Another year older, and I’m not really sure how I feel. I can’t remember if I wrote this, I believe I did, but that when I was a kid I’d say “I’m not growing up, Peter Pans going to get me and I’m going to Neverneverland.”? Part of that was because I didn’t think I’d make it through, I didn’t want to even try, I was convinced that if life got harder than it was then (as I was constantly told), I didn’t want to go through with it. Every year on my birthday I would feel such a sense of panic, and guilt, and confusion. I felt so anxious a lot of the time, the idea of celebrating a life I didn’t even want to live felt selfish.
To this day, I have a hard time asking people to celebrate with me. I have a hard time asking people take the time out of their day to see me, it feels selfish, and all sorts of things are triggered. This year, I didn’t want to plan anything concrete, because a lot of this anxiety was coming up especially after having struggled with suicidal thoughts this past year, and I’d just spend 2 weeks basically on bed rest and my mind hasn’t been in the most grounded place ever. I asked a bunch of people to hangout, I tried to make it clear that I didn’t want to plan anything crazy, I just didn’t want to be alone on my birthday. Just the idea of picking a restaurant was making me anxious. I’m happy spending time alone a lot of the time, but I didn’t want to on my birthday. I started the day with a pedicure, treating myself, took it easy for a bit, then was lucky that some of my friends came out and did an escape room with me, we went for a couple drinks after, then walked around the art fest. This was awesome, I really liked this, I was happy that people came out, and I felt loved. A friend I thought I’d lost even reached out and apologized and we were starting to talk again. Then, slowly everyone trickled away, turns out everyone else made other plans. So that evening I spent the time by myself. A couple friends made some kind of attempt at meeting but weren’t able to follow through. I posted in my little event page asking if anyone was free, and this panic crept in, the thing I didn’t want to happen was going to. All of my friends made other plans, and I was at home, tipsy, alone, crying. I felt selfish for being upset, I felt stupid for being annoyed and upset with my friends, I felt awful for getting older and that same old fear of wasting my life, or getting older screamed in one ear, while in the other that familiar whisper that I didn’t matter, I wasn’t loved, I was alone, I’d always be alone poked at me. Over and over and over. I tried to make the best of it, I watched a cheerful kids movie, and I took myself to the fireworks, but it was a melancholy night, a not-so happy birthday.
That friend I was so excited reached out stopped talking to me agian, I ran into my ex, and yesterday I had the worst date ever. Logically, I know this shit happens. Logically I know I’m loved, I can even put proof in front of me, I can list people who have told me they are there for me, who have been there for 17 plus years. But when all these little things happen, its like the beginning of rain. One drop doesn’t mean it’s raining, one drop isn’t so bad, but add in a couple more and its hard to let go of the drops individually, because all signs point to rain. And maybe I’m standing under a sprinkler but emotionally all that I can see is the rain. When I start to question my judgement in one friendship (like that friend who reached out then disappeared) question whether it was me that fucked up, if it was me that was the flawed one, if they don’t want to be friends with me because of who I am, because of my illness, because of my intensity or sentivity ( I could go on), then maybe all these other things are my fault too. That one friend who never wants to hangout? That friend who never puts the effort in first? That friend who cancels every time? That friend who insulted me for something I didn’t do? Thats all my fault.
But you know what? I’m also angry. I’m really fucking angry at all of the people who made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. All the people I fought to keep, even after they abused me. I’m angry at all of the people who called me names, who made me feel like less of a person because I try and face my emotions head on, because I feel differently than them, see things differently, feel things more intensely. None of this is a god damn choice. I’m fighting so hard to keep my head above water half the time, and all those people decided to criticize how I was swimming, rather than give me a hand. Or hey, even told me I was doing great. When you teach a kid to swim do you call them names? Do you tell them they’re stupid because they don’t know how to, or that they can’t do the backstroke when you only taught them to doggy paddle? No. Same fucking deal. All I was ever shown was that the water existed, but that the water was bad, ignore the water. Until one day I started drowning and everyone acted like I should have known how to swim in the first place. This is kind of an angry rant so changes are its not making a bunch of sense. If you identify with this cut yourself a break. You’re doing great. You’re teaching yourself a new skill, like swimming, and you don’t start off a pro. Hell, even pros probably dont always feel like pros. Cut yourself a break, stand up to one of the people making you feel small and say “I’m done. Ive had enough of you making me small, I deserve way better than this” Because you do, and one, two (or what feels like a million) assholes don’t change your worth. Neither does your size, your skill set, your emotions, your looks, nothing. You are a beautiful strong, warrior of a human being and I love you for that. I love you for all the times you feel broken, I love you for all the times you got back up. Don’t forget that.