Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bad Day

Suzy Stocky and Myla Denise
Some see my encouraging posts and quotes and assume that I do such because I don't know struggle or because I'm not being honest. Both are far from the truth. It's nearly amusing to write this, but I've been accused of being too positive. I've been asked, "Don't you ever have a bad day?"

This has been a tough week. Like most, I was saddened by the loss of Robin Williams, an entertainment icon who brought joy and awe to so many for decades. I continue to watch the city of Ferguson, Missouri get rocked and divided by the shooting of an unarmed teenager by law enforcement. In the last seven days, I've grieved, remembered, and been anxious and outraged.

In addition to the tragedies that I share as a citizen of this country, this tough week became even more difficult personally as I received news that my dear friend passed away. Do I ever have a bad day? I am having one right now.

My friend, someone I shared many conversations, meals, celebrations, tragedy, and simply time with is no longer here. Initially, I found comfort in the memories and in knowing that during our last communication I told Suzy that I missed her. Eventually, though, my feelings changed and I was overcome by the finality of her absence. I can no longer call or text her. I can't take that trip we'd discussed. I will never get to hear her boisterous laugh again and all of that makes my heart hurt.

The positivity that I display and often write about is genuine, but it developed through hardship. It is because of times like these that I can trust that I will get through this newest challenge. Too positive? Not at all. I acknowledge the depth of my hurt. I recognize that the death of my friend brings up feelings related to the loss of my father. I know that when I feel broken and vulnerable it can trigger trauma and if I'm not careful, can result in much more than grief. I do have bad days, but I work through them because I can't afford not to. The risk is too great.

Difficulty and heartache are common experiences. Yours may differ from mine, but they are no less real or influential. You get to choose how to handle—or not handle—your hardships. I have considered several ways to cope over the last few days, not all of them good or healthy. Today I choose to write through my bad day. I hope you will choose wisely as you face yours.

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