I’ve always been very open when discussing past trauma or grief- particularly when it comes to the unexpected death of my dad- which I had been present for and which affected me deeply. July marks eight years since his passing- and although I’ve since worked through the anxiety and bouts of depression that had developed and haunted me in the days, weeks and months after he died- I still think about him every day.
Father’s Day is admittedly tough to get through. While I am overjoyed for my friends and family members who are fathers and get a celebratory day of appreciation for all that they do for their children- it still feels like my own dad should be here to celebrate, too. I always feel cheated out of his humor, his generosity, his sage advice on life and love- and his unconditional support.
This past Sunday, I did what I’ve done for the past few years- I looked through old photos, read old letters, cried a bit- and then pulled myself together in time to be refreshed and ready to work by Monday morning. Although, there was some underlying issues happening over the weekend that had nothing to do with my father’s absence but had kept me distracted nonetheless.
I’ve always tried to go above and beyond for the people I care about. While I am no means perfect and have my fair share of flaws- I’d like to think I’m a compassionate, considerate, trustworthy friend- and I always keep it straightforward and honest. I don’t sugarcoat things if I can help it and I call it like it is. So, a couple of weeks ago when I expressed genuine concerns to a longtime friend about how they had been talking to/treating me and how it made me feel- I didn’t expect for them to write me off completely. Despite my efforts to smooth things over- they seemingly want nothing to do with me despite our knowing each other for years.
I’m hurt. I’m embarrassed- and sure, I’m a little angry. 2020 has been one of those rough years we’ll all look back on someday and cry/laugh/cringe- and the hits just keep coming- but I’m doing everything I can to stay grounded and sane. I get as much fresh air as I can. I exercise daily. I treat myself to frivolous purchases occasionally- and I’ve been utilizing video calls with my therapist when needed- which was unusual at first but has been so helpful in keeping me calm and focused on working through my feelings- which can be amplified while in quarantine and isolation.
As June winds down and things continue to reopen with restrictions around New England- I’m hoping I can spend more time outdoors and in the sun. While I’m in no rush to go to any large gatherings anytime soon- it would be nice to enjoy a few of my favorite Summertime activities (even if I have to wear a mask) to boost my mood and occupy my time while I continue to navigate through what has been a challenging few weeks.
Here’s to hanging in there.