My birthday is coming up*
Despite the fact that we are hurtling towards 2018 at full speed**, it was this realization that made me fully appreciate all that I have been through in the past year.
Not to sound too dramatic, but to call it A Year From Hell would not be too much of an overstatement. When you’re going through tough times it generally feels like it is not going to end. It feels like you have been sucked in to a black hole with no way out. Like you got so used to drowning you are no longer looking for the sailboat or rescue helicopter, but are fine to grab on to a loose object at sea, hold on for a bit and then get back at it. At least you pretend you’re fine. You put on an act so convincing you start to believe the lies you are telling everyone else. You stop expecting it to go away. It’s like you got on a terrifying ride at the amusement park and you just close your eyes and wait for it to be over without really believing it will. You can’t get anything done. Not really. You think you are, you think you are managing, that you are pushing through. But in reality you are just going through the motions. And then slowly that stops too until you are just waking up every morning and making sure you BREATHE.
I am sitting here and thinking of where I was on my last birthday and where I am now. How eternally grateful I am that change is possible and inevitable and will always come even when I can’t see it. How even though it is probably the most cliche thing I could write right now (and I am hating myself a little just for actually putting it down here) the night does eventually end and the sun will rise *Gandalf voice: on the third day, look to the sun*.
I think on how much things have changed since I sat to write my first post. I think of the reasons that brought me to do it. How alone I felt, how scared. I opened this blog to let some of the voices in my head quiet down, and to see if maybe there are some other people out there in the world that feel something close to what I feel, that are dealing with something like I am dealing with. Talking about my anxiety with someone I knew in real life seemed nothing short of impossible. And keeping it to myself had started to make me explode. So I wrote it all down here, and felt safe in the anonymity of the internet.
About two weeks ago I told my three best friends. Told them I had general anxiety disorder, had had it for my whole life. That last year things had just gotten too intense and I had finally sought professional help and started medication. And that I now feel like a new person, the real me. I told them all of it. It happened easily and naturally and I didn’t even cry once while talking about it something that up until then had been a wild dream. Most importantly, they understood. Or at least- they didn’t judge, or look at me any differently after. I think in some part of my mind I knew they wouldn’t. They are my closest friends after all. But a much larger part of my mind was scared sh*tless. That they wouldn’t understand, that no one would ever understand.
And so I am writing this post, to close a bit of the circle I have had, and start a new one. A spiral, that hopefully will make it’s path continuously upwards this time instead of down in to the seemingly endless dark. To thank all you anonymous readers for your anonymous support. And to send out a message to any old me’s reading this, searching for anyone who is feeling what they feel right now, who is dealing with what they are dealing right now; YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And even though it may feel like it is never going to end- IT CAN AND IT WILL. Ask for help, don’t try and go it alone. And when you are ready, tell your friends.
And don’t forget to love yourself even when you might hate yourself.
*this post has sat in my drafts unfinished for about a month. needles to say my birthday has come and gone. Don’t worry I celebrated.
** are two days in to 2018. Belated Happy New Year all