I'll be honest, I'm struggling to start this post. I've started it a few different ways already and deleted them because it didn't feel genuine. I'm in a bit of a weird head space while I try to write this. So I guess I'll just dive in.
Throughout this week, I was notified of a number of losses in a short amount of time. One of those losses was the loss of a family member of my own, while the others were loved ones of close friends of mine. While my depression hasn't come in and swept me away, I can feel that I'm somewhat emotionally tired. I don't feel emotionally exhausted which I think is important to point out. But I don't necessarily have that same pep in my step as some may say.
As I said before, one of the losses was a family member of my own. My grandfather's sister passed away earlier this week. I grew up hearing stories from my mom about going to visit her aunt, as well as stories from my grandpa about his sister. I unfortunately didn't get a chance to really get to know her, but one thing I am very grateful of is that I have recently found myself getting in touch with her daughters and getting a chance to have a relationship with them. Losing loved ones is always difficult, but I've found how grateful I am for the family that I have. We can come together and continue to talk about our loved ones and keep their memory very much alive.
Additionally, I noticed within the past couple of days that I had been having some sort of strange dreams. To back up, I had been watching a mini series that I absolutely loved. I powered through all of the episodes in a short amount of time. The story line drew me in and held my attention with cliffhangers and plot twists. It was an incredible series and I really loved it. But the more I became invested, the more I found myself having strange dreams.
Now, my family and close friends probably will think "well Hannah, weird dreams are normal for you." And that's true. But typically, they don't have the same theme or underlying emotion within each dream night after night. And I was so distracted by how much I loved the series that I didn't register that it may have been causing these dreams.
To explain, about 5 years ago, I found myself in the middle of a web of lies, manipulation, etc. involving someone I had been very close with and her husband. It's not something I talk about publicly in great detail because:
1: there were a number of people involved. I don't want to talk about it without their pemission
2: it's not something I enjoy reliving. In fact, my own sister doesn't know the vast majority of what happened simply because I don't see what would benefit from hashing it out with her. (I do want to be clear that I did go and see a therapist to process this. I actually went through some trauma therapy for it. So when I say that I don't see the benefit of talking to her about it, I don't mean to say I've bottled it up. I simply mean that I don't see any benefit for our relationship to get into the nitty gritty)
3: I don't want my identity as a writer to be associated only with those events. I have much more to offer than one part of my life and would prefer to focus on the other parts
With that in mind, I've come to recognize that the dreams I have been having have likely started as a result of binge watching that show. There were a lot of core themes that were familiar to me and the things that I've experienced. Historically, right after those events happened, I would have found myself in a very dark and low point. My anxiety and depression would have taken me over.
Fast forwarding to where I am today, I have grounding techniques, medication, etc. to help me from becoming overwhelmed. So while I'm not currently in a very dark point, I'm also not my usual cheery self either. I'm discontent and doing thing to keep my very busy mind distracted. I spend the morning cleaning, did some cooking, as well as planning roughly what I wanted to say in this post.
This admittedly isn't my typical monthly check in. Usually things are a bit more upbeat, but like I said in the beginning, trying to write that chipper upbeat way didn't feel genuine. It felt like a facade and that's not something I want to do.
Something that I think is helpful for anyone who may struggle with depression, anxiety, grief, past trauma, etc. is to have things to look forward to. It helps make difficult things more tolerable. So for myself, I have a few exciting things planned for this month. Next weekend, I'll be going to visit my family in my hometown. My cousin's son just graduated from high school, so we will be celebrating his graduation and his future plans. It will also be nice because my whole immediate family will be together. It can sometimes be difficult to plan our schedules to be able to visit together at the same time. It makes it that much more exciting when we are able to all be together.
Later in the month, I'll be going to celebrate one of my friend's legal name change. Throughout the past year, there were a couple times that I said to him, "when I see you next, can we PLEASE celebrate this?" as he shared various parts of his journey as a transgender man. (I shared a little bit about this in my April check in when I talked about Transgender Day of Visibility. You can read about it here: https://www.hwrite.com/post/april-2021-check-in ) I'm so excited to finally get to celebrate all of the exciting changes that have come for him.
Finally, June in the United States is known as "Pride Month." As a woman with many friends that are LGBTQ+, I hope to take some time to share some stories of people and events that are significant to the LGBTQ+ population as they've fought for equal rights, to be treated fairly, etc. If there's anyone specific you want me to talk about or events you want to cover, please give me a shout and I'll do my best!
I hope that this month will bring a lot of great things not just for myself, but for all of you as well!