Saturday, October 15, 2016

Just cry it out

There are those days that just creep up on me. It doesn't matter how amazing things are going, I have an internal struggle with the clings of lingering grief. I sit outside, hiding from my children so I can just cry. "A good healthy cry can cure almost anything" said my Daddy everytime I came to him in tears. I don't like to cry. I hold those tear drops in like the hoover dam. Problem, when I do open up, there is a flood. But, afterward, a calmness, and a sense of relief. I don't know why I feel like I have to keep my composure at all times. But it's especially difficult when it's my Dad's Birthday and while editing my very first ever wedding. I was scrolling through the first few galleries, and was overcome with a bit of anger. He would have been so proud of the images I took. He always told me I had a special talent and to never give that up. Which is what drives me to this day. He inspires me to always keep learning and growing and staying humble and honest. I just really miss him. But, I know that he is proud, at peace and we will be reuinted one day in that magical pallace in the sky. I love you Daddy. Happy Heavenly Birthday. Xo

Monday, February 22, 2016

Becky, Becky, Bo-Becky

In this day in age, where instant gratification is everywhere and the virtual world seems to rule. Our lives are becoming overburdened with the need to share everything we do. This burden carries a load that I personally think is greatly affecting our quality of life. This need to share our perfect moments. A burden that, unfortunately can be quite harmful to ones self esteem when paired with photo after photo of people's happy moments while you, yourself are anything but happy. I know this was really hard for me after my Dad's suicide. Seeing photos of people with their Dad, people just living life. Being happy. It hurt. Not because I didn't want others to be happy, but it was just a constant reminder of what I didn't have. What I didn't feel. No one else is to blame for that, but having it in my face in today's digital capacity was hard.

As we scroll through our news feeds each day, we see carefully curated moments in the lives of our friends, family and sometimes, total strangers. These well thought out, carefully framed snapshots into their world give us perfection in one post. You know, the posts that make you feel like you are totally slacking on all things life related. 

An example:
Becky shares a post with a photo of the 4 dozen fresh blueberry muffins she made this morning after her 5 mile jog with her twins. Who were strapped to the back of her Camelpack that was filled with spring water from her 10,000 mile hike up the holy peaks of Mt. Whogivesacrap. She then shares another snap of her and said twins who are angelically napping in their crib with a caption that reads "I wish they never slept, it's been hours" or "I could just hold them all day." Followed again by a photo of a huge spread of a dinner for two. Steak, lobster, the works! You can almost smell how good it tastes just by the photo. Wow, Becky is a badass. Then, she ends her picture perfect day with a sunset silhouette snap of her and her Husband kissing with cocktails, kids are of course sleeping soundly again with no interruptions.

Ahhhhhhhhhh I wanna be Becky. Becky has it all.

We all have a Becky in our newsfeed. We have all been a Becky. But, what we don't seem to realize, is that Becky is screwing with our realities. She is forcing us to believe in unrealistic lives.

Becky isn't real. Her life isn't real. She is pulled straight from a fairytale. Becky is the highlight reel. Becky is the 1 good day out of a thousand bad ones.

Becky fails to show us the 2am feedings, in tears. The hiding in the laundry room so you can sneak a bar of chocolate without hearing the dreaded "can I have some" She doesn't beautifully frame a shot of explosive diarrhea on her hand as she changes one angel while holding on to the ankle of the other as it crawls away screaming. The lighting doesn't stunningly strike her face as she tirelessly mops floors for the umpteenth time. She doesn't show us real life.   

Life is hard enough without a Becky making us feel inadequate, and being an adult can be exhausting. But, we need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. It's not about what you post. Stop trying to find moments to share and find more moments to live. Stop comparing yourself to a false reality.

When you are feeling like you can't hold on any longer, remind yourself that in the real world, you are not alone. We are all holding on with just one hand, some days a single finger. We are all winging it, trying to make it through another day. We are all fighting some sort of battle, but the time has come to stop the one within ourselves.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Facebook life. But, I would much rather live it with you. Call me. Text me. Let's get together, get out and live.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

5 Years

5 years ago today, the skies were a brilliant blue, etched with puffy white clouds. The weather was crisp and cool, filled with gentle breezes of winter air. Everything was as it should be. Until I returned home from picking up my son from school, and entered the kitchen to a handwritten note.

DO NOT GO OUTSIDE
Call 911
I'm sorry

In one instance, on a small crumpled piece of notebook paper, my entire world was tipped upside down.

My Daddy, the most important man in my life, sat himself in a kiddie pool on the side of the home we shared, placed a shotgun in his mouth and ended his own life.

While that last sentence might make you uneasy, I can assure you reading it is nothing compared to the aftermath I walked out and witnessed. I fell to my knees beside him, unable to speak or breathe. My Daddy was gone. Dead. And he did it to himself. Suicide? No. Not him.  

If you ever got the great pleasure to know my Dad, you know he would be the last person you would associate with suicide. He was the life of the party, always cracking jokes and smiling. I have very few memories of him ever not in a great mood. He had an uncanny ability to see the positive in every situation. He was my rock. When I needed a good talk, he was always my go to call. I would call sobbing, and he would somehow end the conversation with a smile. He was magnetic and such a joy to be around. He was not who I would have flagged as someone with depression, anxiety or at risk of suicidal tendencies. Before that day, I wouldn't of even given it a second thought.

It's amazing how people can hide their pain. How they can hold in so much and put on such a brave face. How such bright smiles can be masking so much hurt. While we think we may know what is going on in someones life, at the same time, we can be so wrong. Celebrity suicides seem to shine a bigger light on this. You'd think endless amounts of money and resources at your disposal would safeguard you from mental health disorders. Nope. It does not discriminate. The statistics are shocking, and the chances are you have or someday will have some sort of encounter with one of the many forms. This doesn't make you weak, or crazy. Your brain, like any other organ, needs to properly function. Seeking treatment to ensure you are healthy is so vital, and lifesaving!

These yearly anniversaries used to really get me down. Flashbacks would haunt me, and I felt an overwhelming amount of grief. Finally, last year, I lost myself. In a moment of desperation and despair, I gave up. Succumbing to the immense depression that ruled my day to day life.

What I never expected, was that I would wake up the next morning, with an undying will to live. Ending my life was not the answer. Starting my life was. See, my life didn't end the day my Daddy took his life. It started the day I decided I wasn't going to let it end. The day I made my mental health a priority, and admitted myself to intensive inpatient care, was the day I started living again.

I sit here, 5 years later, a better person than the day before it happened. I know now that there is nothing I can do to change that day. There is no way to change my circumstances, but you bet your ass I can change the way I react to them. The only person in this universe that can control my happiness, is me. So, I must do all that I can to ensure that I do what I can to make my life full of things that bring me joy. I also learned to watch my thoughts. To stop self doubt and self sabotage before it turns into action. I learned the importance of seeing my psychiatrist regularly, and that my mental health is just as important as my physical well being. There is no shame in seeking treatment. I'll say that again. THERE IS NO SHAME IN SEEKING TREATMENT!!

I want to thank every single person reading this. Near and far. This blog is full of my bleeding heart. It's not an easy read, and yet so many of you have continued to keep reading my posts the past 5 years. I am so thankful for all of the support and love.