Sun is back in my soul....here's how i did it!

j916
j916 Member Posts: 141
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
long...but bear with me please :)
i finished chemo May 29, a date burned into my brain forever. I didn't expect to jump back into life as it used to be, but i certainly expected it to gradually come back. It didn't. I was withdrawn, the wall that had protected me and acted like a shield so that i could get through what I needed to, had become a wall keeping me from getting back to living. I still wasn't feeling, and I knew i wanted to "get back to me", but when i tried, it was so exhausted, i retreated back behind that wall that had now become a comforting blackness of numbness. (of course, before now, i didnt' know all this was happening, it had just become "my life". Well, i had a friend that was going through tremendous life challenges not at all related to breast cancer, and i invited her over for dinner and i told her we were going to do something for her that would make her feel so much better. Well, after dinner, painting toenails, relaxing...i told her to tell me everything that had been heaped on her plate that was threatening to push her over the edge. Well, within about three minutes, her face was turning red, her breathing was rapid, and she was full fledge in the moment of her pain. At that minute, i came back in the room carrying 20 plates i had bought at the dollar store and some markers. I sat them on the table and told her two at a time we were both going to decorate these plates with something that was on "our plate" that we needed to take off...she was skeptical, but agreed...well, we went through all 12 plates. She said, wow, i DO feel better! I said good, and then handed her a pair of safety goggles. I said, now we're going to break these plates. She looked at me like i was crazy. Now i live in a small apartment, so the only option was my small kitchen, but i wasn't going to let that stop me. I told her i would go first. My first plate had cancer written all over it, and words like pain, hurt, cut up, "it's gone", etc. and I YELLED, "I HATE CANCER! I HATE THAT IT CAME INTO MY LIFE, I HATE THAT IT MAKES ME AFRAID! I HATE THAT IT HURTS! I HATE THAT IT SCARES MY KIDS! I H A T E CANCER!!!" and then THREW the plate HARD to the ground..SMASH!!! we both just stood and looked at the plate...then she took a plate, and yelled what she was feeling about what was on her plate, and just THREW it. The sound was BEAUTIFUL!! we went through ALL 20 plates! at the end we were exhausted, but i could feel the air in my apartment actually felt different...I felt different, everything was lighter, we were laughing, crying, hugging...and ever since then, everything about me, the me inside, has completely changed. I'm happy again, I feel whole again, I am anxious to get up and get my day started again!
Now, all of my plates weren't about cancer, as i decorated my plates a lot of things came out, but evidently they needed to! I am a new person..and you know what? NOW i know that if i am back at that place, i know a way out! I am sitting here at work, smiling! I feel like the me that i was before cancer is here again! Do i still have crap to go through? Sure i do...but my attitude and outlook is completely different.
Ladies....i can't strongly enough suggest plate smashing therapy! Have a plate smashing party! I don't know what made me think of it, possibly the grace of God....but i am forever grateful that it happened!
love and hugs to all of you!
jeanne

Comments

  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member
    I love it!
    What a wonderful idea ... and what a wonderful friend you are to do this for your friend ... and at the same time for yourself.

    I did something similar many years ago. Right now I don't even remember what had me so anxious/worried/depressed ... but at the time I lived north of New Orleans and there's a 24 mile bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. I got in my car ... and decided to drive across the bridge but as I was driving I was screaming at the top of my lungs and totally venting everything that I was upset about. By the time I got to the other side of the bridge I had totally gotten it all out ... and felt so relieved ... I went to the mall.

    Another thing I've done in the past is to write everything down on paper ... then burn it and throw the ashes away.

    But ... I really love the plate idea!!! We just carry around too much stuff in our normal every-day lives ... but having to deal with cancer on top of that ... we just have to let go of some of the STUFF!!!

    hugs.
    teena
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    Congratulations and glad it
    Congratulations and glad it worked for you! I had a school friend that said her Mom had them bounce a ball against a wall when frustrated. Gotta find an outlet somehow. Glad you found yours.
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    tgf said:

    I love it!
    What a wonderful idea ... and what a wonderful friend you are to do this for your friend ... and at the same time for yourself.

    I did something similar many years ago. Right now I don't even remember what had me so anxious/worried/depressed ... but at the time I lived north of New Orleans and there's a 24 mile bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. I got in my car ... and decided to drive across the bridge but as I was driving I was screaming at the top of my lungs and totally venting everything that I was upset about. By the time I got to the other side of the bridge I had totally gotten it all out ... and felt so relieved ... I went to the mall.

    Another thing I've done in the past is to write everything down on paper ... then burn it and throw the ashes away.

    But ... I really love the plate idea!!! We just carry around too much stuff in our normal every-day lives ... but having to deal with cancer on top of that ... we just have to let go of some of the STUFF!!!

    hugs.
    teena

    OH yeah. I like cranking up
    OH yeah. I like cranking up the radio and singing at the top of your lungs. 'Love that old Rock and Roll' works wonderful. I think I got the title right.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Hi Jeanne
    I LOVE what you did, and I love that it brought sun back into your soul. I think most of us here have gone through what you did after therapies ended. I know I did. I just felt hopeless, depressed, and frightened. Life had no energy or joy for me anymore. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. What I think is great about your plate smashing is that you articulated all of the scary, painful, angry thoughts, and their power over you dissapated. It's not like you'll never have them again, but they won't have the same power to dominate you. And you reached out to your friend, too, which I think is so important. I am so happy for you.

    Mimi
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Great idea!!
    I'm not there yet but I will certainly remember this. Who knows, it may be my saving grace down the road. Thanks for sharing.
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Plates! LOL
    Ok Sacramento-Girl...here is where my personality goes...where exactly did you smash these plates, and more importantly, who cleaned up all of the broken pieces?!!! I already know that I would end up in the ER with lacerated fingers and probably severed toes! You think I'm kidding???? LOL

    I posted recently about something benignly similar I did a few weeks ago at a Native American ceremony...I had a gourd rattle which had sadly cracked and the seeds were flying everywhere; I took the rattle to the fire which was burning ceremonially on the beach, and laid it, along with my cares, in the fire.

    Sometimes I wish I could get angry; it sounds positively cathardic! It isn't in my demeanor most of the time; although I THINK I get "righteously indignant" about things! My mantra is Be Stronger Than, Not Angry At, and I personally do better that way. I am afraid that if I did actually think about things which could anger me, there wouldn't be enough plates at BigLots to end the barrage! :-)But the economy would be stimulated.....LOL

    I am really glad that you and your friend had such an important and empowering time together; it sounds just perfect!You definatley put the GRRRRRR in Girl-Power!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • j916
    j916 Member Posts: 141
    chenheart said:

    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Plates! LOL
    Ok Sacramento-Girl...here is where my personality goes...where exactly did you smash these plates, and more importantly, who cleaned up all of the broken pieces?!!! I already know that I would end up in the ER with lacerated fingers and probably severed toes! You think I'm kidding???? LOL

    I posted recently about something benignly similar I did a few weeks ago at a Native American ceremony...I had a gourd rattle which had sadly cracked and the seeds were flying everywhere; I took the rattle to the fire which was burning ceremonially on the beach, and laid it, along with my cares, in the fire.

    Sometimes I wish I could get angry; it sounds positively cathardic! It isn't in my demeanor most of the time; although I THINK I get "righteously indignant" about things! My mantra is Be Stronger Than, Not Angry At, and I personally do better that way. I am afraid that if I did actually think about things which could anger me, there wouldn't be enough plates at BigLots to end the barrage! :-)But the economy would be stimulated.....LOL

    I am really glad that you and your friend had such an important and empowering time together; it sounds just perfect!You definatley put the GRRRRRR in Girl-Power!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥

    GRRRRR
    ok...first of all, i had NO IDEA that i had ANY anger inside of me! i thought i was handling everything with the grace of a queen LOL LOL LOL, and just taking it one step at a time. But, man! when i let out that first guteral yell, and heard that first SMASH! MAN!! OH MAN!!! OH MAAAAAN!!!! things just POURED out of me and onto the floor!!! i did it in my kitchen and aimed at the floor just in front of the corner of the cabinets...we made sure and wore long pants and shoes, and i got safety goggles at the dollar store too.....next time i think i would put down an old sheet or shower curtain, clean up would be easier....but it only took about ten minutes to clean up...and i didn't mind at all!! i saved a chunk of one plate, not sure what i'm going to do with it, but it seems to hold some sort of energy!!!
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    j916 said:

    GRRRRR
    ok...first of all, i had NO IDEA that i had ANY anger inside of me! i thought i was handling everything with the grace of a queen LOL LOL LOL, and just taking it one step at a time. But, man! when i let out that first guteral yell, and heard that first SMASH! MAN!! OH MAN!!! OH MAAAAAN!!!! things just POURED out of me and onto the floor!!! i did it in my kitchen and aimed at the floor just in front of the corner of the cabinets...we made sure and wore long pants and shoes, and i got safety goggles at the dollar store too.....next time i think i would put down an old sheet or shower curtain, clean up would be easier....but it only took about ten minutes to clean up...and i didn't mind at all!! i saved a chunk of one plate, not sure what i'm going to do with it, but it seems to hold some sort of energy!!!

    Thanks for the explanation! :-)
    So hilarious! I think I just might do that~ put an old shower curtain ( or one from the dollar store) outside on the flagstone and smash away! Especially being as you say you didn't even realize you had so much pent-up anger. I am kinda scared to start thinking how much GRRRRRRR I have waiting to be unleashed! hahahahahahaha!!

    Or, I will be in Sacramento for 10 days mid-October~ wanna do it again with a CSN sister??? LOL

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    chenheart said:

    Thanks for the explanation! :-)
    So hilarious! I think I just might do that~ put an old shower curtain ( or one from the dollar store) outside on the flagstone and smash away! Especially being as you say you didn't even realize you had so much pent-up anger. I am kinda scared to start thinking how much GRRRRRRR I have waiting to be unleashed! hahahahahahaha!!

    Or, I will be in Sacramento for 10 days mid-October~ wanna do it again with a CSN sister??? LOL

    Hugs,
    Chen♥

    Happy for you!
    I am glad that you feel better j916! And, that the mess wasn't too bad. lol

    Kylez ♥
  • e_hope
    e_hope Member Posts: 370
    nice idea... i should try
    nice idea... i should try that.. because i know that black hole in your soul you speak of. I am only 4 weeks from my last chemo and still in radiation. I often wonder if my soul will ever heal... There is a huge hole there right now...
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    e_hope said:

    nice idea... i should try
    nice idea... i should try that.. because i know that black hole in your soul you speak of. I am only 4 weeks from my last chemo and still in radiation. I often wonder if my soul will ever heal... There is a huge hole there right now...

    YOUR SOUL WILL HEAL
    Hi e-hope. Your soul WILL heal. Your spirit will fly again and you will again know joy
    and peace. BELIEVE THAT. It only feels like a "black hole" in your soul. But perhaps your spirit is merely overshadowed right now because all your energy is going toward healing your body and doing what you need to do, one day at a time?

    I rather think that it's one way we get through such a tough time as cancer.
    Sort of diverting all our energies into a "maintenance" mode, while we get through the worst of the fears, the pains, the worries and issues. Once treatment ends, we can again focus in other directions and begin to use our energies to heal our battered emotions (and in many ways, they can take more of a beating than our bodies). The most important thing is to find your way out of the fog a cancer journey can leave us in. Never get comfy or resign yourself to just plugging along with the status quo. Take positive, conscious action, because you're worth it and because it matters greatly for your future well being. Smashing plates, punching a pillow or a bag, running a marathon, knitting a sweater for someone, getting lost in Yoga or Tai Chi...whatever works. Whatever helps you to get up close and personal with your inner self is what you must do. Even a combination of things...doesn't matter. I got a huge kick out of hearing about the plate-smashing though and the huge rewards it brought! When we realize all the negative that's in there, only then can we get to work disassembling it, piece by piece and find our balance and our joy.

    Warm hugs as you near the end of your treatments! Chin up, saddle cinched, reins firmly in hand, (and a box of plates at the ready if you need them) and off you go, onto the healing leg of your cancer journey. Keep the faith, because this part of the journey can be even more demanding. Make time for yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself and give away lots of love and you'll find your rainbow...your best self and your best life yet.

    Love, light & laughter,
    Ink
  • Akiss4me
    Akiss4me Member Posts: 2,188
    inkblot said:

    YOUR SOUL WILL HEAL
    Hi e-hope. Your soul WILL heal. Your spirit will fly again and you will again know joy
    and peace. BELIEVE THAT. It only feels like a "black hole" in your soul. But perhaps your spirit is merely overshadowed right now because all your energy is going toward healing your body and doing what you need to do, one day at a time?

    I rather think that it's one way we get through such a tough time as cancer.
    Sort of diverting all our energies into a "maintenance" mode, while we get through the worst of the fears, the pains, the worries and issues. Once treatment ends, we can again focus in other directions and begin to use our energies to heal our battered emotions (and in many ways, they can take more of a beating than our bodies). The most important thing is to find your way out of the fog a cancer journey can leave us in. Never get comfy or resign yourself to just plugging along with the status quo. Take positive, conscious action, because you're worth it and because it matters greatly for your future well being. Smashing plates, punching a pillow or a bag, running a marathon, knitting a sweater for someone, getting lost in Yoga or Tai Chi...whatever works. Whatever helps you to get up close and personal with your inner self is what you must do. Even a combination of things...doesn't matter. I got a huge kick out of hearing about the plate-smashing though and the huge rewards it brought! When we realize all the negative that's in there, only then can we get to work disassembling it, piece by piece and find our balance and our joy.

    Warm hugs as you near the end of your treatments! Chin up, saddle cinched, reins firmly in hand, (and a box of plates at the ready if you need them) and off you go, onto the healing leg of your cancer journey. Keep the faith, because this part of the journey can be even more demanding. Make time for yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself and give away lots of love and you'll find your rainbow...your best self and your best life yet.

    Love, light & laughter,
    Ink

    Wow....
    I just had to comment, Ink, that I always love what you write! You have a great way with words that makes someone not just read what you wrote, but think about what you said! Pammy
  • Akiss4me
    Akiss4me Member Posts: 2,188
    Jeanne.....you go girl!!
    I'm on a search for some cheap plates!! I have got to try this! Maybe take the broken pieces and make something mosaic. Show that there is something good that can come out of a bad thing! Pammy
  • lolad
    lolad Member Posts: 670
    Akiss4me said:

    Jeanne.....you go girl!!
    I'm on a search for some cheap plates!! I have got to try this! Maybe take the broken pieces and make something mosaic. Show that there is something good that can come out of a bad thing! Pammy

    What an awesome
    idea that was. Im going to do that too.

    laura
  • Taina
    Taina Member Posts: 166
    Great idea
    i'm so glad i'm reading this today. I was Dx with BC in June 19, 2009. Since then surgery, just finish chemo on Monday and getting ready to start radiation Oct. 5th. My life is not the same: not working since July 6 but will go back to work today; marriage down the toilet after 5 yrs; support system from family and friends that sticks and i can go on..... my strength i get it from God, my children, my mom and my little brother. I have a husband that we were having problems before bc and he attempted to changed but he will never change him and his emotional abuse. I'm done with him and told him to leave yesterday which he still in the house. I'm going to get my life back and i will get my life back....i'm going to be stronger than i what i was......and i will smell the roses again....i will keep my head up at all this stuff....and a big smile even if tears are going down my face.....your idea of the dishes are great.....my money is short because of medical bills and other stuff...but i know i have some glass cups that i don't use that can do the same work than plates.....you know what i will be doing this weekend.....thanks a lot.....may God Bless you and enjoy your life again......
  • chickad52
    chickad52 Member Posts: 497
    Taina said:

    Great idea
    i'm so glad i'm reading this today. I was Dx with BC in June 19, 2009. Since then surgery, just finish chemo on Monday and getting ready to start radiation Oct. 5th. My life is not the same: not working since July 6 but will go back to work today; marriage down the toilet after 5 yrs; support system from family and friends that sticks and i can go on..... my strength i get it from God, my children, my mom and my little brother. I have a husband that we were having problems before bc and he attempted to changed but he will never change him and his emotional abuse. I'm done with him and told him to leave yesterday which he still in the house. I'm going to get my life back and i will get my life back....i'm going to be stronger than i what i was......and i will smell the roses again....i will keep my head up at all this stuff....and a big smile even if tears are going down my face.....your idea of the dishes are great.....my money is short because of medical bills and other stuff...but i know i have some glass cups that i don't use that can do the same work than plates.....you know what i will be doing this weekend.....thanks a lot.....may God Bless you and enjoy your life again......

    TAINA
    I love your attitude even though you are going through such a difficult time. God, your family and friends who love you, will get you through this! Hugs and prayers , Diane
  • chickad52
    chickad52 Member Posts: 497
    Jeanne
    What a great idea. I'm glad that you and your friend did this together! Hugs and prayers, Diane
  • Taina
    Taina Member Posts: 166
    chickad52 said:

    TAINA
    I love your attitude even though you are going through such a difficult time. God, your family and friends who love you, will get you through this! Hugs and prayers , Diane

    thanks a lot
    i'm a very strongh person, since i can't remember i have asked God to give me the strength to deal with whatever he puts in front of me. Sometimes i didn't understand why i asked him that but now i'm glad i did....he's the now giving me the strength i need to get up every day weather is a good day or not so good....life is good and God loves us....
    Thanks for your support and prayers....i pray for all my sisters and there families....hugs and kisses....