Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Losing a Big Piece of Me.

It's taken me a long time to get to right here, right now. It's taken tears, upon tears, it's taken highs and lows.
The fact of the matter is, every moment in my life has lead me to this point where I am, right here and now. 

I'm sure someone once said, life gets easier as you get older.
Death does not get easier as more come. It gets more difficult. Maybe you learn to cope better, and every person has their own unique experience with death and dying, but in my experience, it gets harder.
It's scary thinking who will go next.

When I was 16 my grandma died. It was probably the hardest death I didn't deal with. And I say didn't deal with because, I didn't cope. I pushed all of the emotions down and I acted strong for everyone else, but it was devastating for me. She and I had the same soul. She was like a mother to me. I spent a lot of time with her. Watching her approach death was extremely hard. She had emphysema, Alzheimer's and finally dementia.
For a while I thought she was going to get better but she just slowly deteriorated.
When I finally got sober, I cried for days about her and my grandfathers death.
Since then I have dealt with what happened with her, but there are times I still break down and cry about it.

Missing someone, or something, doesn't go away. It gets a little easier and the hurt is less and less with time. But when someone goes that you love you there are triggers that make you think of them.

My Aunt Dana passed away the summer of 2011. I was a full on mess. I had a voicemail from her that I would listen to until finally I lost it because I got a new phone.
Losing my Aunt Dana was extremely hard for me because she wanted to help me get sober so bad. I didn't want it then. She took me to meetings and I just wasn't interested. I felt like a failure when she died and I was still drinking. When I finally got sober and grew in sobriety, I felt I was making her proud and it helped me to cope. I also feel that her presence as an angel was instrumental in me getting sober.

This past year has been possibly the hardest of my entire life. September 2014-2015 has been insanity for me. From thinking I was falling in love to realizing I was losing myself, trying to help my friend in deep addiction and living with her, going through City Year and the realities of the Philadelphia public school system, dealing with a break up, losing my puppy, losing a best friend, and now losing my best confidant.

For years I have dreaded losing my dog Bevin. Way before it was ever going to happen. I knew it was going to be one of the hardest things for me to deal with. Now, it having happened... I'm a wreck.
I am. I am a full mess.

I am crying every five minutes. I don't know how long this will last. How long will it take to get through this loss? And on top of that it brings back every other painful death I have dealt with, this year alone.

These days, it's not someone has died. It's someone else has.

And on top of all this- I have ran into four different "ex's" I haven't seen in either months or years, this past month.
Like seriously what the fuck is going on?! I can't catch a break.
People were rude to me at work today. And I just wanted to cry the whole day.

People keep saying, "You're going to get through this and you're gonna be great." I don't even get what that means.
I know I'm going to get through this, that much is obvious to me... given all the shit I've had to get through this past year...
The fact is, I'm really GOING THROUGH THIS.

There was a time in my life that if Bevin had died I do not know how I would have been able to go on. Bevin is my best friend. She's the most beautiful creature I have ever know on this earth. It saddens me to no end to have to say goodbye.
The thought of opening a door to my house and not having her head stick right through it as soon as it opens pains my heart. She's the toughest broad I ever knew. I love her so much I don't know what life will be like without her in it in some capacity.

A stage of grief that I never really knew about before was anger.
I have been so angry lately. To people who don't deserve it. To my friends and family, to strangers on the street.

I miss Sam so so much.

There is one person in my life who I am so angry at I could kill them.
There are actually multiple people. And in reality I just want to hit them. Like really hard.

But anger is just hurt manifested.
And I'm hurting all over.

I think sometimes the landscape is hard to see because you are standing in it. When you think there is no beauty in your life you sometimes have to look deeper. When your going down a long road and it seems hard and ever-going, realize that from another perspective where you are is beautiful.

Life is magical there is no denying that. But it is so easy to be blinded by heartache and misery.

Today I was talking to one of my best friends and we were reminiscing about how good and just, how fucking easy our life was a little over a year ago.

You don't always realize that. It's easy to miss when things are good.

Like Joni said, "Don't it always seem to go... That you don't know what you got til it's gone."

That song rings so true to my life right now. You don't know the good days. You just don't. And if you can identify them, live in those moments as much as you can.

I have things these days that keep me sane. My friends, family, and God. Prayer helps me more than anything else.

I think there must be a reason I have lost all these people around me and I am still standing. I believe there is a plan for me. It must be something important because the amount that I feel I have been tested must mean there is some reason I need all these tools I now have.

I'm sorry if I care too much. I'm sorry if you have, or ever feel that this blog is too many emotions.
If I have too many feelings.
If I love too deeply.
Actually, I'm not sorry about that. That's just the way it is.
I have deep feelings for life.
I am not going to stop. And part of living is losing. But it's how we move forward...

We must continue Yabbers, onward and upward.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

So Long Early 20s....

I started writing this blog, FuckYab, because when I entered into my 20s I realized life was shaping up to be well...actual life. I had gotten to the hard stuff.

I remember when life was something totally different from what it is now. I was full of innocence in every capacity. I remember my first day of college, which was my 19th birthday, the last year of being a teenager, and I remember thinking that, now,  I was finally living- I was on my own. I entered a new town (a new state even). Every single person I met, with the exception of Rita, was someone brand new and unlike anyone I had met before. I found people that would, and will, define my life and have helped me to figure out what life is. 

When I turned 20, I was living at home. I cried. I think that was the first birthday I really cried. I didn't even know what I was crying about. That summer had been spent recuperating. I had been hospitalized in early June and I was getting better, but I didn't know what I was getting better from. 

My 21st birthday was complete insanity. I party hopped to birthday parties for myself. Which is pretty much how the rest of that year went. Up until March 20, 2012- the day I got, and continue to stay, sober. 
I also cried.

My first day of classes at Temple university was also my 22nd birthday. I didn't really tell anyone it was my birthday and I didn't really do much. 
I don't know about Taylor Swift... But 22 didn't mean very much- but I didn't cry.

By 23, I was feeling sober and alive. I had an amazing summer leading up to 23. I did fun things and I really felt that I was able to have a life again and live like a human being. *Side note: One thing they don't tell you right away, when you get sober, is that you're pressing a restart button and everything is going to change...* 
Then my world got rocked when I didn't... do school, and almost failed out. If not for that failure I never would have gotten involved in service and found out what it means to truly give back, and my life would not be what it is today. Now, service is my life. 
I think I cried, but not enough to remember. 

On my 24th birthday, I was sent flowers from a boy for the second time in my life and they were beautiful. I had a birthday dinner with really good friends and it was sober and a lot of fun. I loved every minute of my 24th birthday. But my 24th year on earth was, at times, like living in hell. It was possibly the hardest year of my life to date. minus year 21.
21 definitely wasn't the hardest year of my life. It was probably just the most ups and downs I've ever experienced, in the shortest amount of time. 24- definitely the toughest shit I have ever had to endure. 
It's amazing how things can transform in one year. One day of the year you could feel like the world is ending and nothing will save you and a year later, you could have so much purpose it brings you to tears.

Now, as I leave early 20s and enter mid-late 20s, I'm feeling reflective of 20s past (as you can tell...). And it's funny because I actually have never written a birthday blog post!? I guess I just tried to Keep Calm and Pretend it's not Happening. 

They never warned us about these years. 
Yet if you ask anyone who has been through them, or who is in the thick of it- they will tell you it is the most difficult time of your life. 

Shit happens and things get real. Like realer than you ever imagined.

I don't regret anything that has happened to me or that I have had to experience. I am who I am today because of everything that has come my way. 
As they say, every success is built on a shit ton of failure. 

And I've failed. Oh boy, oh boy, have I failed. But I have learned and I have grown. 
and I will continue to learn from the things that come my way because I'm starting to learn these aren't just crazy things that are happening... this is life. Life is hard, confusing and comes at you fast, 
especially in your 20s. 

Now that I know all that I know, I am so curious to see what is in store for the next five years of my life. 
Before I thought I knew everything, now I have realized I don't know shit. 
With that knowledge I welcome 25 and the lessons I have to learn. 

I think for a long time I was fighting to get to adulthood and now I'm fighting actual adulthood. When I was little I wanted things to happen faster, I felt so young and like life was so far ahead of me. I just wanted to be apart of the scene and hang with the older kids. 
Now I am an older kid. I don't feel like I'm trying to be an adult anymore. I feel like it's just my mind set. Like I am no longer and child. AAAAAAnd of course the grass is always greener on the other side... 
So now I'm like wait wait kids I swear I'm cool! LIKE ME! BE MY FRIENDDDD

But if there are any young girls, or boys, out there reading this please live in the present of your youth. Don't try to act older. Just enjoy your life, every minute of it as it comes and goes. Be young and dumb and be ok with that. 
But, it's not like I am a senior citizen... In the eyes of many people I am still very, very young. So I will take that. 

I've heard that this is great year, being 25. 
So, I'm excited. I am excited for the beginning of my mid-late 20s. 
I feel something in the air. It's kinda like when I first went to Burlington, and I knew everything was right ahead of me on the road I was about to step on. 
I am ready for my next journey. I welcome whatever the fuck life has to throw at me. 
*knock on wood*

"Happy Birthday to me, world," said yab. "And let them eat cupcakes."

At 25, I cried...tears of joy. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Gab's Oh So Bad Terrible Day

Today is the start of the last week of the summer, which always makes me feel weird.

The beginning of summer is so exciting, the end most people hate...

But, I am not a child anymore... And the end of summer this year, marks that everyone else will be back to work, just like I have been all summer. So, no complaints there.
I am sad that I can't really go to the beach anymore and that it will get cold.
But like... TBH I like the cold and sweaters.

I am not sad to see this summer go. It has been sweet. Like a sugar cookie sweet. Nothing really special, but sweet.

But driving with your two best friends in all black to Virginia for a funeral for your other best friend, is not really a summer to be highlighted in tan skin and innocence.

Today started out great and turned into terrible.

It was an easy Sunday, it started out perfect. Early morning walk, coffee with my roomie and dog. Hung out with my family and got to spend some very good quality time with my brother and sister.

But then I got hit by a bullet basically halfway through the day. A cannon of emotion.

I have been spending the weekend with my dog Bevin, who is my life. As I look at her now I could not describe a more perfect, loyal, sweet animal. She, more than anything else on this planet, my everything. She is like my child but at the same time is an old lady. A very old lady.
And as I write this I am tearing up because she looks different. She looks like I might be losing her.
And she has done this to me before! She's made me think she was on her last leg and she wasn't. So I can't tell if she's tricking me or if she is as frail as she appears.
But I can't lose her.
And I know people don't leave until they are suppose to but I can't. It will be too much. The tipping point on my rocked ship.

I just can't.

I cried all night long holding her. Praying that she doesn't leave soon. Losing Jasper and Sam has been hard enough.

A day does not go by that I do not think about Sam and her family. It's still hard to think that the world is moving and she is not. I pray for her mother every night.
They say that when a young soul passes they come right back to earth. I know Sam is here. I see her and feel her everywhere. I don't search for meaning in her death because I know she is now safe and no longer suffering. But than to think she's not here and progressing with life and living is really fucking hard.

I have break downs here and there.
Earlier I was saying to my mom, "Why are these bad things happening?" She said, "Gab, they are sad. Not bad, sad."

Now as I write about the end of all these things it does feel that summer is over. I feel that closing and Fall creeping in. And it's so hard to not feel sad.

It's my birthday week, did you know? Which has always been weird, but like could there be a more perfect end to summer than the celebration of me?

I have to take a second and thank God for the people in my life. Tonight I was held in loving arms and told how strong I am by people who know me best. I am happy I have people who I can get snot on their shirts and others I can call at any hour, day or night.

I wish a bad day was scraping your knee and having a boo boo. That's not life anymore.
As I was crying on the phone talking to my mom I was looking in the mirror. I hardly recognize myself.
I am an adult.

I am not the girl who started this blog. With long brown hair and lost eyes.
I am now a woman, and I think I have been for a long time.

I don't understand how life works but I am doing the best I can. All things considered I am doing a pretty good. I have career goals, a job I love and I am working very hard at it.
I am sober and grateful and it has made me into the most perfect version of myself.

But I have been ugly crying all night.
me to a T, bipolar and all. 

I have been working so fucking much. And you know what? That's life. People bust their ass every goddamn day. It's just fascinating to me that this is who I am now. I am someone who doesn't really stop.
Whereas a couple of years ago I had a very difficult struggle with getting out of bed.
It's a good change, but balance is lacking.
I am stressing myself, and everyone around me the fuck out.
I am constantly on edge trying to prepare for the next catastrophe that will bring hell upon my life.

One thing I have done a very good job at is getting rid of toxic and horrible people from my life. I have realized that life is short. I do not need to waste energy on people who don't care about my well being or have the same priorities I do.

Every now and then we need to recalibrate. I am beginning that now. I am going to bring balance back into my life and take a break when I need to.
Because I can't keep holding it in and exploding.
My eyes and face hurt from crying. Time to ask for help.
And you know what? My eye lashes are permed so my crying... isn't actually that ugly. #treatyoself




Let it go

Welcome to Mid 20s. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

She was an Amazing Person in all Aspects

I have a good amount of friends. I have friends that have come and gone out of my life for one reason or another. Some of the people I have known, and consider my friends, have left profound impacts on my life, whether currently they are in them or not.

Today I lost a friend to the disease of addiction.

Some of the strongest relationships I have were formed at a place that left a profound impact on my life, Camp Tockwogh. If you have known me for a while, you have heard me talk about camp. About the many memories I have acquired there and the friends I have gathered along the way. A lot of these people have come in and out of my life, but left lasting impressions.
A few of these people are still in my life today, whether they never left my side or the universe returned them to me.

One of my best friends from camp, and in life, was Samantha Devers. Deevers, as many called her, was basically a sister to me.

I knew of Sam before I knew her as Deevers, or Deevs. At one time I knew her as the Tockwogh Barbie, because she looked so much like the popular mattel doll. But to be honest with you, she was more drop dead gorgeous than a plastic Barbie, inside and out.

I finally met and got to know Sam in the summer of 2008. We were put into the same cabin third session. I was a "junior counselor" and she was a C.I.T., counselor in training. It was a weird dynamic because just a week before she arrived at camp I was previously a C.I.T. but because the camp was wildly understaffed they asked my group of C.I.T.'s to stay on as "junior counselors". A position was made up so that the camp could have non-paid staff... Hey, we were honored.

When Sam and I were put together in the cabin I made an effort to not have it be an awkward situation, since we were the same age but not exactly equal. (Sorry if this is confusing because you are not a camp kid. You should have begged your parents to go to Tockwogh.)

I remember very specifically (and possibly my favorite memory with Sam) one night we were stuck in the cabin for a long time together because of a thunder storm, I think the power might have gone out because I know we had flash lights, and we basically shared our lives stories to date. We were 17. and had so many commonalities. This is when I really met Sam. She became my friend.
Some friendships you just know will last forever. There are certain people you click with and have a deep connection.
Sam was one of these people.

We weren't really super close after that, because she was doing C.I.T. things and I the J.C. things.

the night we fell in love.
The next summer we were staff. This is a big deal, in the camp world. A big, big deal.
Me and my two other camp bffs, Rita and Carly, showed up to camp at the end of the first week of training and the beginning of the first weekend of camp. Which entailed a large party, but it also required us to get to this party, from MD- PA...
Rita, Carly, and I were, basically assigned to Sam's car. She didn't know us that well and we kinda knew her.
After that car ride and that night, which I don't know if I can really tell/ reveal what happened...or remember... we were friends forever.
Countless nights that summer were spent in that car. Too many things happened in that car... I threw up on Rita and Carly to Taylor Swift in that car...

After that summer we were all extremely close... I was also fired because of my drinking escapades... but that is for another time. And to be honest, she was there for me 100% through that.

Sam came to my house a couple of years for thanksgiving and my family fell in love with her. People were always falling in love with Sam. She was so easy to love. She was an amazing human being.

The past year Samantha and I had been living together. And it was really rough. From the time Sam moved in things were not the same as when we were kids at camp.
And I knew they weren't going to be, but I didn't realize how serious things were.

I got sober in March 2012. Right before I gave up drinking and drugging, I was in constant contact with Sam because she was going through a lot. She would call me incredibly upset about things that were going on with her. Sam's drug use had gotten way out of hand before mine did. She was court ordered to rehab, which was a good thing because it got her sober.

Getting sober, going from constantly fucked up and denying life, to dealing with life, is debatably the hardest thing a person has to do (if they have to do it).
It was easy for Sam and me to relate because we were going through a lot of the same things.

Sam always knew she was susceptible to becoming an addict. She had told me this early on. She was very wary of drugs when we were younger. But like all addicts, it snuck into her life.
There are people I could blame for Sam's path but ultimately, she was bound to walk it one way or another.

When Sam told me she wanted to live with me in Philly last year, I was beyond excited. I could not think of a better roommate.
But like I said, I didn't realize things were they way they were.

Sam was always a bit of a mystery. I think that's one of the reasons people fell so in love with her all the time. Because there was so much to know about her and so many things to find out about her.
But I quickly started to realize things were not right in our house.
Signs of her using started popping up and I began begrudgingly putting them together. I did not want to solve this mystery because I knew what the answer was. I knew Sam was using.

Although this year was rough, I still got to live with Sam. I got to spend time with one of my best friends. And I am happy she was living with me and not somewhere else.

I wish I could go back and wrap her in my arms and never let her go. And make her tell me all the truths to all the mysteries so we could work them out together. I wish I could have saved her. Or helped even more in some way, shape or form.

What happened to Sam is tragic. She was not her disease, it over took her and made her something she wasn't for along time and it's not fair. I don't like people knowing her as that, thinking that was her, because it wasn't. That is not who she was.

Samantha Devers was a dancer, a pilot, a sailor, a caregiver, an academic, a hard worker, caring, understanding, an amazing listener, sweet, fierce, unique, kind, an incredible friend, so so so easy to get along with, and so so many other things.

She was an amazing person in all aspects. And I will forever love her.

I will again emphasize this year was past year was rough. It was one of the hardest things, for both Sam and I, I'm sure.
Having to see your best friend suffer daily is horrible but being in love with something that will ultimately kill you is worse.

No one choose this life, Samantha definitely did not. She did not choose to have this predisposition. People who don't grapple with addiction can not comprehend how difficult this thing is to beat.

But I will not remember Sam that way. I will not see her as her disease, ever, because she was so so much more. I will remember the girl who I clicked with in the cabin late at night, while telling each other about how much we hated our all girls schools under flash lights, and we longed for something more.
That is who will forever live on in my heart, because that is who she was.

She dealt with the situation.

my angel.

Those of us who have walked through hell, know that heaven is real. 
Rest easy. Love you, Mean it.