You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once,
cold turkey style, or incrementally?
For me, changes have never been subtle in my life. They’ve arrived cold turkey style and left me scrambling to start swimming in order to not drown under the tsunami of change. Many of the changes took me a long time to come to terms with as some of them were life altering as many changes can be. Take for instance being diagnosed with an illness such as cancer ~ or being told of the death of a loved one. Those changes are life altering in and of themselves and they are changes which do not allow for a u-turn in the road of life. You just have to keep swimming with the tide afterwards.
So I have turned to the cold turkey style of change as my comfort zone in life even though it may take me baby steps in time to allow for the adjustment that the change brings so in that case, I guess my answer is both incrementally and cold turkey! The change itself, is cold turkey style, but the adjustment which occurs after it, is incremental. Does that make sense?
For example, when I had my double mastectomy due to breast cancer, even though I was reconstructed in the OR so that I wouldn’t awaken without some type of mound on my chest, the change was most definitely cold turkey style. There is nothing like falling asleep with my own soft breasts only to awaken with hard, unmoving and cold lumps called tissue expanders under the skin where previously there was warmth. It took me a long time to be able to change my thoughts, my feelings about myself and find a new normal in accepting my new body, life and scars. And I won’t say it is easy because it’s not, but I will say it is do-able and this gal who I am now, has a much richer life than before she was diagnosed in 2001.
Even when I was losing my hair due to the ACT chemotherapy that I was taking, I opted to cut off my own hair cold turkey and then incrementally go bald! Once my hair began coming out in clumps in the shower which is an emotional roller coaster ride even though I knew it was going to happen, I decided to take control over my life and in turn, over the breast cancer that riddled my body. With a bottle of champagne in one hand and my hair festooned with pink ribbon pony tails, my husband and I celebrated my taking control over my cancer. Celebratory swigs bonded us as I carefully cut off the pony tails to my scalp, holding the clumps of hair by the pink ribbons. I remember with the first cut that I couldn’t’ stop giggling because what woman in her right mind takes a pair of scissors to her head and chops off a clump of her hair? I mean really? But I did it and it was freeing! Oh so freeing!
I took off about 10 pony tails (which I still have 2 of my original hair) and looked into the mirror. All was fun and joyous until I realized that I had big clumps of missing hair on my head. My gentle and sweet husband to whom I am still so grateful to be married, kissed and held me and then proceeded to cut my hair into a really short pixie style a la Mia Farrow. (Thank goodness he wasn’t drinking as much champagne as I was that day!)
When he was finished, we looked into the bathroom mirror together and he held me ~ cradling me with his love ~ and he told me that ‘this too shall pass’ for which I believed him.
The next morning, my pillow looked as if a cat had slept on it as it was covered with my pixie short hairs which broke my heart. So that night, my husband buzzed my head so that I wouldn’t have to awaken with the sadness of looking at my pillow and it was better for me. Done ~ cold turkey ~ and I felt as though I could move on with my wig, my scarves and my hats.
I have walked through hell and have kept walking for which I am so grateful and I believe that’s why I write my blog ~ because I want to inspire and be inspired by all of you. For you see, change is inevitable in our lives, so we have to keep evolving, keep flowing with our lives and keep taking baby steps forward. We can change our course of direction at any time, but we can’t go backwards. We can only stand still when we need to rest and then begin again.
What makes the changes easier is when we allow ourselves to connect with others on this lifetime journey. Taking hold of a hand which is offered to you eases the transition of change. It’s in those moments when we realize that we are all connected here and that change can be beautiful. Keep smiling!