Summer 2014 has zooooomed on by! (Don’t they all…)
‘Lotsa weddings and fun in the Seattle sun! (Yes, it does exist!)
Here’s some summer snapshots thus far:
Bryan’s been working extra long hours this summer so our fantasy to-do list has barely been scratched but we’ve made the most of it by cramming lots of fun stuff in where we can!
I’m very blessed in this life and I am thankful everyday for those blessings. Despite the happy faces, the gratitude, and freedom I’ve had this summer, I am still very much struggling, something I do not talk much about.
I don’t talk about it because I know I have so much to be happy and grateful for and I often feel guilty for feeling sad, angry, or anxious, whatever it is I’m feeling at the time.
However, those “bad” feelings are just as valid as the joyful ones.
Do you ever feel like you live in your own head? I do. So much so that sometimes I look at Bryan and I actually see him. I’m present, I’m in the moment, and when I look at him I realize I haven’t seen him in days or sometimes weeks. This is usually followed by a spontaneous kiss or hand grab, something tangible to reinforce the present moment. Also known as a grounding technique if you’ve ever studied anxiety or trauma.
Yes, I am blessed. Yes, I am struggling with depression and anxiety.
The two are not mutually exclusive, they can occur at the same time. I’m not new to the mental illness scene, these are things I’ve dealt with since childhood. They just happen to be at a new height of impairment.
Three large transitions contributing to these current struggles:
- Cross country move. I love Seattle, it was absolutely the right decision for me. I have made several wonderful friends coupled with the great support of Bryan’s family, but I miss my family and friends on the east coast. Technology makes it very easy to keep in touch but nothing compares to a hug from your loved ones, or a face to face conversation.
- Career. Not knowing where I fit in in the professional world. Knowing I have unique skills and talents that can make a difference but feeling stuck, not knowing where to go next. And those pesky things called bills that don’t wait around for you to figure it out.
- Trauma. There is a lot of icky stuff I haven’t dealt with because my M.O. is to bury it and never touch it again. But finding love with Bryan has opened a set of dormant issues that I can no longer ignore, for the sake of my own health and the health our relationship.
I’m talking about this today because it’s something that’s often shunned from discussion. Mental illness is as real as cardiovascular disease.
It’s OK to be struggling and smiling at the same time.
Also, just because someone is smiling doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling.
It’s OK to ask for help.
Let’s take more time to listen to each other and ask the tough questions.
Let’s be brave enough to answer them honestly, without fear.
Let’s spread the love a little more, a little farther.
Thanks for listening today, friends. Hope your summer is going swimmingly! (<- See what I did there?!)