faultinourstars

 

I bought a copy of The Fault in Our Stars the night before I found out BJ has cancer.

Seriously. The night before I found out, I made a Walmart trip. (OMG WALMART. Cheap. SO cheap. Big. SO big. It had been a decade since I’d been to Walmart.) And I wanted to pick up a book because I had a feeling I would read the two I brought with me quickly so I wanted a back up. Well this book had been all over the place so I thought HEY, I’ll give this a read. I’ll do the legit thing and read the book before I see the movie.

So I bought it. And the next day I got The News.

It’s either the best or the worst timing ever.

And if nothing else, it’s just plain ironic.

So now I’m not sure if I should read it.

Like, maybe now might not be good time.

But part of me is also thinking that maybe, JUST maybe, it would.

Like, if I read it, it would be some sort of emotional laxative where I could just have one big cry and get SO MUCH emotion out of me.

So what do you think? Should I read it?

Please note that 1. I like to cry and 2. I’m feeling a little pent up right now.

But also 3. My husband has cancer.

 

 

 
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  • Ana - June 25, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    If you do read, please do so with caution!! I obsessively read the endings of books first, so that I can avoid any and all sad books–I just can’t handle them. I’ll be staying as far away as possible from this book and movie, but I’m a wimp, so do what’s best for you! Big hugs and prayers for what you guys are going through!ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 26, 2014 - 3:03 pm

      Thank you, Ana. I think I MIGHT actually give it a read- after a few “maybe it was meant to be” comments from when I posted on Facebook. We shall see!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah S - July 12, 2014 - 5:35 am

    It’s really, really heavy, but I loved it. You will cry huge ugly buckets of tears. John Green is a great writer. Sending you and BJ love and good vibes!ReplyCancel

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FOMO.

It’s the Fear Of Missing Out.

Also known as the FOMS,

The Fear Of Missing Something.

And I got it bad.

One night I stayed in my hotel room while others went out.

The reasons to stay in abounded; tired, HGTV, cancer, rehearsal the next morning, already in pajamas.

I should have stayed in, so I did stay in.

And yet the FOMO hit me like a shock the next morning.

You know how it goes.

You start hearing the details of all the fun you’ve missed.

And you start to question your decision to stay in.

And you start to get anxious and regretful.

I think my FOMO, like most things, comes from a place of anxiety, which is basically a lack of control, which is essentially a lack of trust.

It’s a trust issue.

I don’t trust myself to make the right decisions  (like staying in when I need to.)

And I don’t trust others to still love me and accept me if I miss out on events (like if I don’t go out I’ll be forgotten.)

And I don’t trust that there is and always will be more fun to be had (like if I don’t go I’ll miss the last and best thing and there is no hope for more fun the future.)

And I don’t trust that God sees all things, is watching out for me, and guiding my footsteps (like not trusting that I’ll be FINE if I don’t go out for ONE night.)

I used to articulate my greatest fear as everyone having a great time- laughing, cheering, uproarious conversation- and then I have to leave to go to the bathroom. I don’t want to because I don’t want to miss out, but then I leave because I just HAVE TO go. And though I’m the fastest restroom user this side of the Mississippi,  when I come back, everyone has dispersed and are engrossed in different conversations and I have nowhere to go.

This is my greatest fear, ya’ll.

MAJOR FOMO.

And it’s more than a nagging problem, it’s a lifetime phobia.

I need TRUST in my life, not regret.

I need to trust myself, and trust that others will recognize and respect that.

(And remember the ones that don’t probably shouldn’t be in my life anyway.)

And I think that naming and sharing this fear might, even in the smallest way, help me do that.

Hmmmm….

_______

Do you experience the Fear of Missing Out? What do you do? 

 
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  • Maddie Stafford - June 23, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    Yep. My social anxiety can be a bitch at times. I like how you nailed it down to a lack I trust. I feel it’s also, for me, a lack of self-confidence. Rather than focusing on me and what I need, want, and care about, I allow my worries about what others need, want, and care about to take precedence. Or I’ll think that I need to please others in order to please myself. And I’ll tell ya, it’s harmful. It takes away the love that I need to have for myself. So I guess what I try to do is to refocus my cares. “What does Maddie need right now? I’m gonna go ahead a say screw other people and just love myself in this moment.” And it’s easier said than done. But yoga is one tool that is helping me to build up my self.ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 26, 2014 - 3:05 pm

      Maddie, the confidence thing is a HUGE part of it. I so hear you. For me it looks more like codependency- I need approval and wanted people to like me- and then I lose myself in the process. Clearly we have a lot in common and need to work on loving and trusting ourselves more! But JUST LIKE YOU SAID, it’s easier said than done! (And I think I need more yoga in my life, too!)ReplyCancel

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JESUS ALERT.

Stop reading now if quoting Bible verses creeps you out.

I totally get it. Christians are SO WEIRD. (I think I’m a “with-it” one, and if you don’t like Christians, you’ve probably met an “out-of-it” one, but ANYWAYS, I hear you. You don’t need to explain yourself. Just stop reading.)

But man, this is some serious shit I’m going through. God HAD to come up at some point, ya know what I’m sayin?

So here we go.

And stop reading….   Now.

Jesus. Bibles. Verses. Damn.

It hit me across the head yesterday. My devotional read:

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22, ya’ll.

You see, BJ has that wonderful, Biblical, cheerful spirit. (God bless him.)

But I just have that extra dose of drama. I’m a worrier.

A crushed spirit, as they say.

And the verse hit me.

You see, as much as I love to emote, I don’t think my crushed-ness is good medicine.
I don’t think it’s going to treat the root issue.
And it isn’t going to bring healing.

Now this doesn’t mean I think this verse is saying ANDREA, PRETEND LIKE EVERYTHING IS FINE AND PLASTER ON A SMILE AND FAKE IT TILL YA MAKE IT. HAVE A CHEERFUL HEART AT ALL COSTS.

Hellllllll’s to the no.

I know it’s FINE for me to worry and be crushed. I can be honest with my life, my circumstances, my shit storm.

But I do think it’s reminding me that my crushed spirit isn’t good medicine.

Now I know what you’re thinking. If I’m saying it’s OKAY to have a crushed spirit, but ALSO saying that a crushed spirit doesn’t bring healing, doesn’t that contradict?

I don’t think so.

Because there has to be a pathway FROM a crushed spirit TO a cheerful heart.

And that journey brings healing.

So what’s the path? What’s the journey? How do I actually move from CRUSHED to CHEERFUL?

I think the answer is trust.

And it’s something I’m notoriously bad at.

Brings me back to my year of counseling, where it seemed like EVERY problem I had looped back to trust.

I read this:

“Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, ‘What are you making’? or ‘Your work has no handles’?”

Isaiah 45:9

And I just imagined myself as some clay. And I really believed that God wanted to make me into something masterful, splendid, and more beautiful than I could imagine. And I really believed He didn’t want to destroy me, He didn’t want to ruin me, his little clay pot Andrea. 

And I remembered He’s like GOD. And He MAKES THINGS. Things like mountains and hydrangeas and ocean waves. Like REALLY cool things.

But that because I didn’t have trust, I’ve been over here with my crushed spirit being all

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME???

And UM GOD, YOU FORGOT TO GIVE MY CLAY POT HANDLES. DID YOU REALIZE THAT? GET WITH IT.

And I’m sitting here annoyed, complaining to God LIKE I HAVE ANY RIGHT TO CRITICIZE HIS CRAFTSMANSHIP! LIKE I KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HOW TO MAKE CLAY POTS.

(For the record, I don’t.)

So I’ve had a dose of reality. And I’ve reclaimed my trust in God.

Because when I really think about it, I believe, I mean, really believe, with EVERYTHING in me, that

God is up to something with all this.

The cancer, the separation, the crushed spirit.

And I really believe He is making my clay pot of a life SO beautiful and SO intricate (I’m thinking cancer makes your pot REALLY fancy and intricate) that I am going to look back and say

HEY, GOD, YOU MAKE THINGS THAT ARE LIKE AWE INSPIRINGLY PHENOMENAL AND YOU KNOW THINGS BETTER THAN I DO AND YEAH, MY CLAY POT LOOKS INCREDIBLE, SO THANKS, DUDE, GLAD YOU GOT THIS.

And that trust makes me cheerful.

Like God’s got my back.

Or at least my clay pot.

 

 

 

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  • Eyslyn - June 19, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Andrea, love this blog post and love you very much! This post is so well written and moving and inspiring. thank you for continuing to write and share even through this storm. I’m continuing to pray for you and for BJ. love your blog. i hope you keep writing! :-) ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 26, 2014 - 3:06 pm

      I’m gonna try to keep writing! It definitely comes in bursts of inspiration, for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - June 19, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    Really love this one Andrea!! And so glad that you’re looking in Proverbs for direction (it was the topic of last week’s message! http://everydaycc.com/2014/06/the-story-season-3-episode-11-the-king-who-had-it-all/). I think your wisdom in this post is spot on. God can and DOES use the most seemingly un-beautiful circumstances and transform them into beautiful, awe inspiring masterpieces. Love you! and excited about this journey and the way God is revealing himself to you through it. It’s ripple effects – which are greater than you yet know – are already having an impact, on my own life and the lives of people we don’t even know yet! Keep Trusting. God is in control! And his plans and purposes are more glorious than we know!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - June 19, 2014 - 4:42 pm

    The struggle is so real… And will be so rewarding. I loved this post, and as a baptized Christian, I can say it reminds me that GOD is good, we just won’t always be privy to how, and it’s in those harder times we will truly grow and become the humans we were destined to be. Thanks for writing this. My heart is with you and your whole beautiful family. ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Mom - June 19, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    Andrea,
    You made me cry again. I love you. Love the way you can share your heart. Love you.
    Love, MomReplyCancel

  • angel - June 19, 2014 - 5:27 pm

    Andrea,

    again, this is so awesome, I want to recommend a book by Gary Thomas called Sacred Marriage, this book is CRAZYYYY AMAZING- like you said, God is up to something, do we know what it is, no…will we ever…NOPE..but guess what….we have to go through it. We have to go through it because He put us in it. Often times we just think there is NOOOO WAY this is going to work out, or that we will ever get over what just happened, like you said, the crushed spirit can lead to healing,and cheerful heart. My pastor spoke about the tests and trials that God puts us through and he made it a point to have joyful perseverance-the suffering that we face will bring us happiness becuase that is how we are programed.
    In the book, Sacred Marriage, Gary talks about suffering in the marriage, and he says, “So often sorrow is something that is to be avoided at all costs. Sorrow is the enemy, the persecutor, the fearful emotion…I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openess, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.” I think that it is perfectly fine for you to have the feelings that you feel during this time in your life and marriage, it will make you stronger. My pastor also said that sometimes we are exercising the greatest degree of faith in God when we honestly and authentically complain to God” So go ahead! lol!!

    much love and prayers!!

    Angel

    ” Our Lord has sovereignly ordained that our refining process take place as we go through difficulties, not around them. The bible is filled with examples of those who overcame as they passed through the desert, the Red sea, the fiery furnance, and ultimately the cross.”

    God will take you through this!!! :) ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 26, 2014 - 3:08 pm

      Thank you, Angel! You are such an encourager. And I will definitely check that book out!ReplyCancel

  • Allie McCaw - June 20, 2014 - 2:55 am

    long time reader, first time commenter! ;) first of all, I’m praying for quick healing on all fronts, sister. big big love to you and BJ and your families. yesterday at my fellowship the teaching was about how to live a life of freedom, and we looked at matthew 6:25-34, which i was reminded of reading this entry (by the way, your writing is just so great. raw and real and wonderful. i am so blessed to be able to read it. thank you.).

    but yeah, i especially love when this passage talks about the beauty of wildflowers: “it that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you?”. which is not to say that BIG HUGE REAL PROBLEMS are to be taken lightly. it is very frustrating to hear other (well-meaning) Believers say things like “God has a plan!” or “Worry less – pray more!” when you are dealing with a major f*ing crisis. like, hello, i AM going to worry. i’m not stressed out about what color to paint my nails, it’s CANCER (or insert other crisis).

    but all the same, i do think it’s so awesome to know that the attention and love God gives to things as small and insignificant as a wildflower PALE in comparison to the love and care He gives us. He loves us SoOoOOOOOOoooOoOo much. You are his precious precious little clay pot that He created the heavens and the earth for (!!!!!!!!!!). He will never leave you nor forsake you and you are so right about this being part of your amazing life, not to mention your amazing relationship with Him.

    trust in Him, sister, because God is good – ALWAYS.

    i love ya and am sending you big hugs to Texas!

    xoxoxoReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 26, 2014 - 3:11 pm

      ALLIE MCCAW I LOVE YOU. So glad you commented! Thank you for the prayers. The analogy with the wildflowers is SPOT ON. Why do we think God clothes the fields but DOESN’T CARE ABOUT US? It’s insane. Of course he does.ReplyCancel

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Yesterday was my first bad Father’s Day.

Father’s Day has always been uneventful for me, which is a blessing I have taken for granted.

Uneventful > traumatic.

But because I have a dad, and a good one, at that, I’ve never thought twice about Father’s Day. I’ve never felt much.

TANGENT:

Can we talk about how facebook is just becoming a place where we tribute people? Like if I DON’T share a picture of my friend/dad/husband on their Graduation/Father’s Day/Birthday and write an elaborate description of how much I love/adore/admire them, I’m a terrible person. Like yesterday, when it was my sister’s birthday AND Father’s Day, but man, cancer, so I was too tired to write an elaborate love mosh for them so Happy Birthday, Sister, and Dad, You’re the Best, is all I squeaked out.

OKAY.

Back to Father’s Day.

There are people out there with BAD dads, or NO dad, who may not want to write a tribute.

And then there’s me.

You may know I’ve had baby fever since I was 19. (My mom bought me a kitten.)

But then I got married and baby fever was plausible. Married people have babies. These things happen.

And then we are married almost three years and I CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER.

The plan is to start trying. Sooner than later.

And then lymphoma.

And chemo can affect fertility.

WTF???

THE PLAN WAS TO GO GO GO.

BABY TIME NOT CANCER TIME.

And I said to BJ, direct quote:

I DON’T CARE ABOUT CANCER I CARE ABOUT SPERM.

Okay.

Back to Father’s Day.

So yesterday was my first Father’s Day that I sat with my thoughts.

The first Father’s Day where my mind dwelled on more than our brunch plans.

Will my husband get to be a father?
Will I ever have a half Andrea/half BJ person in my life?
Will I ever have a biological child?
If so, when?
And how?
And how will I know?

SHIT SHIT SHIT.

And I went to a church in Texas all by myself yesterday, drove there too.

(And WOAH BOY, Texas churches. They deserve their own blog post because I have OPINIONS on this.)

But all’s that to say at the end of the service they had all the fathers stand and we prayed for them.

AND I WAS PISSED.

I was alone.

Facing the possibility of potentially never having a biological child.

AND NO ONE CARED.

We just prayed, while inwardly I begged that my husband would get to be one too.

I don’t blame anyone.

I get it.

We shouldn’t *not* post on facebook about our dads because some people don’t have dads.

And we shouldn’t *not* pray for dads because my husband may not get to be one.

But I just think that sometimes we can be a lot like old Andrea and go on autopilot on Father’s Day. Or insert-any-other-day-where-people-go-into-epic-facebook-tribute-mode.

Maybe we all just need an extra dose of sensitivity and awareness.

Or maybe I just needed to reiterate how much yesterday sucked.

 
 
 
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  • Rebecca - June 20, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    I totally, TOTALLY get this.

    Have you looked into freezing sperm? Most fertility clinics would be able to do it for you. It’s not terribly expensive, probably a couple hundred bucks. Even if you don’t have to use it, it would give you some peace of mind.ReplyCancel

  • Don A in Pennsyltucky - June 30, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    Re: Facebook tributes. Maybe it’s because my parents are all dead and my wife’s parents are all dead too (this stuff happens to everyone who lives long enough although maybe Methuselah’s Children[1] may have gotten to take a pass on that). I think all of those pro-forma tributes are dreck of the same variety that used to be found in classified ads which wished various dead people a “Happy Birthday in Heaven” often accompanied by several lines of doggerel. All of those strike me as attempting to give the appearance of something that isn’t real and which takes very little effort — they’re just phoning it in.

    [1]not to be confused with Robert Heinlein’s book with the same title.ReplyCancel

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It’s just too exhausting to tell you everything. I don’t even know where to start.

BJ has lymphoma. And will likely be starting chemo on Tuesday.

I’m in Texas.

BJ is in New York.

It’s not ideal on many levels.

And I’m a bit sad and angry that some assumed I’d be leaving my dream job to come back to New York.

But guys, the only thing shittier than cancer is cancer AND me giving up a dream role.

I just needed to say that.

Not that it’s anyone’s business anyway.

I told you I’m too exhausted for this.

I’ve been hopeful all week. (We got the news last Tuesday.) But now I’m just exhausted.

I mean, this week I felt GOOD. I should’ve blogged through it just to prove it.

I felt lifted up and calm. Peaceful. Trusting. Good things.

And now I’m just angry.

But not at God, at people.

God is awesome, but people are shitty and flawed (with me included, gurrrrl).

Man. This isn’t the cancer post I wanted to write. Like I said, I felt great all week.

But today, tonight, I’m exhausted. So here I am, writing this awful update.

“Praise Jesus the Healer!” is NOT what I’m going to say.

Shit.” IS what I’m going to say.

Exhausted and fearful is where I am at right in this moment.

And you know what?

THAT IS OKAY.

I know that for certain.

It is OKAY for me to feel this way.

It’s OKAY for me to tell you I feel this way.

It’s just all SO very okay.

And here’s why:

Now you’ll know that when I tell you I’m feeling good, I’ll REALLY be feeling good.

Isn’t honesty great like that?

So I’m going to keep writing.  Through this shit storm.

I’m sorry, shit is just my word du jour. It’s just feeling SO good to type. It’s like therapy for my soul.

And who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll have something better to say.

And if not, I’ll let you know.
 
 
 
 
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  • Tabitha - June 16, 2014 - 5:38 am

    Love the honest words! Hate that this shit is happening to you and BJ!ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 16, 2014 - 5:39 am

      Yeah, SERIOUSLY cancer, WTF? Thanks for cursing with me. Love you, Tabitha.ReplyCancel

  • Liss - June 16, 2014 - 5:49 am

    SHIT is a good word for this situation. Holy frucking hell would be another three words. Nobody’s business to judge why you are there or here or anywhere. I’m hoping you’re getting lots of love and support. I’m sorry this is happening to you both – it’s completely shitty!ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 18, 2014 - 12:03 am

      Hahahaha. I am definitely going to add “holy frucking hell” to my repertoire. We have been getting SO much support, just needed to CURSE LIKE HELL yesterday. And guess what? Today I feel great! Hah!ReplyCancel

  • GJ - June 16, 2014 - 5:51 am

    I love you, Andrea! And I love BJ! You are two of my favorite people in the world…. and cancer IS shitty ! So there!ReplyCancel

  • Cory - June 16, 2014 - 6:40 am

    Andrea, cancer wil be exhausting for you both. You will be sick of hearing the word cancer and all the advice & well meaning or nosy comments you will get. I don’t know what his chemo plan is but I pray that in a year you will look back and say, “whew, we made it thru that shit and are still standing strong!” You shouldn’t give up your dream and what people may not realize it’s 7 weeks not 7 months, and I bet BJ told you to stay where you are. Only one of you need to be at the hospital, with technology & the beauty of Skpe you don’t have to miss hearing anything. (well minus the phone vs toilet) If people want to help tell them to go do his laundry, bring a meal, clean the bathtub, pray. Be productive in a positive way otherwise keep the negavity away your don’t need that shit! You rock that play and dazzle everyone with your brilliance and beauty. You earned this and worked hard to get this. Cancer sucks and it is just shitty anyway you look at it. But he has cancer, it doesn’t have him or you. Keep living both of you!! LIVE, LOVE, enjoy your life, work, laugh, plan, dream….don’t let this shit take over the vision or the faith you have in the life you want.ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 17, 2014 - 11:59 pm

      Thank you Cory. I am so grateful for your insight. It’s exhausting and I am just taking it day by day. Today I feel great! And our church has been taking such good care of BJ, and his mom is with him too.

      But you’re so right. Got to stay positive! I’m working day by day to not let it dictate my life.ReplyCancel

  • » honesty with andrea e. - June 16, 2014 - 1:45 pm

    […] And then lymphoma. […]ReplyCancel

  • Harry Smith - June 16, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    There aren’t many feelings better than a good “shit!” BJ is supporting you just as much as you are supporting him. Keep your spirits up, Andrea, any way you can.ReplyCancel

  • Hae Sung Brown - June 16, 2014 - 3:36 pm

    Andrea, my love, you are being attacked by Satan…and I want you to know FOR SURE, that not only does HE LOVE you and BJ, he wants you both to feel BLANKETED in HIS LOVE!!! You are an exceptional wife and I feel VERY confident that BJ would want you to to follow your dreams and finish this role, as planned. My best friend Angie just went through living with a Hodgkin’s diagnosis and treatment, and as a mother of a 4 year old girl she is HEALTHY and WELL :) PLEASE take this message as a LOVE NOTE from the bottom of my heart!!! do NOT lose heart and God will NOT fail you during this shit storm of woes!!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Maddie Stafford - June 16, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    I think “shit” is the first thing that I thought or said aloud when I saw that BJ was in the hospital and that you were in TX. Shit- because WTF, cancer? Why do you get to attack my friends? Fucking cancer.
    But BJ is going to kick the shit out of cancer and you are going to kick ass in TX and if you ever need someone to help you remember all the amazing strength that you and BJ both have, I’m here to help remind you.

    Love. Love yourselves deeply. Love will heal. Inhale, exhale love.ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 18, 2014 - 12:01 am

      YES MADDIE. I love hearing my friends curse on my behalf. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Today I’m feeling warm and fuzzy. You’re always so good at telling me just what I need to hear. LOVE YOUUUUUUUUU.ReplyCancel

  • Lindy - June 16, 2014 - 6:09 pm

    Down right fury plus a good dose of lava is just the right dump to pore onto this puffed up wad called cancer. All of your dear friends here and everywhere who are telling you they love you, know how much you love God and BJ and that faith and love are weapons; I so agree.ReplyCancel

    • Andrea Enright - June 17, 2014 - 11:59 pm

      FURY & LAVA! Yes! Love that imagery- that’s JUST how I feel. Love you much, Lindy.ReplyCancel

  • Corinne m - June 16, 2014 - 6:36 pm

    And you’re gonna kick assssss in Millie. Just had to be said. I wish I could be there to see the brilliance.ReplyCancel

  • Z - June 18, 2014 - 2:02 am

    Andrea, I’m so sorry to hear this. I will keep BJ and your entire family in my prayers. I for one prefer saying “Cancer SUCKS!” There’s just no better way of saying it.ReplyCancel

  • […] cancer, the separation, the crushed […]ReplyCancel

  • […] So I bought it. And the next day I got The News. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] three years and I CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER. The plan is to start trying. Sooner than later.And then lymphoma. –Andrea @ Honesty With […]ReplyCancel