The Day I’ll Never Forget..

I’m not sure if I’m ready to write this post or not, but I keep feeling like I need to do it, so here I am, I’m going to try and I guess we will see how it goes.
On December 30th, 2016, my 34th birthday, it went like most any other day. I woke up to the Facebook post from my brother Matt of a Youtube Video of NOFX’s “New Happy Birthday Song” which was our birthday tradition. I had sent him a different version of the same video the day before for his 34th birthday. We have been doing this for about 10 years now, at least. And before you ask, no we are not twins, though we might as well be. In fact we are about 14 hours apart (give or take) and have grown up like most twins would, with probably the same relationship as most twins have, however, I was adopted and we are not blood siblings, but you would never have known that. We loved each other and there has never been a me without him, or a him with out me. Well, until that day anyway.
Around 8 pm, or so, my parents called. I figured, as was normal every year they were calling to say Happy Birthday, but sparing you the horrid details, that is not what they were calling me about. No, it was that call that threw my whole world into chaos, more so then my mind has been doing to me for the majority of my life (thanks anxiety and depression for that by the way!). I freaked out and tried to figure out how I was getting home as soon as possible. My poor husband tried to console me while I was on and off the phone with my best friends who are in Boston. Between the group of us we got me on the first flight out so I could get home the next day (I live in SC and home is NH, for those that don’t already know).
So now that you know the background, at least as much as I’m willing to share anyway since somethings between families remain private, at least for me. You should know that my brother- all of my brother’s (I have 5) mean everything to me. We have varied relationships some closer than others, but it doesn’t matter, I love every single one of them with every fiber of my being. They are what makes me who I am, I grew up with a strong sense of how important they were in relation to who I was. I have always felt a major sense of responsibility when it came to my brothers, even if I couldn’t see them as often as I wanted, or if we didn’t have as close of a relationship as I hoped. They always were, and always will be the most important men in my life.
Matt was my constant. He was my first best friend (that I can remember) and we were damn near inseparable. We shared clothes, friends, good times, bad times- everything. When he died, suddenly, I broke, or shattered is more like it and I’m still struggling to find all the pieces and put myself back together. Like anything that shatters, no matter how much glue you use, you will never go back together the same. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can never be the person I was before I lost him. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t talk about him without crying, or that I feel a huge void in myself at least once a day, or that I’m unsure if I’ll ever not have the urge to call or text him when I see/hear/think of something he might like. What I haven’t come to terms with is that my brother is gone and that at the end of this year our birthdays will roll around and I won’t be able to share it with him, or that I won’t be able to hear his voice telling me “Happy Birthday Turd Burger” when he gets on the phone after my parents. While I’m so lucky to have had him as a brother for this many years and that I know I’m the only person in the world that was as lucky as I am to have him as my brother and I’m so lucky to have all my brothers I’m still broken. I don’t know if I’ll ever find all the pieces of myself and I hate it. I hate it because I know and I can see him shaking his head at me for still being so sad, for still missing him, because he wouldn’t want this for me, but feeling any other way feels like a betrayal to him.
This whole horrible experience has changed me, and not always for the worst. I’ve gained new family with his best friends, who I adored before, but I adore even more now- and their 3 boys. I’ve started to work on staying in touch more with those I care about, which has never been my strong suite before, but I’m trying. I’m trying to get through the day every day, and I have a huge support system, my parents, my brothers, my friends, they are all here for me. I’m trying, I really am, but the one person I want to talk to the most when I’m feeling so down, isn’t here any more and that makes it hard.
I can’t write any more about this. It is just too much, maybe in the future, but for now, this is it.



I took 2 weeks off and here is what I learned….

I didn’t write anything for the last two weeks, aside from my daily journal entry. After my brother’s death I’ve had a hard time adjusting to my life and figuring out where I’m supposed to go from here. Everyone has said that it will take time to find the new “normal” for my life. I’m not there yet, probably not even close, but my mind has started to settle down most days, and nights long enough for me to get through.

One of the ways I tried to help myself get through this time was take breaks from the things that seemed to be pushing me too hard. Writing and blogging was top of that list. Every time I sat down to write one of two things happened: First my mind would go completely blank, even more blank then when I’m fighting a case of writer’s block. I would basically lose the knowledge that I had of the written word. Poof, gone. The second thing that could happen would I would be able to think of nothing but my brother. I wanted to do nothing but write about him, base characters off of him, and just pour my heart out. Which would have been fine, probably, but the minute I would start to try I would lose either all motivation, or like the first scenario all knowledge I had of how to put words together to form sentences.

It has been a horrible three months since his death, taking two weeks off from writing won’t “fix” me in any way. I’m not really broken, I’m just no longer whole. The reason I took the time off in the first place was because trying to push myself to get everything done every day was killing me. I started medication for the first time in 15 years and it made me so fatigued I could hardly keep myself awake for a couple hours at a time. So after an exhausting 9 hours or more at work I couldn’t make myself write, workout, eat, study, read and everything else adults have to do. Something had to give, something had to be put to the side to see if it was still what I needed in my life now that my life is no longer the same.

So, at the title to this post states, I want to talk about what I learned from this break. I learned that I miss blogging, even though I don’t have much of a following, but I realized that maybe I would really like to grow this thing in the future. Not just as my “I’m a writer look at me” kind of thing, but just in general. I can’t be the only person in the world who goes through what I go through. Being a part of #TheBloggessTribe has shown me that beyond a doubt. Maybe something I write here might help someone else out some day? I also learned that writing in general is still my life and my therapy. Without it I am not a person that I want to be. I may never be a famous writer, I may never even be known as a writer, but that is okay because it makes me happy and in the end, that is all that matters to me. I need, now more than ever, to be happy. Or as close to happy as I can get anyway.

That might not be as much as you expected. I won’t apologize for it, but the reason behind that is the possible subject of another post for another day maybe. I would really be interested in hearing your thoughts, either in comments, on twitter, tumblr, google+– whatever format you prefer. And you can find me on all of those platforms if you want to stay in touch with me. I’m sure the links are on my site somewhere.

I hope to everyone out there that is struggling with one thing or another that you all know you are not alone. Please, if you ever need someone to talk to reach out to me. I am here. #NeverAlone

On Writing

As usual I had other ideas about what I was going to write about today, but when I sat down to write none of those ideas spoke to me. So here I am, writing off the cuff as one might say. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write, until I just started to do it just now.

I’ve been struggling with my writing lately. I’ve been struggling with a lot of things. I know it is a part of the process and I’m trying to be okay with that. I don’t want to stop grieving for my Brother, because that is how I feel. I am sad. I am beyond sad and nothing is going to change that. At the same time, I hate when my sadness makes me unable to achieve my goals, and that is what is happening. So now I’m just getting mad at myself for being sad, but being sad is what I want to be. It is a fun cycle I have going on in my mind.

I’ve tried to break the cycle, at least with my writing. I’ve tried starting a new project since the current one held no draw for me. That didn’t work. I thought about past projects that maybe I could take a look at and breathe new life into. That didn’t work either. So I’ve gone back to the original project that I was working on and have started to edit the first 52 pages that I have written. It is sort of working. I get about a page done every day, not because I can’t do more, or because it takes me that long. Nope, it is because I can’t stand to look at my writing for more than 20 minutes.

I had the thought, briefly, that maybe I just wasn’t supposed to write any more, but I quickly was able to pull out my ‘Depression Lies’ list in my Bullet Journal to remind myself that isn’t true. I’m just depressed. So I will keep editing, maybe by the time I’m done I’ll feel like writing, maybe not. Maybe when I finish I’ll have to edit another project. I don’t know. What I do know is as long as I keep sitting down to try to write, edit, or whatever it is I do when I open up the document, then I am working towards my goal. Slowly, sure, but I’m still working towards it. I can’t do much more than that can I?

I think I might start reading On Writing again, it is one of my favorite books to inspire me to write, and re-motivate myself in general. I’m thinking that would be a step in the right direction to get myself back on track. And if that doesn’t work, that is fine. I’ve got plenty of projects that need to be edited. Even if that is all I do all year, at least I haven’t given up.

on-writing