About a year and a half I opened up about something that I rarely had talked to anyone about before: dealing with survivor’s guilt and anxiety. It was a really hard post for me to write, but it was therapeutic as well. I finally felt like I was in a place in life where I could openly admit that I was dealing with those things and that there was no need to be ashamed of them.
Last March, I opened up again and talked about how cancer complicates my birthday. For the last nine years, I have had a really hard time wanting to celebrate my birthday because the survivor’s guilt was so heavy. I would find myself in a deep depression during the month of March and last year was specifically really hard because Maddie would have been turning 18. It was one of the roughest months of my life post-cancer and mentally, I wasn’t in a safe place.
I had hit my breaking point and during a tear-filled evening in the arms of my husband, I told him I needed help. I needed to get my anxiety, my PTSD, my depression, and my survivor’s guilt under control because I was drowning. I couldn’t keep my head above the water anymore and I was terrified. So, I embarked on a new journey to learn coping techniques and strategies so I could carry the weight of it all a bit easier.
Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional and do not claim that THIS is the only way to deal with survivor’s guilt. I am sharing my own experiences and what helps me. Please seek a professional opinion if you need help dealing with survivor’s guilt or PTSD (because that is what I did!)