I stopped writing publicly because Life got in the way. My cat, my soulmate, died of cancer shortly before my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and thankfully my mother survived. I dropped everything to be with my mother, to help her through her journey - Not because I'm an unselfish, self sacrificing martyr. No. I did it because I knew no one else could, or would, drop their all too important lives to take the time to hold my mother's hand. I did it because I understood the narcissistic characters in my mother's life would not help co-write this chapter of her life, being too busy narrating their own books. I did it because I knew full well that if I allowed others to neglect her, I would never forgive myself.
So. I gave in, and I allowed my mother's health to come before my own. I spent weeks before the procedure deep cleaning the house as I knew she would want. Doing laundry, cooking, chauffeuring her to and from every single appointment. And if I was lucky, if I managed to take care of the needs of my mother, father, sister and niece, I might reward myself with a late night shower and some Netflix, only to do it all over again the following day. She would survive. This we knew. But it would require a piece of me. I would have to give her a giant chunk of me that has yet to regrow like a sad piece of my leftover regenerating liver.
I still can not ascertain whether I lost only a part of me, or all of me in the last few years. I can not fully grasp whether I am anywhere the same person I was...which is impossible I know. But I need this old version of myself, at least a sliver, in order to know that it was all worth it. That me walking through my daily life as a former shell of myself is worth it because there is still ME somewhere in me. That there is a shadow, however faint, that can bring me warmth. I can't continue to think that every time I inebriate myself and sob with the force of absolute mourning, that it comes from me mourning my old self, and by extension my mother's former self. I don't want to believe that I've died. That we died. But some days, it's just impossible to get through the day without feeling that profound negation imbedding itself in my chest confirming that yes, I am not the same person anymore. I have no idea who I am, where I'm going, or who I want to be. And I curse my own over-sensitivity and introspection for throwing me into yet another existential crisis.