This morning, my son cried really early so I went and brought him back to bed with me to cuddle. We all fell asleep again and woke up in a giant puddle of peepees. Of course this happens the day after I wash EVERYTHING. Tis’ is life, but required me to drink so much amazing coffee. And leads me to my next though. This week I had horrible PMS. I thought something was seriously wrong with me. I was lethargic and depressed and WebMD’ed my symptoms, PMS. Whoa. This type of depression had never hit me before.
I’m not sure if any of you have experienced depression before, but I was fortunate enough to recognize that something was off in my demeanor. I realize too many women (and men) experience depression without being able to quite put their finger on what is going on in their mind. To combat this sinking feeling, I began to write this blog. I had been writing about a heartbreaking loss I experienced earlier this year. Now, looking back on my writing, I can recognize the sadness in my words. The post is below. At first, I wasn’t sure if I should continue with this post, but I wanted to show you a sign and some language you can recognize in people that are depressed or have experienced any type of mental agony. Too many are not able to express their feelings into words, but I think many do portray their emotions in other manners. Pay attention and hug a loved one today.
Earlier this year, I lost a man very close to me. I’m not sure how to introduce you to him. He was my uncle. He was my father’s identical twin. He was the man who I asked to walk me down the aisle (he was too sick to). He was the father figure my sisters and I all yearned for. He was a beam of humility. He was the man.
Growing up, my father and uncle were never too far from each other. Randy would often buy the land next to our home and build his own house. He’d watch us and would hang out with us and listen to everything we had to say as if it were the most monumental concept he ever heard. He’d pick us up from school probably more often than our own father and would actively compliment everything we did. At one point, we were building our home and so my family stayed with our uncle Randy. Every night, the band Queen would blare through the stereo system, chocolates would be handed out, and beer would be drunk.
That was the downfall. With identical DNA, my uncle and father had identical crutches and would use each other as launching pads into drunkenness. More often than not, the harmonization of “We are the champions my friends, we’ll keep on fighting till the end.” would still be ringing in my ears as hangovers surely crept into their minds. This is a form of systematic addiction where their environments cycled and so their habits were impossible to break. My uncle and father are big, athletic, kind hearted, charismatic, and smart men. This does not make them exempt from toil. Alcohol (beer in particular) was their escape from reality. What I never expected was either one of these larger than life men to be taken away by anything other than themselves.
Without going into too much detail, cancer took my uncle’s life, but his harmony reigned true. He did fight until the end. After his death, my sisters and I traded our vows to keep his spirit living on. By spirit, we mean demeanor. He found love and light in every situation. During my eulogy at his funeral, I couldn’t help but smile as I thought of him and his ability to turn any shit situation into something hilarious. I want that to live on.
Anything I can do to make the world a happier, more Randy place to be, the more confident in the future I will become. The desire to find fulfillment and purpose is often overshadowed by the every day tokens of happiness. Finding positivity and silver linings will allow you to spread love and light. For me, writing allows me to say my feelings, but also put a positive spin on what I’m writing. By putting good karma out into the world, it forces me to put good thoughts into my mind. Clear thoughts force my mind in an enlightened view and makes the compass of my emotions point north.
Also, learning to love the people while in the moment can be life changing. Anne Frank said “Dead people receive more flowers than the living because regret is stronger than gratitude.” I propose to change this. Embrace the love in the moment, communicate the praise in the moment, don’t let anymore minutes tick away without speaking your truth and light. Think about how amazing it would be if everyone took a few moments out of every day to compliment a stranger, tell your barista she is rocking that wing liner, tell the boy from afar you think he’s attractive, compliment your teacher on their teaching style, tell an old friend you miss her laugh. The world is full of opportunities that you don’t have to miss to make someone’s life glow. Be the glow.
P.S. If you’re reading this (and a ton of people who aren’t, but should be), I love you through and through. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow too. (My son’s book.)
That is one thing Randy always did well – he was the glow and you can be too. We love him and miss him dearly. I feel very fortunate to have had an uncle who would be okay morphing into a father. Everyone deals with loss differently, but if you need someone to talk to, please call someone or as always feel free to message or email me. I would love to speak to you. I wanted to give you all some tips that I used to carry myself through some dark times and put my heart and mind at ease. I hope they help you a little.
- Talk to a loved one
- Get a therapist
- Read a book
- Make a plan (These always help me organize my thoughts and actions)
- Take a walk
- Light a candle (I suggest this one, its calming and beautiful)
- Eat more veggies (this is true – you can do it)
- Unplug from social media
- Take a bath
- Have some wine
- Drink warm tea
- Take a nap
- Clean/organize your apartment (nothing will make your heart sail like an organized pantry- these help with bathroom, these help with kitchen)
- Cook a good meal
- Hold hands
- Play with your baby (any? – not sure how applicable this is)
- Eat more fruit
- Eat less sugar
- Be with loved ones
- Enjoy your city (for example, here’s a link to the most instagrammable places in my town).
- Take yourself on a date (day movie and sneak wine into that theater)
- Drink more water
- Paint your nails (These are beautiful and last for.ev.er.)
- Put lotion on
- Give yourself an in home spa day
- Play with puppies (local adoption)
- Do something creative
- Pray (Or read this book – its life changing)
- Have some self-reflection
- Watch TV
- Reconnect with an old friend
- Look through old photos and organize them (this will help immensely)
- Work out
- Go to the library
- Read some self-improvement books
- Floss – yass queen; nothing better than fresh to death gums
- Be in nature
- Listen to music
- Go for a run
- Work on your dream board (start your dream board with this)
- DIY a project
- Try a new recipe (These simple muffins are a good starting point)
- Do yoga
- Drink a smoothie (oooo maybe one day I’ll share my Grandmother’s recipe)
- Ride a bike
- Have some sexy time