Life Update for April 2019: Family Loss & Struggling with Empathy

Hey, Chums—

I cannot even begin to describe to y’all how amazing it feels to be writing up a blog post right now. Blogging has always been my comfort and companion with dealing with mental health, not to mention my full-time job as well, so not being able to blog at all for the past week has been mental torture for me, especially with how chaotic everything has been.

I’m writing this update today as an outlet to rant about some of the mental health burdens I’ve been dealing with this week and I’m also writing it to give you an update as to when I shall be returning to blogging.

I know this year, BiblioNyan has been extremely sporadic with publishing content. A lot of that can be attributed to me feeling lost in life as I try to lay the bricks of my ambitions out before me, and the rest of it has just been burnout. A blogger mate suggested creating a concrete blogging schedule with specific posts to go out on specific dates/times and also leaving some open availability for those periods where I need a random and spontaneous break from uploading for the morning/day/night.

Last week, I finally created and uploaded a tentative blogging schedule. I was feeling so hyped about this new layout and, honestly, it was helping to add some discipline to my overall chaotic days outside of blogging. My daily routines felt more structured and this in turn helped with my mental health and depression, and overall feelings of inadequacy as a content creator and person in their early-30s trying to pursue some outrageously ambitious dreams. That lasted for about two or three days before I had to step away without notice.

sesshomaru and rin walking

Saturday (20th of April) I received word from my mum that my paternal grandmother in Fiji was gravely ill and that my dad was prepping for a flight out to go and visit her. I offered to help in any way that I could. I spent most of my Saturday with my parents. Then on Sunday, after sharing my Self-Care post on how libraries positively impact my mental health, things got a bit intense with my parents. I don’t want to give gooey details because they honestly aren’t mine to give, but all I will say is that there was tension and disagreements on many parts of this situation. I visited them and tried my best to support them both as much as I could.

When I came home that evening, I didn’t have anything scheduled for the upcoming week. I was planning on spending the night doing just that, but I was so fucking exhausted that I said, “Screw it, I’m going to bed.” For a couple of days after that, my mum reached out to me for moral and emotional support. I dropped everything to be there for her, without regret. I’d do it again if I had to. Tuesday night I was ready to finally blog again. But it didn’t happen.

My emotions by this point were wound tightly into a ball, almost as if someone had taken pliers and moulded a steel yarn ball together, if that makes sense. I desperately needed an outlet of some sorts; some way to get a bit of mental and emotional reprieve. My brain and my quickly draining energy needed a different focus. Then my mum calls me on Tuesday night to tell me my grandmother had passed away. Suffice to say I didn’t get shite done after that and I didn’t even try because I knew I wouldn’t have the time or headspace to do what I wanted properly.

cat yarn ball

It is now Friday evening. My dad is flying out for Fiji tomorrow. Since my mum had some errands to run, things I can’t be of use for, I decided to give myself a moment to do a proper update and get all of this tension and discomfort out of my system. Typing all these things up makes me feel like a pressure cooker where the pressure is slowly being released, lessening the chance of combustion. Yet, as an introvert who craves and thrives on solitude and independent work (mostly), I did have a small mental melt-down last night due to all this social interaction and the darkly aura that went with it.

I came home from my parents house late at night and just sat in my computer chair for a while. I had started to feel numb. Recently, I’ve noticed, when the stress or emotional turmoil of whatever shite thing that is going on becomes too much for me, I tend to turn off my feelings (kinda like The Vampire Diaries, but less dramatic), which then leads to full-on apathetic phases. Fuck apathy. I didn’t want to go back to that. After eating dinner, I started to focus on that excruciating ball within my chest that I had been ignoring, the one that kept getting tighter and bloodier. Then it all hit me at once and I sat down and cried and panicked about everything that was left to do, how I didn’t have the mental or physical energy to do anything anymore, how I was so fucking desperate to just re-charge, and a bunch of other crap.

This morning when I went back over to my mum’s, she told me briefly what she had planned and most of those things I wouldn’t be able to help her with for religious and cultural reasons. She had spoken with my dad and he was going to give her a hand after work. She saw the exhaustion on my face and how weak I looked. She sent me home to catch some sleep and rest. This is how I know that Boss Man (my name for the G dude; don’t ask) is looking out for me. If it weren’t for this small break, I don’t believe I would be able to go tomorrow to see my dad off, where the real support shall be needed.

anime flying gif

Aside from the social interactions and the heaviness that has brought everyone together, I believe one of the main reasons that I have been struggling so much is my lack of grief. I’m not heartless, I swear. My grandmother was someone who knew me as a baby. I never knew her aside from talking to her on the phones a few times as a child and then whatever stories and anecdotes my dad shared with me whilst growing up. She was mostly a stranger to me. My feelings weren’t rooted in sentimentality and a lifetime of moments like they were for my dad. This disconnect did make it difficult for me to empathise with him to an extent. All I could be was be a shoulder for him, and for some reason, it didn’t feel like it was enough.

I think in life we will sometimes have situations like this one, where there is nothing that we can do to physically help another person while they are suffering, and merely being a listener or a shoulder won’t be enough. It’s a black truth—especially for folks who run high in the compassion department—that needs to be learned and accepted. This was a first-time experience for me, at least on this level, and I hated having to learn this lesson. Honestly, it’s probably the facet that contributed the most to my mental melt-down and overall triggers of depression this week.

But now it’s time to move forward because that’s what life is about: taking what you receive, learning from it, growing, and moving onwards to the next adventure—tragic or otherwise.

spike whatever happens gif

That has been my past week in a tough-as-fuck nutshell. I have been reading through a lot of manga and comics, so when I am ready to return to blogging with my full focus and eagerness, I shall hopefully have decent content to put out as well.

One of the things I mentioned on Twitter was that I wanted to get all of my March anime reviews out in April (February and March were their own spot of madness, thanks Apathy), but obviously that ain’t happening. The first week and a half of May shall be dedicated to doing just that. These are posts that I have talked about writing for a couple months and I want to see it through! One of my goals as a blogger is to provide a place that people can rely on for honest content and for things to go out in a timely fashion, or when I say the shall. While that has been getting royally screwed-up this year thus far, I’m not going to stop in trying to make those things happen, to be that kind of blog space. It’s important to me as a person, a content creator, and also as a consumer of similar content.

With that, I want to say that I’m greatly sorry that my timings and posting predictions have been all over the fucking place, or non-existent in some areas this year. I feel absolutely terrible about it, more so after enthusiastically crafting a schedule for the first time since BiblioNyan has been in business, so to speak.

Now, that I’ve ranted and apologised and said everything that I’ve been thinking about, let’s talk about my return to blogging! My initial hope was to return to blogging on Sunday (28th April). However, just in case if my mum needs anything else after my dad has flown off, I want to keep that day clear. So, Monday (April 29th) will be my day of return to BiblioNyan! There won’t be a morning post. I’ll be starting with my afternoon Manga content and then, hopefully, merrily move the fuck on with my blogging shenanigans.

I’ll also be fleshing out my Schedule page a bit and providing more details about the clocked-in timeslots that I have created and discuss breaks that shall help prevent me from blogging-burnout. That shall be done by Monday evening as well.

Before I sign off and dive back into the chaos of the moment, I want to say thank you to every person who takes the time to visit and interact with BiblioNyan, even if you’re just a silent follower. Y’all’s support is so indescribable for me and is what keeps me going through super tough times like these. I also want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to reach out to me either on Twitter or Insta about my family’s loss. Your condolences and well wishes have been graciously received and deeply appreciated. Thank you.

beyond the boundary thank you

Alrighty, see y’all on Monday. I hope that your weeks and weekends have been treating you far more kindly. Sending you love and hugs always.

pink flower banner

Thank you so much for visiting me today. I appreciate the support! Until next time, keep reading and keep otakuing. 🌸

6 thoughts on “Life Update for April 2019: Family Loss & Struggling with Empathy

  1. Sorry about your grandmother. I’ve had sinilar instances when my great grandparents passed away because I didn’t remember them and had never spoken to them. I think you did a great job just being there and supporting your parents. That’s the most important thing to do and you were able to put everything aside for them which is just amazing.

    • Thank you! I think not having any manuscript or beta reading deadlines this week really helped me in being able to do that.

      It can be tough to find empathy or to find the best way to support people when there’s a loss, especially if it’s someone who’s related to you. Being patient and really listening to what’s being said and what’s not being said by those suffering, I believe, is what allowed me to help them. I also had to take a night and just accept that I’m not going to grieve the way they did and that it’s okay. 🙂 It’s exhausting, not going to lie, but hecka worth it.

  2. So sorry about your grandmother. I think I felt similarly confused about (not) having empathy when my grandfather passed, having moved across an ocean before I ever spent time with him. Learning to support others and help them heal instead of forcing yourself to feel something is such an important lesson, and that’s definitely something I would like to learn from you.

    • Thank you. Learning to support others and help them heal when you have such an obvious disconnect was one thing that I didn’t expect to be hard (which is a bit ridiculous now that I say it out loud, so to speak), but it was. After the fog of the melt-down that I had, I realised a lot of things that I think will help me deal with the situation better if/when it happens again in the future. Once I can sort through these feelings and thoughts a bit more, I shall write up a self-care Sunday post for it.

  3. I am glad you where able to take today and recharge a bit and get this blog update out, as I know how much being able to blog helps you clear out your mind 🙂 I know this week has been a hell of one, and I understand what yo mean about not having much feelings over your grandma who you never knew passing. It isn’t a bad or heartless ting at all. Hope your weekend goes better and you find some pockets of rest through out the next week.

    • Getting this update out did wonders for my state of mind. Afterwards, I sat down and outlined all of the posts I want to get out this coming week so I can really start getting back into work mode. Being a workaholic is my way for coping with a lot of things and for staying grounded when it comes to triggers for depression, apathy, and anxiety. Not having that has been… well, dreadful. But I think I have just enough energy now to see this weekend to its end.

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