Soooo … it’s been over a month since my last post. I’ve set this site up with the plan to post weekly, and now I’ve gone MIA for 5+ weeks. I’m not going to apologize or provide in depth explanation as to why, but what I AM going to do is jump right back on board and get to posting! Some explanations might come forth on their own through my writing, and others may be LET GO to the Universe. Either way, welcome back to my wild-ride-of-a-life! You might want to put your seat belt on for this one …
PART ONE: DEATH
Crazy runs in my family. Not like institutionalized crazy (although some of it should be), but like crazy, crazy. Bat shit crazy. Functioning crazy? .. I mean, yeah I guess … We are all technically ‘functioning’.. But there is no way that we are all operating on all cylinders, if you know what I mean.
Death is such an overwhelming concept for me (yup I’m just going to get right to it). The main reason I think that death is so overwhelming is because LIFE is such an overwhelming concept to me too. Like, how can you successfully process DEATH when you can’t find a way to understand the concept of LIFE, you know?
I’ve never really experienced super close loss before, which sounds terrible put into words, but I mean like immediate loss, disrupting-your-whole-life kind of loss. I grew up fortunate to only lose my great grandparents (essentially to just old age), and family acquaintances.
I’ve always been afraid of death, of losing someone and it hurting so bad you can feel a hole in your chest. Afraid of what comes next, where do we all go, and is it going to hurt when it comes like it does in my dreams. Having dreams of losing loved ones has certainly been a hard enough experience, because I feel every emotion tied to it. I wake up crying and confused until it all pieces itself back together. [I hope I don’t sound alarming, but yes, very unfortunately, I have had a few dreams about losing my parents.] But even then, the emotional turmoil and tragic vibes seem to linger over me for several days.
On February 19th my grandpa died unexpectedly and I experienced first hand what it was like to lose an immediate loved one. Even worse, I experienced what it was like for my parent to lose theirs.
Death can bring out the truly dark sides of a family, things that were always there but you were sheltered from before. Things to make you see people you love differently. Things that you feel like you may have really known all along, but somehow you turned off your senses to it. Somehow you used to be able to ignore it or pretend it wasn’t there, but it’s there and now you can never erase what you now know. You can never erase what you have now experienced.
On the flip side, I’ve also never realized how close this side of my family really is until we all experienced two great losses together in just one year. Despite all the drama, we are all always there for each other when it matters most. States keep us apart, but family love and connection keeps us together. We get together, every single dysfunctional part of us, and we work it out – together.
The hole is there, heavy and hollow, having ripped my heart apart. I’m devastated by the loss, in the guilt of not knowing what I last said, in having not seen him since Christmas. But the hole is even bigger and darker when I think about my mom and what she is going through. I feel all the pain, the heartbreak. I feel the dagger of my mom losing her dad, who she literally saw 4 days a week and talked to every day for the last few years consistently. The loss of realizing she can never do those things again. I felt my aunt’s tears, my uncle’s sorrow, and everyone else’s pain. Having just lost my Aunt one year ago, we are all still so fragile, and it’s almost as though I can feel that thread that is struggling to hold us all together.
PART TWO: MENTAL HEALTH
There aren’t many things more important in life than taking time to take care of yourself, and not just always being there for everyone else. I don’t know about you, but people drain me. I have to find ways to recharge myself any chance I get, and the best way I know how is to be alone. When I’m alone with my thoughts, my workouts, my Bengals, my reading and writing .. that is when I feel I can fully get myself back to operating speed.
In my opinion, self care is an extremely under appreciated practice of loving yourself and maintaining your own healthy balance of overall wellness. If you don’t love yourself first then how are you supposed to love others? You have to find balance, and practice good self maintenance to keep yourself going strong.
Earlier this month, during the mix of chaos that has been my personal world, I was fortunate enough to get to be the first contributing guest on a new website called Cultivating Care. https://www.cultivating-care.com/
This website was created with the intent to create a safe place for people to discuss, read about, and learn about mental health and overall well being. The post I wrote about was a quick snip-it into how I got into both worlds initially, and what they mean to me. Naturally, as I explained this process, I focused on maintaining balance.
Here is an excerpt from my writing:
Life has taught me that establishing therapeutic outlets is critical. I fulfill a lot of my restorative vibes through my health and fitness regimen, which include at-home workouts, outdoor runs, meal prep, and online accountability groups. I am also a believer in the power of positivity; I consider myself a positive vibes enthusiast and am always drawn to others vibrating on a higher frequency. Family and friends are very important to me, and I spend a lot of time with them – eating, traveling, laughing, and learning about the world.
Do you want to know the biggest realization I’ve come to?
Balance is literally everything.
You have to find a sense of balance in all areas of your life in order to truly be in a holistic state of well-being. Balance is the magical essence that holds it all together.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy feeling magical.
Balance is a constant ‘work in progress’, but your own health and well being should always be at the forefront of your life.
Feel free to read the full excerpt here.
Last month, after my grandpa’s funeral, I also took a mental health day from work for the first time I can remember doing so in my entire adult life. I took a day for me. A day to recharge from all the recent emotions I’ve experienced with my family, and to get myself back on track. A day to just do whatever I need to do, all day and all night. Self-love and self-care are powerful resources and important components of life that not enough of us do and all of us need. Take a day every couple of months, or when you need it, and call in for your mental health. You won’t regret it, I promise.
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