The Anniversary Effect

Today marks six years since my whole world began to crumble and as each Anniversary comes around the pain and sadness from that fateful day, April 4, 2014 still feels like a knife is being slowly twisted deeper into my heart. I can recall the events of that day as though they were yesterday and I shared them all with you in a blog titled “April 4, 2014: It’s Been Five Long Years”, exactly one year ago today.

As each Anniversary approaches I feel that initial sense of pain and sadness all over again and I begin to site the “would’ves”, the “should’ves” and the “could’ves” one by one over and over and over again in order to figure out if somehow there would’ve, should’ve or could’ve been a different outcome, one that didn’t lead me down a path where six years later I would still be living with the daily pain and sadness associated with Anxiety, Depression and Suicidal Ideations. 

Anniversaries are supposed to be celebrated, right? Well not all Anniversaries feel like a celebration and whether it’s the Anniversary of a bad break-up, the Anniversary of a traumatic event in your life or the Anniversary of the death of a loved one it can easily trigger pain and sadness.  This actually has a name for it; it’s called “The Anniversary Effect” and is defined as “a unique set of unsettling feelings, thoughts or memories that occur on the anniversary of a significant experience.”

This year with the approach of my sixth year Anniversary date it’s brought with it a lot of extra intensity given the current and uncertain state of the world right now. It’s left me feeling even further trapped in my thoughts and crippled by so many emotions with an added bonus of battling headaches almost daily. I’m finding it really difficult to get out of bed, to follow any sort of routine, to be motivated and to not cry at every single fucking thing. 

I’m trying to find ways to distract myself and find something to help ease the pain and sadness I’m feeling today (Covid-19 memes seem to do the trick so feel free to pass any along). Maybe today will include trying to reflect back on the past six years at some moments that have brought me happiness or maybe by trying to find some hope in what truly feels hopeless right now or maybe by looking at the “what ifs” of tomorrow and feeling less afraid of them.

But however I choose to spend today, whether or not it’s in bed or whether or not it’s trying to follow a routine or whether or not I feel completely unmotivated or whether or not I cry at every fucking little thing I’ve also been reminded today that each Anniversary I’m still writing about definitely would, definitely should and definitely is an Anniversary to celebrate. Thanks for the reminder; I may need it again tomorrow.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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