As a student of Psychology, I have always been drawn towards the experiences and expressions of coping and adjustment in chronic illnesses. With all my research, I was well aware of the complex and nuanced nature of coping.
As I worked with others dealing with chronic illness, I saw that each story had an element of understanding how “this is unavoidable”, which gave them strength. To me, the constant and ever-changing process of adaptation which people made in the face of illness was unique. I thought these people were different – they were brave. They were different because they were able to fight that uncertainty, unpredictability, helplessness and hopelessness that was brought on by the “unavoidable-ness” of the situation, and yet, somehow, be.
This was my thought – they were all wired differently! It was anyway, until I came face to face with the big C myself. My sister got diagnosed.
I could try to describe what it feels like to have a loved one be diagnosed with cancer but I won’t.
Because words cannot contain the conflict, pain or sheer numbness of seeing someone dear to you lie helpless as chemo makes them too tired to even sleep or close their eyes. Anger, frustration, irritation, questioning – everything is insignificant.
Suddenly, we were different too. We too had to cope, be brave.
And this is one thing I do want to share – the courage, bravery and grit that I saw. It’s not as much a choice as the only way around. Because just as there is no answer to why someone gets cancer or multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, there is no alternate pathway than to pick up the pieces and move on.
At the end we HAVE to cope, we HAVE to fight, we HAVE to adapt. Because –
Life is not about hopes and dreams
It is not about the tomorrows or the days to come
Life is all about struggling and fighting
Struggling to feel when you are numb and lost
Struggling to float when everything drags you down
Fighting to believe, to stick to it when you see it slipping away
Life is about fighting for hope even if it’s the last shred
Life is about struggling to cope and to adapt as the ground beneath your feet shifts and moves
It is about trying to stand still on quicksand
Life is about nothing but persevering and holding up
Because life is about not drowning, no matter what it takes.
Hum guzar toh nahin jaate par har roz hum marte zaroor hai.