Happy Birthday To Me
Frankly, I can’t believe I made it to 27 years old.
My 26th birthday was amazing. It was one of the first times I felt truly present in the moment. I was sober, in recovery from my eating disorder, and happy. I went out to sushi with my (new) husband and friends and relished in the love and support that I had been waiting to feel for so long. (It was always there, but I struggled to acknowledge or believe it). I cried, but it was because I was laughing so hard at dinner. I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed that hard.
I cried on my 23rd, 24th, and 25th birthday, too. The first two birthdays I was miles away from my family, stuck in treatment. My 25th birthday I was drunk off my ass but lied about it when my best friend came over to hang out. She yelled at me and left. I don’t remember much else.
This morning, I cried. Not because I’m getting older, or that I feel like my life sucks- nope. I cried solely because of this guy:
It fucking hurts. I’ve had it for a week and I’ve tried nearly everything to get rid of it. I went to the doctor and she basically gave me prescription Orajel. I still feel pain through the numbing effect, though. She said stress causes it and there is not much I can do but wait. I have a huge tolerance for pain but this one is really wearing on me. Boo.
She’s right about the stress, though. I took the day off today because I frankly cannot stand my kids right now. (I have 11 preschoolers, 9 boys). They are wild, spoiled, and rude. Usually all the time, but especially at this time of the year. They are allowed to do fun, special activities in the summer so they suddenly feel like they are entitled to them all the time and can treat me like shit (because that’s what they do to their parents). Their routines are off, they aren’t getting as much sleep, etc. Basically I didn’t feel like having 4 year olds demand things of me all morning, while simultaneously fulfilling their needs and yelling at them to treat me nicer. One of my kids has been peeing his pants every day this year and not telling me; He has been coming home with wet pants every day and his mother has known about this all year. She decided not to communicate with me about it for 9 months, but suddenly she writes me an email at 10 pm on a Monday night (that begs a response), about how this has been a huge issue and oh, here’s a behavior modification plan that you, Molly, will put into place tomorrow, but oh no punishment please, even though he’s been sitting in his piss pants all year and not telling me simply because he is too lazy to get up and go to the goddamn bathroom. (I know this kid, he is fucking potty-trained and has been for 2 years, he is manipulative and using it as a means of control over his weak, push-over mother). One of my kids actually said to me the other day, “I didn’t brush my teeth this morning because I told my Dad no and I only brush my teeth when Mom is in town.” When confronted with the fact that his kid has been acting like a spoiled brat the past week under his watch, the father replies with, “Yeah, my wife is coming back tomorrow…” What the fuck?
Not thinking about work on my birthday, not thinking about work on my birthday, not thinking about work on my birthday…
Anyway, this year wasn’t exactly what I dreamed of on July 27th, 2015.
The said friends that I went out to dinner with on that day either moved away or we grew apart this year. I experienced post-honeymoon depression in the fall and went on a three month bender that landed me in the psych ward in December. Not only did I try to commit suicide for the third time and failed, but I went through alcohol withdrawals so severe that I needed to be on seizure protocol. My tremors and muscle spasms were a complete shock to me- Had I really been drinking that much?
My PTSD was especially bad this spring and I found myself extremely distant and irritable with my husband. I treated him like shit for months, mainly because I hated him for having any kind of sexual attraction to me and I just wanted to be far away from men. I started slipping with my eating disorder and experienced side effects that come when I start limiting my food intake.
Overall, things today (in the bigger picture) have been on the upswing. We bought a house and are finally all settled now.
The move has brought my husband and I closer (not physically, but emotionally).
I am not sober, but I am on medication that curbs my obsessive cravings, so I’m able to enjoy drinks in moderation with friends. I have quite enjoyed that actually- I feel normal for once. (No judgement, please). I miss my sober friends sometimes but I don’t miss feeling like I am a part of a cult. (I’d rather not drink the kool-aid, even if it feels good to drink it and everyone else is doing it, thanks.) My depression is under control, my PTSD fades the farther we are from springtime, and I’m honestly okay with my eating right now. I’m not full-blown starving like I used to, and I am recognizing that some of my habits these days are disordered. I did stop therapy because it was just too… triggering for me. (I hate that word but it’s all I can come up with). My therapist wasn’t trained in trauma and she would bring up the most inappropriate things when I was activated or flooded, but because she wasn’t trained she had no idea that I was experiencing flashbacks right in her office. I miss her, but not our sessions. I left those sessions drinking until I puked, exercising all night, or cutting myself in my car. Obviously, not helpful.
The other thing that has been amazing this year is that my writing has really sky-rocketed.
I went from submitting pieces to managing a blog and have been published on various online sites with pretty high traffic. I’ve gained more confidence in this area and it has helped me feel more content about my place in life. I truly see my writing as a journey and it has helped me gain serious perspective- I’ve stopped trying to find 100% fulfillment and happiness in my job and realized that my other passions can fill this void. Hell, I even got paid to write an article this year! $200 for 1,000 words or less? I’ll take it.
So here I am today, 27. Very flawed. A little fatigued. I have back issues that have turned into bursitis, I have a canker sore the size of my pinky nail, and I’m pretty much sore, all around. I’ve been to a chiropractor and a doctor this week, and it’s only Wednesday! I’ve never felt my age inside, so I guess it’s fitting that I’ve been having physical troubles for the past few months. I’m starting to feel a little less resilient, health-wise. That’s fine. I wouldn’t trade this for anything. My twenties were (and still are) a shit show. I think about how immature I was at 21, thinking I was so wise. I’m sure in a few years I will be saying the same thing about today- that’s just how it goes.
There were many times in my life that I never wanted another birthday. I didn’t think I deserved to take up space on this planet. I’m glad that I still have the ability to say, “Today is my birthday.” Whether that day is awesome, boring, traumatic, or regular- it still exists, and I am here to experience it.
So here’s to more of these weird days where we receive gifts just for being born. (And here’s to more crying on them, too).