Réka, 38, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 

-In the shadow of death, I learn to really live- 
I usually manage to look at the bright side. But evidently, there is a dark side too.

My key fell in the well.

I desperately hope that it’s still to be found somewhere on the bottom. I’m searching, hoping to find it but I know with my other half that is not there. “Hope,” this time, is just the leftover of a habit. Not this time. All the other times I won the search, only my pessimistic part was preparing for the worst. This time my optimism is left alone and told that it is too late to stay part of this game; too late to learn, too late to change, too late to adjust. The “old” rules won’t apply anymore. It is not the “old” rules I have to look at. This mindset that there is always a way to fix things is the leftover of the “habit” that many of us try to believe in, at least I did. Change is always helping; there is always a fix, an “I have control” (partly it was always an illusion, but I tried to believe in it). Not this time, anymore. It’s five past twelve. Or maybe even later. Or only three minutes past? Only the uncertainty is sure. I have to learn living with the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer and make the best of the time there is left. I usually manage to look at the bright side, but evidently there is a dark side too. 

 

The rules of my game have changed. I am given a new challenge; this key is slipping through the drain in front of my eyes: live with this fact and make the best of the time, until the water is gone. Alice in the rabbit hole (always hated, Alice In Wonderland— I’m sorry!).

 

There is another key, a “new” key, leading to another place, behind the drain. No-one knows anything certain about that place, so I guess I better make the best of it here and now in this shallowing water and not rush to find out where the drain, this new key leads. It will present its door when it’s time. Until then I’m trying to be to (too) afraid; not to focus on unanswerable questions (too) much. I love this world (despite climate change, Trump, other violent, narcissistic politicians, unequal pay or rights…anything seems better now than “game-over”). I love to be here. I want to stay. Don’t push me away. (Probably useless cry-outs). 

 

Just paint those walls pink and yellow, take walks in the sun, try to sleep when its dark. At the end we are all alone. I’m not feeling lonely (the biggest luxury in my life and I know it is a true luxury), but I am alone in this. I am the only one who can walk my path, my way. I probably (I say probably, because “hope,” is a stubborn creature) have to pass through that drain sooner than I ever hoped. Alone. Leaving all you lovely people to play on. I am annoyed, angry, sad and afraid. Hopefully there is another nice game waiting for me too. I hope there will also be something similar to sunshine, plants, the feeling of love, the warmth of belonging and togetherness. Hugs...
Now, I just try not to be afraid, because I am still here, alive. I am.

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