When I was 12, I went through a big trauma in my life. Going through trauma and becoming a teenager at the same time is not a good mix. The way to cope with it? Rebel. Rebel. Rebel. I started doing the stereotypical rebellious things: dressing in black, listening to rock/metal/alternative music, and using bad language. I didn't want to be cool. I wanted to be someone else. I wanted to feel better.
This was long before I had a struggle with anxiety and depression. I was depressed at the time, but no where near what I feel now as an adult. I didn't want to feel weak or be perceived as weak so I wanted to feel a way to cope. How did I cope? With cigarettes.
My mother was a smoker for as long as I can remember and probably even before I can remember. When she felt stressed, she smoked. After she ate dinner, she smoked. In the car, she smoked. Relatively, I felt like my mother was someone who was 1) my role model at the time and 2) she had her shit together. As an adult, I know th…
Loss is an inevitable part of growing up. You lose hair. You lose teeth. You lose family members. You lose friends. You lose money. You lose your favorite sock. You lose a lot. When you're born and as you grow up, no one prepares you for loss. No one tells you how to deal with such losses. They just tell you to "get over it" or "move on".
“The effects of loss are acute, and unique to each individual. Not everyone mourns in the same way, but everyone mourns.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes
Loss can include a very emotional process. You may feel one emotion or several all at once. Some emotions you may experience include: denial, disbelief, confusion, shock, sadness, anger, humiliation, despair, and guilt. Arguably, these are all common reactions to loss (unless you feel despair over losing your favorite sock, it'll be okay, I'll buy you a new pair if it makes you feel better!).
In some situations, loss can cause you to doubt your mental health or…
It was December 30th, 2012. It was a snowy winter in Connecticut. There were two travelers. Both were young. Both had a damaged past, but both had bright eyes that looked forward to the future. There was a blank page ahead of them, ready to be written.
But, why is this date the turning point in their story? The point the acts like a catalyst... the point that is the motivation behind the writer's hand, the carpenter's hammer, the chef's spoon... the point that is the driving force for the rest of their story. This was the day the travelers communicated a simple message to each other that would change their path forever.
This was the day that they each said, "I love you".
I love you, Caleb. Here's to five more years of I love yous. Even when you get mad at me for waking you up early. Even when you drive me absolutely bonkers. Even when love is the farthest thing from my mind because we are so angry. The paths we have traveled have been long and windy, but I&…