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Friday, September 29, 2017

BloggerLife Confessions: Birthdays Can be Tricky



Confession: Birthdays can be tricky.



Yesterday was my 33rd birthday and you would think that I would have had this moment already but nope, it came late and like a ton of bricks.

Birthdays are freaking tricky.

Let me explain why. See, they kind of sneak up on you while you’re busy with other real life situations. In my case, it’s been a lot of financial stress in which I’ve started losing my hair again and gaining weight (150 guys, that’s 20 pounds over what the doctor recommends for someone with a heart problem). And when that sucker jumps out and says Surprise! Guess who’s a year older?! you kind of want to do a double take and go Who? Me? At that moment, which was 9:45 am yesterday, I self reflected on my life, particularly the last six years and dang did I realize some things.

The biggest is that I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I have depression. I know that I’ve said it several times over the years but this year has been the year that I’ve finally acknowledged that this is not like saying I have a cold, or I’m clumsy. This is something serious, and it has been affecting my life in negative ways since I was 14. I was in denial, saying I had depression with a smile and thinking I could manage it on my own. The truth is, you can’t manage a mental illness on your own and the world isn’t going to wait on you until you realize this. People can be unforgiving when they’re uneducated or just plain mean because let’s face it, the world has a lot of assholes in it. But that’s another topic for a different platform. What I realized is that I can’t do this on my own. Especially if I’m reluctant or even stubborn when it comes to talking about it and admitting when I’m having one of my more “down” episodes. I looked around me yesterday and saw that all my friends have moved on, so far beyond me that I’ll never be able to catch up. They’ve gotten married, had children, and are progressing down their chosen career/job path and while marriage and kids are not my thing, it’s the career thing is really bugging me.

I love school. I love learning but guess what? That damn depression sometimes puts me in a bad place. My particular brand comes with social anxiety, anxiety attacks, and insomnia. Sometimes I’m coherent, can carry on a conversation, and even trick people into thinking I’m in my natural habitat at a gathering. But other times, most of the time I’m terrified of social situations that aren’t online, I can’t communicate well, I shy away from topics I feel I’m not “educated” enough on, and in general I’m a total recluse. Then there are the really bad times, the times where I’m in tears or I’ve “checked out” mentally. I kid you not but I don’t remember much from the two years my mom and I lived with a different relative than we do now. I know I was in pretty bad shape mentally and I have a few patches of memory here and there but when I asked my mom about it, she said I mostly slept or went through my days like a zombie.

Yes, I had Mr. Pud then and honestly he’s the only reason I didn’t do something drastic. I don’t have him anymore and that sent me on a delayed spiral that started earlier this year and got worse when we lost Amelia to an unknown infection in July.

Throw in big financial worries, and a negative living situation, and that’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve had more down days than up and then my birthday came and I realized something else:

I miss my freaking sister!

We’ve had our ups and downs and we’re starting to slowly repair our broken relationship but I haven’t seen my sister in over five years! We were super close growing up and even though we aren’t that close anymore I miss her. I don’t know who she is now, who she’s become, or anything beyond the surface and that is just a sucky realization. I know my mom misses her too, I see it when she asks me every day if I’ve heard from her.

Last year I wasn’t as maudlin but this year has just hit me like a ton of bricks and I just had to face it. It wasn’t all bad though, I had a simple, quiet day yesterday and my mom surprised me by calling in to work and staying with me which I’m not even going to lie, I needed that support. I spend WAY too much time alone as it is. I had a strawberry shortcake which was delicious, and I got to take Hayley to her second favorite place in town. Seeing her happy lightens my mood.

All this thinking and reflecting happened in less than 24 hours and left me with more questions than answers but at least it has me thinking about making some drastic changes in my life. I think I need to start checking back into life. As difficult as that will be for me, I need to reconnect with old friends. At the same time I need to let go of some of those friendships if they’re not willing to accept a person with a mental illness in their lives.

Above all I need to be more honest with myself. It’s not all about just looking to change my living situation, I have to treat my illness so that I don’t carry all this onto the next living space and so I don’t have another birthday like yesterday where I’m looking back at the year and saying “What the hell did I do?”

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