Day 14 of the hostage situation, despite the best efforts of her mind and body to get her to succumb to just wasting away into a depressed, cookie stuffed, pile of a sobbing mush…the prisoner has escaped 3 times. Once to Hobby Lobby, once to church, and once to run errands with her husband. Daily, efforts are made within her heart and mind to break her down, but as of today, she has not yet caved. Although she did purchase a can of Pringles she has absolutely no intentions of sharing with anyone. We consider this a step in our favor…give in, become sad, scared…cave….
People ask me a lot, how I’m doing, and I always only say “I’m doing okay.”
I think for a couple of reasons. One, because I am okay. Two, because there aren’t many people asking that question that really, really want the TRUE answer. Like, if I just unloaded on them everything going through my mind I can almost guarantee they’d just stand there, staring at me, speechless. Because they just want to hear that I’m okay, because it reaffirms that they’re a good person because they remembered to ask the lady with cancer about how she’s doing. And three, I say I’m doing okay but I’m really still trying to decipher how I’m actually doing. Because in case you haven’t noticed yet, it’s kind of a hot mess in my brain sometimes. Like, whoa. Slow your roll, brain.
I think, overall, I am doing okay.
Or at least trying to be okay. Trying to adjust. But every time I look in the mirror, I still don’t really see me. There are pieces of her there, but they’re broken, and don’t fit together like they used to. And this weekend, I have to go out and actually face the world, in my new, broken body. My diagnosis has been no secret, I have had unbelievable amounts of attention and help along the way. But as an introvert, that also terrifies me. Everyone knows. Everyone.
So this weekend, when I step into an area filled with hundreds of people who either know me or by now have heard of me…I’m terrified. I’m stepping into that room a completely different woman. Yet, in some mangled form, the same woman. I will be completely visible to everyone, and completely invisible. I know that I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support I’ve been shown, but I don’t know how to step into the room like I’m the person I was the last time they saw me. Because I’m not. Physically or mentally.
I worry that they’ll stare, that I’ll have a wardrobe malfunction and my drains will pop out where people can see them. In a three hour long surgery, I have now become the exact same insecure girl I was 25 years ago. Terrified that people will look at me. Terrified to be seen. Terrified at what they’ll say about me. In some twisted slap in the face, after decades of fixing and mending that girls heart and bringing her into the light…happy, whole…I am right back where I used to be. Terrified. Ashamed. Disgusted. And I’m afraid everyone will see that, because I always wear my inside feelings on the outside. I am not that woman they knew, she’s gone, forever. Gone from them, and from me.
I am okay, because nothing is wrong with me.
I am in transition. I am no longer what I once was, but not yet what I am going to be. Growth, change, the unknown – it’s scary. But as someone I love has recently reminded me, I am simply becoming a butterfly. Everything I once was, is all being used and changed to help me become what I will be – what I was meant to be from the very start of it all. But I had to go through this entire process to get there.
It’s day 14 of the hostage situation, current status of the prisoner –
God’s building her wings, so one day she can fly…
Darian Wilk is a published author and freelance writer specializing in women’s fiction. In her words, ” I’m a wife, a mom, and simply taking life as it comes with God by my side… “