Holidays aren’t anything special to me. They used to be, but now that I’m older, I tend to see them as just any other day. Just another day of the year.
When I was younger, I’d have trouble trying to sleep due to all of the excitement for whatever holiday was upcoming. Now, I rest easily, and can do so for hours if so desired. However, there’s one day of the year in particular that stands out to me. It doesn’t stand out because I enjoy it, or if you want to continue with its theme, love it.
When I was younger, I’d only see that day as the day where you go to school and pass out little cards and candies to the other children and hope you’d get a piece of chocolate in your paper bag that year. That’s all I could think of at my young age.
When I was younger, I grew up as an only child. For a good portion of my life, I had all of the attention. It all changed one day. For the better, not worst. On May 31st, 2011, my little brother was born.
I remember the love I felt. I remember the fact that I was proud to be his older brother. I had looked forward to being there for him throughout life. I enjoyed waking up each and every day to see him. Even If he was a baby and couldn’t do much, I’d look at him and his warm smile, and I’d feel joy.
Then, the day of the grim and the selfish took my brother, Charlie Semich, away permanently.
Interestingly enough, I can recall that specific day more so than any other day before that. I remember waking up, and looking for him. I didn’t see him, and I remember wandering around and calling his name until I found out the news that’d kill me.
He simply passed away in his sleep. He was gone. His soul left without a trace while I had been asleep. I never even got to say goodbye. He was there the day before, and gone the next.
It was difficult to explain how I felt. I wept, I mourned, I sobbed, yet my feelings then felt rather empty. Even now, I can barely explain how this all feels. Back then, I grew up an only child. For nine months, I had a sibling, and after that, I was alone again. I’m used to being singular. I’m used to being independent. I’m used to being alone.
When I was younger, I had to learn that reality was a bitch, and that life was cruel. I was 10 years old when this occurred. I used to wake up happy. Then, and even now, I wake up thinking it’s just another day. Every day is just another day. Nothing unique or interesting. Just a day. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes it’s not.
One of the only other days that isn’t just “another day” to me is Valentine’s Day. I don’t feel love, or kindness, or many positive feelings towards that day due to what happened. Instead, I feel immense anger. I’m bitter, I’m filled with hatred, and I wish I could erase that day every time I think about it.
The day that has dragged me through hell for nearly eight years has yet to kill me. It still hurts. I hate that God decided to screw me over that day. I hate that an innocent life was taken away. I’m filled with rage whenever the month of February begins and I start to hear talk about the holiday that just so aligns with my brothers passing. I can’t see that holiday as anything more than the day I was thrown into the whirlpool of depression.
I’m still struggling. It hurts to keep swimming sometimes. It really does. I know that life is painful, and it’s never easy. I had been thrown into that mindset at an early age. Whenever I hear the mention of that holiday, I’m thrown for a loop. Most of the time, I feel this ache in my chest. Then, it slowly bottles up into this monstrosity of bitterness. I think, “Why me?”, despite this not happening to me. I wasn’t the one who died, yet I’m the one who’s been beaten to death for eight years. I’ve been struggling for so long that it’s unusual for me to not feel upset.
Even then, I still understand that the day of love still is the day of love for others. And in a weird way, it still is the day of love for me. Despite all of these negative feelings consuming my being due to the past, I still have some appreciation for the holiday’s connotation.
The meaning of the holiday is to appreciate and care about those who are here. Love them as much and as long as you can. Because, one day, they might not be there. So, express the love you hold and share it with the ones who mean most.
Along with that, love yourself, too. You’ve also gone through a lot. Not just me, or those around you. Everyone has gone through some form of hardship that drags us down. Personally, I find it difficult to love every aspect of myself after everything that has hit me in my life. I understand that entirely. But there’s something I’ve picked up along the way through my journey of recovery and self-love; it’s okay to be upset.
It’s alright to have feelings, and to feel weak. Everyone feels those waves eventually. Your value doesn’t deteriorate because of your struggles as a person. People aren’t born invincible. However, people are born with love. Love and care for yourself just as much as the world around you. I’m still learning how to do so, and that’s okay. Recovering from situations that turned your entire world and viewpoint upside down is difficult to rewire. It’s possible, though. It’s always been.
Loving yourself isn’t impossible. One day, you will come to a point where you don’t need to hate and blame yourself for what happened. It’s all in the past. Many love and care for you. That hasn’t changed. You’ve been loved this entire time, and there are ways to recover from what’s gone on. There’s a source of light when there is darkness. There is a rainbow after every storm. You’re not hopeless. You’re not a mistake. You will be okay. You are loved. You will get through this, no matter what’s gone on, or how long ago it happened.