I was not my best self last year. I lost someone very dear to me, my grandpa, on December 25th, 2016. I struggled for the majority of 2017 to cope with this loss and all the secondary losses that came with it.
Thankfully, I feel like I am in a much better place in 2018, thanks in large part to the fact that I finally accepted help. As someone with an educational background in mental health, I find it ironic that I put off going to grief counseling for so long. Through therapy, I not only found the light at the end of the tunnel, but I have been given the tools to get out of the tunnel completely.
“Your trauma is valid. Even if other people have experienced “worse”. Even if someone else who went through the same experience doesn’t feel debilitated by it. Even if it “could have been avoided”. Even if it happened a long time ago. Even if no one knows. Your trauma is real and valid and you deserve a space to talk about it. It isn’t desperate or pathetic or attention-seeking. It’s self-care. It’s inconceivably brave. And regardless of the magnitude of your struggle, you’re allowed to take care of yourself by processing and unloading some of the pain you carry. Your pain matters. Your experience matters. And your healing matters. Nothing and no one can take that away.” – Daniell Koepke
If you are having a hard time or feeling stuck, there is help out there. Find a counselor here.
As much as I struggled last year, 2017 wasn’t all bad. In fact, it was a year with some incredible highs, including my first trip to Europe and a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, which was my ultimate travel goal and the inspiration behind my blog. 2017 was also a year of waterfalls, camping trips, weekend getaways, and concerts.
And yet, it was a year with incredible lows, with days when I couldn’t stop the tears at work, nights when I couldn’t sleep, mornings when I woke up and remembered the loss all over again. It was a year when friends moved away, friendships were tested, a year that a friend was diagnosed with leukemia. It was a year of anger, anguish, bitterness, guilt, confusion, and loneliness.
It was definitely not a year for blogging. I wrote a handful of sporadic posts, but mostly, this blog collected dust.
That’s going to change this year. It’s my last year in my 20’s (what?!) and I feel more like myself again. I am trying to learn from the sudden loss of my grandpa to cherish every moment, to live life to the fullest. Time is not guaranteed. There are so many things that I want to do and I want to make every day count. I’ve got lots of adventures planned for 2018. Stay tuned.
“The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light.” -Sara Ajna