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Long time, not better

Hello,

A lot of things have changed in the last few months. For most of them it was a positive change. I got a job I actually enjoy (even though it’s not what I had in mind for me) and I’m pretty good at it.

One thing has remained consistent though and that’s my anxiety. It’s always there, sometimes she sleeps. Sometimes, like the last few days, she’s a raging dog that makes my life impossible. Living on edge constantly, afraid of everything, filled with selfdoubt has never been fun and lately it hasn’t been easy to live with.

The one year anniversary of my father’s death is approaching and I am an absolute mess. It’s completely normal, everyone says. And I know it is. Still, living like this is impacting me in a way it’s getting harder to handle.

Am I capable of handling it? Maybe, maybe not. Right after he died I never thought I’d achieve everything I have. Still, I can’t seem to get a thought out of my head. That I’m merely surviving, that what I’ve done during the last year of my life hasn’t been living. And that’s okay too. I guess. It’s part of the process.

I just wish that with time it’s going to be less about surviving and more about living.

I’ll let you know when I get there 😊

The good samaritan syndrome

Is it easy for you to feel selfish? can anyone make you feel guilty with little to no effort? do you feel like you’re worth more if you put the needs of others before your owns? The answer to all of those questions for me is YES!!

I’m about to take a life changing step, one more on top of all the others that have been a result of my father’s death. This one though is a good and exciting one, it makes me happy and it feels 100% right. I’m moving, city. And I’m also moving in with my boyfriend whom I love very much.

I’ve known him for 9 months (a short period of time, I know) but he has showed me on numerous occasions that he’s a good match for me. He cares for me. Takes care of me and has this weird power of making everything better just by being there. I’m excited to see what’s in the cards for us.

Somehow though I feel a bit selfish, like I’m abandoning my family and somehow they’ve, unintentionally, perpetrated that thought. I say unintentionally because I know that they’re going through their own stuff and it’s been incredibly hard on everybody. I know they’re not trying to hurt me.

What has happened in the last few days though has made me think about my personality. I know I’ve always thought about everyone else’s interests and put their needs before my own, but I also know that I need to stop doing that. That as long as I am a good person and I try my best, I have to start thinking about my own needs and how to fulfill them. I think that the decision of moving to Madrid, which I’ve made completely on my own, is a good one towards that path.

There’s no space for guilt. I don’t need to justify myself or my decisions.

I’ll have to repeat that to myself over and over again until I believe it cause right now it’s hard and I do feel guilty.

All my love,

C.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes”

Since my dad passed away I’ve been having dreams about him. They were more frequent right after he died and even though they keep happening, they’re more sparse. Even though dreaming about him and feeling like he’s still here is amazing, the waking up part and realizing it’s not real is the absolute worst.

Yesterday I dreamed that I was walking around a shopping mall and he was seating at a café. My first reaction was, it’s impossible! It’s probably a man that looks like him and dresses like him (he was dressed in office attire, my dad’s uniform haha), but soon I realized that it was indeed my dad. So I did what anyone would have done. I ran as fast as I could and hugged him.

It’s nice to see that my mind still remembers how it felt to hug him, because the hug in my dream felt 100% real. I asked him how it could be possible for him to be there if he was dead. He said he didn’t know anything about being dead, that he felt very much alive and surely I had dreamed it all.

I told him that it was impossible, I had seen his dead body in the mortuary, I went to his funeral, I had visited him in the cemetery. He looked confused and almost like he didn’t want to burst my bubble by telling me that he wasn’t really there, that I was dreaming.

That’s when I decided to believe him, to think that his death was just a bad dream, that I’d finally woken up. We went on a stroll, talked a bit and went to dinner to a nice restaurant. Mundane things that made me so happy just because he was there. That’s when my alarm went off.

My first thought was that I needed to go back to sleep, why did I have to wake up? I’d much rather spend the day with him in my dreams that living a reality I don’t like. Instead anxiety kicked in and here I am.

When someone asks me if I like dreaming about him the answer is always no. Even though the dreams are a chance for me to feel like he’s still here, they’re just an illusion and waking up feels like reliving his death over and over again.

All my love,

C.

Red is my favorite color

“Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance”

About to burst. That’s how I feel. All the time.

I always thought that anger as a stage of grief would manifest in anger because my father is not here, because someone (or something) took it from me too early. I never would have thought that it would be anger towards everything.

This anger is taking me to a point where I could seriously hit someone and the thought of it makes me feel better. I don’t like to admit this. I don’t like to talk about it and that’s why I think I should. It’s not healthy for me to bottle these feelings up, I don’t want them to take over me.

This is not who I am. I tend to get frustrated easily but this anger, it’s poisoning me.

A few days ago I was on the subway and a girl walked by me, I had my phone in my hand and she stared at it for a second. Barcelona is a city full of pit pocketers and for a minute I thought “I dare you to take it from me”, just so that I can defend myself and make use of all this anger. I wasn’t thinking about seriously injuring her, maybe some hair pulling, a slap across the face. You get the drill.

How do I intend to get rid of it? I have no idea.

For now I have a three steps rule:
1. Breathe
2. Think about something that calms you
3.Pray

I’m also looking into boxing or self defense classes in Madrid, not only they would help get rid of all this rage but I’d be learning a new skill. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m interested in knowing if some of you are going through the same thing, either because of grief or other reasons and how you’re tackling it.

All my love,

C.


The never ending job hunt

El Retiro park in Madrid, was sitting on a bench reading a book when I looked up and loved what I saw. Definitely one of my favorite places in Madrid.

I’ve been looking for a job for a year and a half, unsuccessfully. Everyday (or almost) for the last 18 months I’ve sat in front of my computer and dedicated a few hours to searching job offers, writing cover letters and filling registration forms.

Everyday. For 18 months.

Thankfully I’m in a position where my parents have been extremely helpful, giving me the time and space to find something that truly resonates with me. I’m a PR and communication specialist, possibly one of the most coveted sectors.

What worries me greatly is that I’ve now started to think that my self worth is directly related to me having a job or not. You can see how that can have a very negative impact on my mind because it means that without a job, a purpose, I’m nothing.

Adding to that, the death of my father has turned my world upside down and most days I’m wondering who I am, what I want and now more than ever I’m aware of the importance of enjoying life to the fullest. Right now, though, I don’t feel like I am.

My mind is constantly thinking about three different things:

  • My dad is no longer here, I will not see him again.
  • I need to find a job … now!
  • The future is scary and I should, instead of embracing it, run away from it (impossible I know)

Having said that, I think it’s important to stay positive (even though impossible at times, I’m trying my best), keep trying and have faith that good things will come.

All my love,

C.