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Yes, one more downer post. It’s PTSD Awareness Day (and Month)! I never realized before how it coincided with the annual “Dark Days” — the last few days of June and first few days of July, when it seems like my subconscious wants to observe a big trauma anniversary that I don’t want to. Over the years as the traumas accumulated in the summer (all three grandparents passed away during the summer months), I began to notice a shadowy sense of dread hanging over me from early June to late August. I’d brace myself each summer for whatever devastating loss life was planning to throw at me. But it’s the weeks around July 4th that get me plumbing the depths of my depression and feeling so anxious, I want to crawl out of my skin. I don’t know why I don’t remember this ahead of time and set aside a big chunk of time to ease myself through it. Instead, I’ve been fighting it, which only makes it worse. (Frank seems to sense this and has been a champion snugglebunny lately. I love that kitty!) Part of my awareness during this time relates to the genetic component of my depression and anxiety. Both sides of the family have more than their fair share of mental illnesses, some of which have been exacerbated through environmental factors. But just because a great-great-aunt and two great-uncles on the maternal side committed suicide didn’t mean my mom had to try, too.

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