a new opportunity to write soon! We are solidifying the details, so keep an eye on your email for these announcements.
Prompt 1: Describe and define what limbo means to you. How do you experience it? Where do you feel it? How does it impact your life?
Prompt 2: When else have you experienced limbo? Who or what propelled you?