Happy Birthday?

Today is my twenty-third birthday.

I’m not too excited to be celebrating it, so be prepared for a long downer post.

IMG_20170812_093221_172I went out shopping with my mother this morning. It’s usually what we do on someone’s birthday: go out on a bit of a birthday shopping spree. We didn’t go to as many places as usual, because I was crying pretty much the entire morning. (It happens, I guess.) We went out to this market in downtown Birmingham called Pepper Place. There were so many dogs there, but not a lot of things that I was interested in buying. The few things I did see were incredibly overpriced. I did get to see this sweet scene with a scarecrow and some rubber ducks, though. It was very humid, but at least it wasn’t raining.

There was a plant shop where I wanted everything, but the prices started at like $30 for a single vase. Mom did end up buying a flower from the place, but aside from the $7 plant, a few praline cookies, and some peaches, we didn’t find anything there we wanted to buy.

20170812_124609After Pepper Place, we went to the Summit. There’s a cute kitchen store there called Sur la Table (pronounce that in the snottiest French accent you can muster), where a four-pack of flour bag kitchen towels costs $50. (You can get an eight-pack from Wal-Mart for $5, just to put that in perspective.) I ended up getting a nice pancake spatula, and a mixing spatula patterned with cats.

We drove to Lush, but I couldn’t find anything I wanted. (At LUSH. I couldn’t find anything I wanted. Let that sink in.)

Snapchat-1583742181The next stop was Barnes & Noble, but I stepped in and broke down. I couldn’t find the books I wanted, but I did end up getting the second book in Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series, The Ghost Brigades. I’m excited to read it. I also picked up the Hamilton: The Revolution book, which I’m incredibly excited about. It was not only half-price, but since I’m a B&N member, I got an additional 10% off. I also picked up a TIE SF for my X-Wing game. (I play every Thursday night at my not-quite-local comic shop.)

We went to Hobby Lobby, where I got some really pretty earrings and wandered around. I didn’t have the heart to wander like I usually did. I stared at some of the superhero stuff, and looked at the notebooks, but honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to look like I usually did.

That’s how I know the depression has set in hard.

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To be honest, my twenty-second year sucked, big-time. I went through two horrendous breakups (although I’m praying that God gives me the strength and the patience to persevere with this last one, as the only thing I’ve got in my head on repeat is His reply to my prayers, Be patient and wait, for this is the man I’ve found for you); trudged through the monstrosity of a book that is Ulysses; spent nearly eight months living with an absolute demon of a roommate; had five separate family members go through extreme medical crises, two of which are ongoing; and struggled to figure out where in this world I fit in. Other various crises have happened, but I don’t want to go into every detail.

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Currently feeling like…

Several years ago, I had this idea that I wanted to run a 5k before I was 21, a 10k before I was 22, a half marathon by 23, and a full marathon by 24. The only one of these goals I’ve reached is running the 5k. I’ve never managed to run more than 4.5 miles at a time, and now it’s been so long since I’ve run that I can barely last a minute before I get winded and have to stop. I’ll have to buy new shoes before I run again, anyways, and right now, new running shoes aren’t in the budget. (But books have been meticulously planned for in the budget.)

I am going to get back into yoga, because I bought a yoga mat this past winter but never used it. A few weeks ago, I bought some yoga gloves/socks so I wouldn’t slip on the mat, which to me means that I actually have to get off my butt and do some yoga so that the combined $15 I’ve spent on yoga supplies doesn’t go to waste.

giphyI’ve started hiking again. I hope it’ll get cooler soon (ha! says the South), and that way I can go hiking without turning into a puddle of sweat. It’s something else to sit atop a large mountain and be alone with yourself and the world.

I’ve started journaling again. Not only in a personal journal (which I take with me when I go hiking), but I’ve actually started keeping a devotion journal. I’ve tried that before, and failed, but this time, I wanted to be sure I could do it. So far, I’ve been working my way through the Hobbit devotional. Several of the stories have hit me hard. My next devotional book (which isn’t actually a devotional book) is The Ragamuffin Gospel. Honesty, I’m a little scared of starting it. But I know I have to.

I’m sitting here, staring into the distance (which is about ten feet away, and dead-ends at a blank wall in my parents’ living room), trying to figure out what to say. What to say to break the awkward silence, to drag myself out of this melancholy that’s descended on me for this day. This wasn’t how I was expecting to spend my birthday, desperately trying not to cry but failing miserably.

I was hoping this would be the year I’d have a party. I was expecting him to throw me a surprise party, as we’d thrown for both him and two of our friends. I’ve never had a surprise party thrown for me before, with plenty of friends and video games and drinks and food. I’m half-hoping he’ll send me at least a birthday message, but I know that’s not going to happen, because it would give me too much hope. (I had an anxiety attack on Thursday at the comic shop, because I knew that would’ve been the date of my birthday party, had we stayed together.)

Thank you?

There are so many terrible things that have happened in the past year. I gave completely up at one point, and sank into a depression so deep I didn’t think I’d ever return from it.  With Tony’s help, I managed. Now that he’s gone, too, I’m struggling to keep my head above the water even now. That’s not the way it should be.

I’ve started therapy. I had my first appointment on August 9th. The psychologist was incredibly nice, but she also told me she wanted to see me every week because of how bad I seem to be. I’m hoping that I’m able to get past this anxiety, to learn how to shut the voices in my head up. I can’t keep living the way I am. I’m trying to get a hold on my head, but I just can’t. I’m going to have to unlearn a lot of things, and those things are going to be very difficult to unlearn. I was in two abusive relationships and learned a lot of bad habits that I’m undoing with every passing day.

giphy-downsized (1)I’ve prayed more for strength and guidance and help in the past month than I ever have. I’ve studied Bible passages I’ve never seen before. I’ve tried everything to reassure myself that everything’s going to be okay. Be patient and wait, for this is the man I’ve found for you. That’s the only thing I’m hearing when I pray. It’s like a skipping record in my head, mocking me and yet giving me hope.

Welcome to my life. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s mine, and I’m trying my absolute hardest to get past a lot of things. I’m hoping and praying with every last bit of my strength that my twenty-third year will go much smoother than the last one. I don’t know if I could take another year like last year without losing my mind.

Thank you for reading this blog, even though it’s not as interesting as some of the other things I post. (Because honestly, how can you beat gooey chocolate chunk cookie butter bars?) It’s something I’ve wanted to write for a bit, though. I’m grateful for every one of my followers, because at least I know that while I’m writing, someone’s reading, and I’m not just shouting into the void.

Mostly void; partially stars.

And, well, at least I get some good Japanese food tonight for my birthday dinner, right?

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