I was leaving the Gilda’s Club orientation and I was cranky, annoyed and feeling unfit. I went to get some sense about taking care of the man I love who has cancer. But I left feeling like an unfit caregiver. Kind of like an unfit mother. I’m supposed to be able to do this. But I feel selfish and mean and I did not like the good cancer support people. I further resent that in my not liking of them I will, of course, be categorized by them as grieving. “Oh yes you’re angry but that’s OK anger is a stage of grieving.” I wanted to ask, “Is hurting you also one of the stages of grieving?” It’s the cancer Catch 22..any criticism gets reduced to a symptom. It’s kind of like cancer actually. Someone is a total prick about what they eat or like or feel like and it’s all symptom-otology.
As I was leaving Gilda’s I thought this will not work for me. I want a place where I can let it rip, where I can really be myself, where I can talk about cancer And caregiving but also about my work and my own health and my relationship and sex and All Of It. I want to be able to swear and I want to hear the full mix of other people’s stories and lives too. And then I realized that what I had just wished for was AA. I already had a 20 year membership in the best, most flexible and most comprehensive support group out there. I’m a member of AA and I have a place to go where I can talk about him and me and them and it. I can have all my feelings and I can be a part of other’s stories as well. I have it all. I have it in AA.