life · mental health

la réflexion

Was very excited to be back in Sonoma County, even for the day. The husband and I decided, with forthcoming large events already planned, that our first wedding anniversary would be spent in the wee town of Sebastopol, for their Annual Gravenstein Apple Fair. Bay Area funk band Con Brio was such an inspiration amid some very divisive news occurring at the same time (see Charlottesville, VA). Witnessing the diversity and lively atmosphere enjoyed by an inspiring culmination of individuals at this small, country town gathering, was immensely heartwarming.

While attending Sonoma State I had my first opportunity to visit the farm friendly fair with my roommates. Once graduated, married, and following multiple experiences of great loss, I look back at these times I took for granted. One roommate, an ex who though I wish well, I do not keep in touch with, the other, I rarely if ever speak to, which is unfortunate as I fondly recall several nights we spent tipsy and emotional, assured we would be friends forever. Though she has moved on to have the most amazing life, I too remain thankful for my own, excited for the travels and experiences ahead. I’m grateful for a supportive partner who stands by in my darkest moments, of which there have been a few recently…


After the death of one of my most influential musical artists this summer, I embarked on a solo road trip to attend a public memorial in Los Angeles, this just so happened to land on my amazing older sisters birthday!

My husband was kind enough to cut our yearly trip with friends short and drive me home from Shasta late Sunday night. The majority of my time during this trip was spent taking in the mountain scenery from the patio of our Shasta rental, accompanied by the nostalgic sound of Linkin Park. All of the reminders from my youth came flooding in and suddenly, surprisingly, I was left facing the harsh reality that is mental illness. I must include an aside, I am  so very appreciative of my husband during difficult moments. I look forward to possibly return the favor, should he ever find himself venturing down his own dark spiral. But this is part of marriage few discuss; supporting one another and being strong when the other person just needs a little time for their armor to break, before helping to fuse it back together.

We were able to make it home near midnight and had a few hour sleep prior to picking up my car rental, then I was off to LA. The drive out was therapeutic. I sang, I shouted along to the lyrics, I was left in awe of the San Gabriel hills. I took my time appreciating the scenery, though I’ve never felt like I had a large connection to Los Angeles. Even now, the sheer mass intimidates me. It appears to me as a living breathing organism, feeding off the various lives thriving and dwindling within it. Something about the vibe of this town has never seemed quite right.

During the CB Memorial, I was in awe at the outpouring of emotions and heartfelt stories from fans at this all volunteer event held at Grand Park. The personal loss of those in attendance was immense, side by side with the devastation we all felt from losing someone most of us did not truly know, yet held so much connection to and received so much emotional support from.

The day was made so much more special with my sister in tow. As I screamed alongside the crowd; “Shut up when I am talking to you!” She laughed, and sympathized with my angry childhood. The burning need I felt to be heard during such a pivotal time in my personal development, begging for attention rarely received from our shared single mother. We spent little time together growing up, with a six year age gap, when she wasn’t tormenting me she was attending to her teenage lifestyle, before joining the military. I am so honored to have the close relationship we’ve established and maintained over the years.

The following day, I enjoy a short trip to Palos Verdes; sister and younger nephew in tow, before heading home. The view from the Terranea Resort was absolutely breathtaking, an area frequented by the late singer during his early morning workouts.

Celio Point

In response to my depression following the death of Chester Bennington, my husband and I decided to seek individual and couple therapy. We realize that we both have tendencies to get triggered by internal and external forces. Our experiences and traumas that drift into our daily lives from our pasts, have a way of quietly assimilating into the life we’ve created together. I have listed some of the resources we utilize with the hope that others who are wanting to work on themselves and/or their marriages/relationships, might also find these tools useful.


In closing, I desperately hope to have more uplifting topics with my next post, but this morning I was made aware of the devastating occurrence in the city of Las Vegas, during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. I have family in the area and my heart goes out to those who personally felt the devastation from this monstrous act. (I have included a list of blood donation sites on my Twitter page). FB_IMG_1506961710965

xx,

e.darby


Useful Resources:

The First Year of Marriage

Complex PTSD Workbook

Bearing the Unbearable; Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief

 

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