3 years A.D.
I can never go outside again.
We are in the studios recording the third episode of LEGOMASTERS and I get caught off guard by a nasty chemobrain-attack. It results in a big fat ugly cry session… on national television.
I feel so, so embarrassed.
When I woke up I already knew: this is not my day. I’m sure you can relate: from the moment you step out of bed, things just go wrong. That in itself doesn’t necessarily have to do with cancer treatment, but the frequency and intensity of such days have definitely increased.
Usually, I know how to cope with it – take it easy, do breathing exercises, postpone appointments, sit on the couch with a cup of coffee.
The problem is – all of these coping mechanisms are kind of hard when you’re trying to build a giant dinosaur made of LEGO attached to half a children’s tractor – in less than ten hours.
Not exactly a situation I’ve faced before.
Bricks fall out of my hand. I forget what I was going to get in the brickroom, what am doing. I push things over, can’t focus on what I’m building.
And so I cry
In the first hours of the assignment, I manage to suppress the frustration. But, I soon realize that is going to be impossible to do for ten hours.
So I cry.
And cry some more.
For the 2,5 million people that were watching: I cried a lot longer than you guys got to see.
The morning after
The next morning it’s the first thought that comes up:
I can never go outside again.
Until Jan says: “thank you for yesterday”.
“Thank you for letting me know that this brain fog I experience since treatment is normal”
“Thank you for showing me it is okay to express your emotions”
“Thank you for teaching me that it is always ok to simply be yourself”
And I was ok.
Opening up is scary AF. As is showing your emotions.
To friends, to family, to strangers. Who knows what they might think?!
But in the end, by expressing my emotions, by talking about these side effects, I’ve helped somebody who could relate.
Who doesn’t feel like a weirdo anymore. Who learned something about himself.
Already during the episode aired on tv, I started to receive texts by people – in and out of my network – who could relate. Some have had cancer, others not. And they still send me messages.
Here’s what I know:
Opening up always pays off.
By showing our vulnerability we invite others to do the same.
It is okay to talk about your ups ánd downs. It is safe to express yourself.
How often do you show your true colors and open up to your loved ones?
When is the last time you cried when you needed to cry, shouted when you needed to shout, laughed so hard you had tears rolling down your cheeks? Do you express your emotions fully?
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