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Are You Feeling What You Think You’re Feeling?

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It will be no surprise to you that life for me has been quite different since my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. As her caregiver, it has been a roller coaster ride with highs and lows, losing hope for the future then getting it back, feeling overwhelmed and, well… come to think of it there really is no low for that one; overwhelm seems like a permanent state of being.

But yet the overwhelm feels “right;” at this point it would feel strange to not have the overwhelm. That sounds backward to me, how about you? Let’s look at it a little more carefully.

Overwhelm feels right? Overwhelm is a bad thing, yet it feels right? Maybe it only feels right because I am comfortable with it. We all get comfortable with things in our lives, and it seems easier to live with some things than to change them. That doesn’t make it right, it just seems to save us some hassle.

Absence of overwhelm feels wrong? When overwhelm goes away that should be a good thing, yet it feels wrong? Maybe it only feels wrong because it is new. Like it or not, we are all resistant to change at some level. No matter what it is, change feels a little strange until you get, well, “comfortable” with it. Even something as simple as moving your couch will make the room seem a little “off” for a few days. If you decide you don’t like it in the new position and move it back, even that will seem strange because you got comfortable with the other arrangement even though you didn’t care for it.

Here’s the point: you need to be careful about what feels right to you and what feels wrong. Your emotions can cloud the issue. I think it’s important that we stay objective about our feelings and ask the hard questions: is what feels right to you only right because you’re comfortable with it? Is what feels wrong to you only wrong because it’s something new? We need to get beyond our emotions and figure out what is truly right or wrong for us based on real evidence.

How we feel may not be what it seems.

Dealing with cancer, some other major illness, or life in general?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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