they’re like blurry photos now

they’re like blurry photos now

This might be a little (or a lot) sad to read and may make you reach for your box of tissues. Fair warning for some hard hitting feels.

They say memories last forever, but I truly don’t believe that as many of mine are starting to turn blurry and fading out.

A few days ago I woke up extremely sad and heartbroken. It was a rough day at work and I found myself at point sitting in the back of a car crying. I dragged ass all day and was so relieved to get home. I ended up talking with one of my Anchors and sobbing a little bit more before I fell asleep.

It’s that time of year again. Family holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Growing up this was my favorite time because it meant all the decorations came out, family kept popping by the house, and finally those select days the entire family came over. Food, laughter, pictures, presents. It was magical. As a child and teen I loved it. I loved seeing my aunts and uncles.

After my grandma passed away in 2008, the vibe was completely different. It was tough that first Christmas without her. It felt like there was a void and it was swallowing everyone whole. It got a bit easier after that; not better, just easier. Then when my uncle passed away unexpectedly in 2013, it shook us to the core. I took my uncle’s death quite hard. Then the following year my grandpa passed away. It’s been a rough few years.

I’m still grieving in some respects. I half expect my uncle to come walking in the door and have a beer with my dad. I’ll watch clips of General Hospital and think of my grandpa. He loved that damn show. I bought a box of Mike & Ike’s once and bawled my eyes out. My grandma and I used to eat those all the time. To this day, I cannot eat them. I can go weeks

What bothers me more now is that I can hardly remember things about them. Their laugh, the sound of their voice, how they smelled, what their hugs felt like. I have bits and pieces. Jumbled about in my head. However, those memories are blurred around the edges. Fading away with each year. I have tons of pictures, thanks to my mom, and enjoy flipping through them now and again.

These things are slowly slipping away and I can’t seem to stop the process. I would rather trade those memories for remembering some fucked up thing I did in college. I would rather trade in sleepless nights of relieving mistakes I’ve made (courtesy of my anxiety monster) so I could replay days spent with my grandparents. That would be so much better. Too bad it doesn’t work like that. Would be nice, right?

Maybe that’s one of the reasons my mom takes so many pictures….

Maybe that’s why I take so many pictures and videos of my friends and family now….

Cherish each moment with your loved ones, my friends. Create memories that will last lifetimes. Savor each picture and video. Capture the important moments and the silly, candid ones too. Fill your memory cards with moments of your life and download and/or print them. Share those memories! Pass along the love, acceptance, and happiness.

Smile and remember each memory when you flip through your pictures like I do with mine.

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it is not easy or selfish

it is not easy or selfish

Please read this WARNING! What I am about to talk about may be difficult for some of you and for others it may trigger a reaction. For those you would rather not risk triggering any type of emotional/physical reaction or flashbacks, please stop reading.

For those of you who wish to continue reading, please take a deep breath.

I had a conversation with someone recently that made me want to scream. They had made a few comments about this story in the news about a teenage girl taking her own life due to bullying at school. I’ve seen quite a few similar stories and have felt such heartache for those teens and their families. The person I was talking to said that those kids were “selfish” and “completely disregarded everyone else’s feelings”.

As someone who has gone down the rabbit hole, I felt very strongly against such comments. I did respond back with my own story and some personal things about my life and what lead me to that road. I am so thankful that I am still here today and that I have not come to that particular crossroad in many years. This guy still thinks suicide is selfish and that was the end of our conversation.

I want to say that it is NOT selfish or “taking the easy way out”. You have no clue what that person is thinking. You don’t understand their struggle. You don’t know what their day-to-day life is like and what lead to that decision. But something did and it was catastrophic enough to make them think dying was the only solution. That there are no other paths out of the pain, despair, anger, and crippling sadness that can over power your heart and mind is truly scary and heartbreaking.

There is no “easy” way out. Even before making that decision to end your life there are these intrusive thoughts that pop up. They are officially called “passive suicidal thoughts”, but I call them Creepers. They creep into your mind as you go about your routine. They stick in your head for days as you try to go about life even though you are slowly coming apart on the inside. These Creepers are things like, “Maybe if I just let go of the wheel it could all be over” or “Just walk in the middle of the street and maybe I’ll get hit and it’ll be over quickly”.

Creepers come and go not matter how good things are going. These little monsters we carry inside us will do or say anything to win and bring us down. We should always remind ourselves of the beauty and wonderful things this life has to offer. Even if they are simple and small like hearing your favorite song on the radio when you start your car or your best friend sending you a funny picture that reminded them of you. Those little things are so powerful and uplifting.

I’ve fallen a few times. I’ve faced my own crisis, but I’ve come out alive and kicking. I am thankful that one of my best friends saved me when she did. I was going down a road that was dark and broken and would have ended up that way myself. I still struggle with those Creepers, but I can only take one day at a time. One of my Anchors sends me pictures of cute puppies or kittens when I’m sad or spiraling and I have to say that is the best thing ever. It might not make those thoughts disappear but it makes me smile and I can go about the day knowing I have people who understand.

Finding ways to combat the Creepers is a huge deal. Maybe it’s simple breathing exorcises, looking at cat videos on YouTube, or watching the really funny auditions for American Idol. Something to make you smile or laugh for just a few minutes. It can also be reaching out to a close friend and just letting them know your thoughts. Whatever helps you overcome those thoughts for the day keep doing it.

You are beautiful. You are important. You are loved and accepted. Just as you are. Your strength through your struggle is admirable. You are not alone.

If you are contemplating suicide or know someone who needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255. Or you can check out this website for more resources to help yourself or others http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/.