Pulled Back to Move Forward

Kerry BW.jpgMy name is Kerry DeBruce and I get it. As a senior, I get it. Even as just a person going through the motions in this thing we call life, I get it. It’s hard to move on, trust me.

It was hard to move on when I realized my friendship with my suitemate from freshmen year will never be the same. It was hard to move on when I found out my old manager from back home passed away. It was hard to move on when I didn’t get the job position I wanted for post-graduation. It was even harder to move on when my dad passed away. Continue reading “Pulled Back to Move Forward”

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It’s Your Loss and Mine

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Sometimes situations will hurt more than you would like to admit. That was the case for me in the beginning of my sophomore year of college. I was close with someone I lived with freshman year and then at the end of that school year, things just changed. We changed. That’s expected of you as you go through your first year in college. You are supposed to grow. But in this particular situation, we both just grew apart and grew closer to other people much similar to ourselves. And we never resolved any of the issues that was causing friction in our friendship. Continue reading “It’s Your Loss and Mine”

The Year of Grief

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I knew my heart would feel heavier than usual. Today, February 7th, makes a year since my father passed away. So much time has passed, but the pain still lingers.

Someone reading this might have lost a parent and can relate to the feelings associated with that. But then there were other feelings I didn’t know how to explain, considering the fact I was mourning someone I’ve never met. I have never met my father in person, at least not as an adult. In fact, I didn’t know anything about him except his name for 18 years of my life.  How I got in touch with him is a very long story, but let’s just say that the summer before I started my freshmen year, here at UAlbany, was very life-changing. Right before I left to go away to school for the first time, I finally found the other half of my family and the timing was too perfect. Moments like that always led me to believe that everything happens for a reason.  Continue reading “The Year of Grief”

You’re Not a Burden

burden-1296754_960_720.png“You’re not a burden, Kerry.”

That’s what I tell myself every time I even consider venting to a friend, family member, or even, my boyfriend. Everyone always tells me, “I’m here for you”, “Call me if you need me”, and “You can always open up to me”. But when an opportunity to vent presents itself, I have a hard doing actually doing so. It’s not that I don’t believe people when they tell me those things, it’s that when things are going great for my loved ones, I don’t want to be a buzzkill and start talking about how sad I am that my father and two friends died within two years. I don’t want to tell them how stressed I am because I have not solidified my post-graduation plans yet. I guess the psychology major in me is worried about transferring emotions onto others. That’s probably the number one reason why I hesitate with venting to friends and family. I can’t help but feel like I would be overwhelming them with my problems. Continue reading “You’re Not a Burden”

Words of Encouragement

logoWhen I first started this blog, I didn’t know how much of an impact it would have on people. As much as I had hoped for at least one person to be able to relate to my experiences and feel some comfort, I did not actually think I would get the feedback I have received.

The past few weeks have shown me that I am supported by so many people, such as co-workers, my current Res Life supervisor, other Pro-Staff members, one of my professors, my counselor at CAPS, family and friends.

My post from last week was actually inspired by a conversation my friend Felix and I had back in August. We both experienced grief the previous semester, and did not reach out to anyone, nor each other, and we had similar reasons why we didn’t. He shared my post from last week on Facebook, remembering our conversation on that topic and reminded me, “Just know you’re not alone.” Continue reading “Words of Encouragement”

Unexpected Grief

5b35c43f4e757d97dffe3a6ee731e34cSome people like seeing things that remind them of a loved one they lost. But if you’re anything like me, you don’t necessarily like it—not because you don’t miss that person, but because you don’t like having to acknowledge the feelings associated with that loss. It is especially hard when those feelings catch you off guard, and if you don’t have a safe space to acknowledge the impact of those feelings .

That happened to me two weeks ago. I was already in a rush because I was late for work one morning and I was at a location that reminded me of a friend who passed away last year.  It triggered many emotions that I have not felt in many months. In that moment, I felt my heart break all over again and the worst part was that I couldn’t find time to express how I was feeling since I was already in a rush. Continue reading “Unexpected Grief”

Healing Through Poetry and Music

diary-1446082_960_720.jpgI’ve always known the power that words hold. I discovered this when I wrote my first poem at 11 years old. For me, poetry is my usual go-to when I want to express myself. It’s difficult to tell people how you feel sometimes, yet easier to just write it down. But even then, sometimes just writing how you feel gets difficult, or even daunting because writing down how you feel makes it even more real. Continue reading “Healing Through Poetry and Music”

Self-Care for A Positive Mindset

Sisyphean toilSelf-care is so important to me and I know sometimes I do not do enough of it.  I have a tendency to take on too much. When you combine this with needing time to just de-stress and reflect, it becomes nearly impossible to actually do.

Even my supervisor, Kim, is aware that I take on too much and we have talked about this in one-on-one meetings and in evaluations as well. In my most recent evaluation, as my area of improvement, Kim stated, “Kerry has dealt with a lot of loss this past year. It is important for her to take the time for self care.” We have talked about certain goals that I have for myself in relation to self-care and I appreciate her for being so supportive. Continue reading “Self-Care for A Positive Mindset”

Final Thoughts: Move Forward

amazon-1300350_960_720On,Tuesday, April 18th, I had my first interactive tabling session and it was a success! Many students participated by taking the time to reflect on the many types of losses and by answering one of the following questions:

  • What’s one thing you told yourself to get through one of these types of losses?
  • What’s one thing you would tell someone going through one of these types of losses?
  • What is one thing you wish you could tell a loved one you lost or a person you lost as a friend?

The types of losses that the students reflected on were loss of motivation, loved one, identity/sense of self,  friendship and academic/career opportunity. I was amazed that so many students could identify with at least one of these types of losses and/or would know what to say to someone who was going through a similar situation. Something I’ve talked about a lot in my blog posts this semester was the power that words hold, and it was evident that other students are aware of that power as well. Continue reading “Final Thoughts: Move Forward”

Meet our Fall 17′ @UAlbanyMyStory Bloggers Pt. 1

Through videos, blogs, posters, small group meetings, community outreach, and presentations, our UAlbany Project MyStory bloggers their experiences – the good and the  bad; the ugly and the beautiful. Check us out every Monday, after 12 pm, for MyStory Mondays, when we share the latest posts. 


Meet Kerry

Pulled Back to Move Forward

Kerry IntroMy name is Kerry DeBruce and I am a graduate student in the Special Education & Literacy II Program. I started my journey here at UAlbany in Fall 2013, as a freshmen and have grown so much throughout my time here. Each year I spent here at UAlbany, I became more involved and gained stronger leadership skills. I became a blogger for Project MyStory this past spring semester, to talk about how I’ve moved forward after each loss I’ve experienced. I’m sure that as a graduate student, I will encounter other kinds of losses and I want to bring light to the things that we sometimes don’t talk about as students, the things that affect us the most—things like mental health, asking for help, and more. I also hope to contribute helping students in their junior and senior year start thinking about their post graduate plans, especially those applying to grad schools. I want to continue being a resource and I want my readers to know that someone understands what they are going through during this pivotal time in their life.

Click here to check out Kerry’s previous posts.


Find out more about Project MyStory Here!