I had a mini-meltdown a couple of months ago. I was so angry and frustrated that I was ready to give up on all the political activism/advocacy I’ve been doing the past 2 and half years. The evening before I’d explained for the millionth time (or so it seemed) what kind of help I needed in content creation and dissemination, and it just fell on deaf ears. I know this, because I am STILL struggling this evening.
I angry-drove on back country roads in the very early morning hours, fuming and fussing to myself. I realized how much it was like life in CancerLand. One of the reasons I’m not as active here on this blog, on my FB page or @curmudgoe Twitter account is that I look at the conversations there and just think: “been there, done that”. I don’t have the energy to explain, for the millionth time, why warrior metaphors are harmful, that slapping pink on everything doesn’t cure breast cancer, that blaming victims flat out sucks. I just have a hard time getting angry that Facebook/Instagram once again censored a mastectomy patient’s image—didn’t Scorchy Barrington handle that back in 2013 or 14?
I took a few breaths and reminded myself of something I wrote a few years ago. It is up to us. I once was very motivated to keep explaining the shittiness of cancer, of letting the more recently diagnosed know that no, it isn’t all pink ribbons and beers for boobies parties. That it’s OK to hate it, because so many others of us who’ve gone before hate it too. Don’t have anything nice to say? Good, come sit with us (to paraphrase Dorothy Parker).
This isn’t a job exactly, this cancer advocacy, nor is my political volunteering. The newly diagnosed will come to realize some truly crappy insights, and it is my choice to support and help them expand. Their people around them might not be helpful, and I—along with other long-time bloggers—have a few tools to help with that. Same with my other activities. I must stand firm, and explain, for the millionth time, maybe in a different way, what they need to hear, so I can get what I need, so that change can actually happen. I still believe in that, as jaded and cynical as I am.
Now, if THAT isn’t a helluva cancer lesson, ha ha.
7 thoughts on “For the Millionth Time”
After blogging about this crap for ten years, it’s even more impossible to muster the energy to repeat myself. Plus, I’ve got other things to worry about. But people do keep getting it, which is good. And they take up where I left off. Which was really the point all along. One of them, at any rate. ❤
Good advice Kathi. I do miss blogging here tho’. I wonder sometimes if my desire to return to blogging in this realm is about control–it was one thing or area where I have some experience, and is “easier” for lack of a better word–just me and my blog, no need for a committee. I’m in new experiences now and clearly struggling with them. Sigh.
This might be my favorite blog post title of yours yet. I mean, yeah, how many times do we have to keep saying some of this stuff? Regarding cancer AND politics. You raise an interesting point in your reply to Kathi – is blogging about some sense of control? Hadn’t really thought about it like that. Gotta admit, sometimes I ask myself why the heck am I still writing about some of this stuff for what feels like the millionth time? And same deal with politics. For example, isn’t this the millionth time we’ve had the same conversation about guns and the need to DO something about gun violence in this country? Drives me crazy – the lack of action. It’s insanity. Anyway, always good to read a new post from you. Btw, does this mean we can expect more new posts? (Hoping, yes.)
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It’s so funny you say that–because the phrase, which applies so well to cancer issues–was one I kept turning over in my head after a frustrating encounter about something else.
The control thing–yes. My state of mind on that is at least when I was “just” blogging about cancer stuff here in this community, I had a general grasp on things, most issues, and I was only speaking on behalf of myself. Lately I’ve fractured a little bit–crafting social media on behalf of non-partisan groups and centrists when I myself am NOT that. Paired with the fact there are SO many issues requiring attention I am constantly overwhelmed. I’m trying to put in place techniques to help myself and…it’s difficult.
Yes hopefully I can do more blog posts–I need an area of control……arrrgghhh
Thanks for commenting–xoxoxo
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I totally agree with you…IT IS UP TO US!!! To educate and inform. Thanks for a great article which inspires
LOL not sure I can be called an inspiration–I guess I am still just trying to convince myself.