Four years this April will be the anniversary since losing my father suddenly to brain cancer and would have been his 65th birthday. You would think four years is a long enough time to process and learn to deal with losing a parent you were close with despite having a rocky relationship with, but the truth is the grieving doesn’t fully go away.
I have been dealing with bouts of depression over the years since grade school which I have always thought was a good thing for my writing as I got older, the stress, ups and downs during my teen years proved to be good for the poetry and stories I had written at that time was some of the best I had written in my opinion. Until 2012, things were crazy family wise and emotionally.
March 2012, the day was off and that feeling of dread wouldn’t go away till the phone call came of my father telling me of his brain cancer diagnoses and everything in my life turned upside down.
As much as I grew up hating my father because of his drinking and how he had treated my mother and brother as well as myself, I loved him so much. I was being thrown in many directions, growing up I was told to hate my dad for various reasons in a way and at the same time I was told to love him because he was my parent. My emotions were all over the place.
April 2012, Taking a break from university at the time, traveling back and forth between Florida and Connecticut with my brother was the most difficult time before he passed had proved that putting my writing on hold was the mistake I shouldn’t had made. Writing was always an outlet for me, growing up in and out of the hospital for surgeries on my vocal cords and dealing with parents fighting all the time I had a reason to escape.
The night before, I couldn’t sleep and had went to bed early because I was in an off-mood and couldn’t shake it. That morning I woke up to my mom telling me my dad was gone and all I could do was feel numb. I took my anger out on anyone and everyone who was near me, I cried myself to sleep or didn’t leave the bed till noon.
As of now, I had been fearful of writing anything thinking It would be horrible and whatever talent I had was gone. My depression had taken over and the overthinking, anxiety was holding strong… still is.
April was the one month that will be the hardest to go through, I honestly question on a daily basis if I will ever be okay enough again as I was before my dad died. Losing a parent that sudden when you’re twenty-two years old, you’re either going to go into a tailspin and lose it or take it day by day.
Depression takes over and the darkness comes with no light at the end, I blocked out a lot of those six weeks and after my father passed. Friends and family helped to keep me out of bed and to get me out of the house but I wouldn’t budge. I understand from my own experience with mental health issues it’s a very serious subject and situation to be in, depression happens to run in my family.
Being able to write this now after a couple years of moving on and learning to live again, finding a new reason to write is a challenge. I had dealt with losing my father by drinking to the point of feeling sick, partying with friends and not really leaving the house for three months… with the exception of a random road trip to Key West with a close friend.
I’ve learned to be more open with my mother and brother since and have cut back entirely on drinking. Slowly but surely getting my writing back is something I’ll be enjoying and hating but i’m looking forward to it. I’ve learned to lean towards friends if I felt down and not happy without falling back into my old vices of self harm when I felt depressed or missed my dad. As for my writing, I think it’s turned a little less angsty lately due to certain self help books (they do work!)