This morning I was working on a chapter of the book that I’ve been finding particularly difficult and time consuming. I was finally making some headway and stopped to make lunch and suddenly found myself sitting on the couch crying. But why?
I’ve been writing about how women with breast cancer typically don’t show anger, have little choice but to comply with painful, barbaric treatments and diagnostic methods, are surrounded by enough pink ribbons, pink scarves, pink pins and teddy bears to make an eight year old sick, and seem to be in a culture where they must make every effort to remain positive to the point where they apologise when they stray from that. I guess I realised that lately I’ve been struggling with the thought of what I’m trying to do with the book and how very sensitive and contentious so much of what I’m writing about really is. I mean, I’m writing about body image, being fat, feminism and spirituality all in the one book. And I seem to have taken on a huge amount of pressure (from myself) about getting it right, not repeating anyone else, and not offending people. The fact is though, I can’t possibly read everything that’s out there and I currently feel incredibly swamped trying to do that. And I can’t possibly please everyone and get it right for everyone either. These are the exact same things I was trying to articulate in the chapter I was working on. I don’t feel at all supported by my family (except CJ and Mum) in what I’m trying to do. And that’s not their fault (or problem) because I’m still holding back on how passionate I truly am about spirituality and feminism. If I don’t talk about it, how can they know? And if I did, what could they offer me?
This is pandemic, this holding back on how we truly feel. Why am I more afraid to speak it than write it down?
I think today I just feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do, how many women in the world are suffering, and how little I am doing to help. It reduces me to tears. For that reason, and many more, I know that it is one of my Divine purposes – to do what I can to help – but today oh how truly inadequate and ill-equipped I feel for such a job. And it’s days like today that I don’t want it. I’m struggling with the enormity of how much need there is and yet so much opposition. Just writing a book is task enough, but feeling the amount of responsibility that I do for what I’m trying to do with it feels too hard today. Time to walk away from the laptop, time to rest, time to shed tears for those who could only wish for these sorts of troubles. I will indulge in my crying, as much as I the privileged ‘should’ feel happy and positive, today, I cry.