and more / D Kai Wilson / Mental wellness / Op-eds · January 3, 2012 0

Major milestone anniversaries

How do you cope with anniversaries?

Tomorrow is, historically, a bad day for me.  Those that know my medical history will know exactly what I’m talking about – though, for those of you that don’t, it’s been over ten years since I nearly died.  And then, if that wasn’t enough, something else happened, and lead me to tomorrow.
It’s colored my perspective of everything since.  And left me bereft and confused in many ways.

So, how do you deal with an anniversary that consumes you to the point of pain and never ending grief?  As dramatic and *hand* – *staple* – *forehead* that it sounds, how do you move on?

In one word, you probably don’t.  Ok, that was more than one word.
The problem with moving on is unless you’re actually looking at your life from the perspective of a never ending learning cycle, it’s difficult to relegate or process the feelings on anniversaries without picking up more guilt.  Or, at least, that’s what I’ve found.

Your milage may vary, but I think it’s ok to take a few minutes to sensibly mark the really bad days.  Don’t wallow, but if it’s a major anniversary (and I would suggest that these only come up a few times a year, at most, unless you’ve been really unlucky), then do.

My major milestone is a decade on.  It’s a horrible thing for the mind to do, but I’d been getting meloncholy, but I wasn’t really thinking about why.  And then my partner asked if I was ok, and that was it – everything tumbled down.  It’s a medical thing mostly, and was out of my control, but it still doesn’t leave me feeling any less horrible.

But life goes on.  And in some ways it has.  I live in a new house, in a new city, with a new partner.  But I’m tied into the old.  And while there are some bonds I won’t break – there are some – like the guilt that I felt helpless, instead of actually acknowledging I *was* helpless, has to stop.  Control is a funny thing, and that’s why I think some anniversaries fade with time.  And others remain as raw as ever, years on.

How do you cope with anniversaries?