Greetings, witches! Slight trigger warning here: discussion of mortality, of illness, of surgery and some depressing sh*t. Maybe skip this one if you’re not feeling it today. Blessings!
As many of you will know, because I’ve mentioned it quite a lot, I had a surgery 2 weeks ago today. My surgery was classed as ‘elective’, but I wouldn’t really consider it that. It wasn’t cosmetic. I was in a lot of pain and discomfort, and for the past year or so, my life was severely impacted. I have uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumours which grow inside, outside and/or within the walls of the uterus. My fibroids were both of the outside and in-the-wall varieties. The three outside were different sizes, but the largest was 12cm x 11cm x 8cm, which is, well, huge. About the size of an 27-week pregnancy. When they took them out, they weighed 850g. So that’s a lot of heavy tumour to be carrying around. Like a head of cauliflower.
Anyway, the reason I wanted to write about this isn’t because of the fibroids or surgery specifically; it’s the spiritual sh*t that started to happen to me shortly after these succubus demons were diagnosed.
The first thing that happened was that, when the tumours were originally detected, I had a fairly untactful GP (not my regular doctor) who basically convinced me with her arm patting and sighing and gentle, sad words that I had The Big C. I walked out of her office and fell into floods of hysterical tears in the carpark, where poor Jessie panicked, too, because, well, wouldn’t you? I went home and got straight into bed, and I didn’t get out for about 2 weeks. Things that were going through my head at that time included my family, my friends, my partner… but the biggest shock to my system was this: I wasn’t done yet.
I suddenly felt like I’d been living in a haze of career-oriented panic, always trying to make money to buy a house, to keep the car, to buy things, get a PhD, achieve this and that. Total rat-race sh*t. I have an amazing partner, so I obviously don’t mean any of this about her – but all of a sudden, the rest of my life seemed like I had been wasting it.
As everyone does when they have a big health scare, I started planning for my inevitable demise. I planned my own funeral. I wrote a mental list of all the sh*t I needed to do, and then all the sh*t I wanted to do. I tried to figure out if we had enough money for me to spend my final months in Los Angeles, because that’s my favourite place in the world. If I was going out at 32, I was going out next to a pool with a fridge full of Wholefoods and eating amazing Mexican food like every single day. I was going out warm and freckled.
I thought about my PhD – no point putting my last surges of energy into that, so that would have to go. Shame, because I wanted to die Dr. One Boss Witch, but never mind. It didn’t seem to matter so much anymore.
I wondered if I should go back home to Australia so my family didn’t have to come to the UK. I wondered if I’d ever see my Australian friends again. I wondered if I’d ever work on another film, or write another script again.
After a couple of weeks later, my blood test results came back, and it wasn’t The Big C. Yeah, I felt a huge rush of relief. I wanted to cry. Thank f*ck for that, because all of that planning for The End had seemed like a lot of work. I was in pain, I was uncomfortable, I was depressed as f*ck, but at least I wasn’t dying yet. I had more time.
Now is probably the time to mention my intense, all-encompassing fear of literally anything medical. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve feared the doctor. I’ve had nightmares about needles. Couldn’t watch a blood test on a TV show. Absolutely. F*cking. Terrified. My phobia of needles was diagnosed in my early twenties by a psychiatrist, who acknowledged that the physical symptoms I get (sweating palms, elevated heart rate, fainting, vomiting etc.) were, indeed, a real phobia. And it was never about pain – it was about something foreign piercing my skin and entering my flesh. Even worse – entering my veins. It was ice-cold paralysing.
So when it turned out that, not only would I have to see (DOOM DOOM DOOM) a gynaecological surgeon, I would also have to have multiple blood tests and, eventually, an actual, real-life SURGERY, I went into another spiral. When they talk about facing your fears, like flood therapy, it seems scary, yes. But when you realise that you actually, literally have zero choice about it, unless you want to live forever with an alien squashing your womb, and thereby limited your chances of becoming a mother, it is … well, ‘confronting’ seems too gentle a word. It was, as the Christians might say, a ‘Come to Jesus Moment’. Except I didn’t go to Jesus. I turned back to my old faith – the faith that was sitting inside me always, peeking out and practised quietly. I turned back to Witchcraft.
It started with meditation. My anxiety was so high that I had to go back onto meds for the first time in over three years. My GP (rather patronisingly) kept asking if I had ‘tried mindfulness’. Yes, Dr. Dude, I have tried mindfulness, but my entire life is falling apart. But the meditation felt good. So I started looking into more aromatherapy options for my anxiety, for my headaches, for my physical ailments. It all came flooding back to me.
One day, in the depths of despair and feeling like death warmed up, I got up early in the morning. I was doing the Deepak Chopra 21 Day Manifestation Challenge. I played the meditation, did the task, and, when I opened my eyes, I suddenly realised. I realised I needed my faith. I needed my spirituality. I needed to embrace that part of me that had been dormant for too long. And I began to let it out. I wore my Witch badge loud and proud, and One Boss Witch was born.
I don’t want to get too deep into all of this right now, because this is a fairly long post as it is. I’ll get to the surgery stuff and recovery bullsh*t next week. But if there’s one takeaway from part 1 of this blog duo, it’s this:
Life is short. Life is full of twists and turns. Life can turn you upside down and shake you until your pockets are empty and you hurl your guts up. So don’t hide the parts of you that make you YOU. Let them out.
My life is becoming richer. I am less afraid of my own mortality and my own body malfunctions. I had a f*cking major surgery, everyone, and I lived to tell the tale. I had more needles than I can tell you, and even scarier sh*t than that. More on that next time. For now, thank you for bearing with me. Thank you for joining me here on this blog, on Instagram, and in this lovely metaphysical community.
Blessings to you,