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My 31st birthday was yesterday

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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:50 AM
Original message
My 31st birthday was yesterday
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 01:51 AM by Political Heretic
I hope that my post won't sound more pitiful that I mean it to. I'll try to explain well.

My 30th year of life was a real come to jesus year of major crisis. It was the year in which I finally found the courage / desperation to deal with my abusive past, and the ways in which that consistently undermined my happiness and health. That was not an easy journey, and I fell into some pretty major depression. I also came to terms with the fact that I have had a life long struggle with depression. On top of that, I was out of work for a portion of the year, and had a difficult time finding work. I fell into heavy debt, and ultimately bankrupcty.

I basically experienced what I guess you would describe as something akin to a nervous breakdown. But I'm a fighter, and I managed to get myself under the care of a medical doctor and a clinical social worker for medication and counseling. It was exactly what I needed to help me deal with the overwhelming experiences I was facing in coming to terms with all of my past and the ways it had poisoned my life for so long.

In the process of going through all of this, I pretty much lost all of my friends. I don't really intend to make this sound like my friends are shallow bastards - it was more complicated than that. We were very close - kind of like family. But I had sort of been spiraling downward, and it wasn't pretty. I was emotionally unpredictable. I was abusing alcohol. That's an interesting thing to admit, since I've never had any traits of alcohol-ism, and I had to learn that you don't have to be addicted to alcohol to abuse alcohol. Once I begin to pull myself together, I can count on one hand the number of drinks I've had in six months - not because I tried, just because I had no interest. But when I was miserable, I looked for every opportunity to get as drunk as possible, which create plenty of mess, because I was so unhappy. What happens when you're existentially unhappy and drunk? For me, it means I was either hysterically sad or irrationally angry.

So I was no picnic to deal with. But my friends ability or commitment to helping me make it through wasn't there, and despite my acceptance of my own responsibility in the situation, I still felt very hurt by their choice to kind of abandon me when I was in the worst place and when I needed help the most. But the good news is, despite being left alone, I found the strength to take the steps necessary to help myself. I was clinically diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, probably a result of my history, and that fed into my depression. Once that diagnosis got made, it allowed me to be treated with some medication. I know that a lot of people are really wary of medication treatment for mental illness, but in my case... I don't know how to say it without sounding melodramatic.... I was headed down for the count, and it sort of saved, or at least changed my life.

See if you can emotionally relate to this... have you ever experienced an incredibly traumatic event that created an intense sense of sadness and worry in you? Like, if you have ever had a loved one rushed to the hospital and not known if he/she would live or die - think of what that feels like. Now imagine living in that state every day... all day.... forever... to the point where you have no idea that it isn't normal. Finding the appropriate treatment for my condition allowed me to wake up each day without a constant unending sense of dread. And addressing that, allowed me to be able to work with a counselor to start confronting the abuse of my past that had so crippled my ability to function as a healthy adult.

So last year was probably the hardest year I have every been through in my whole life. And at the end of it, I had pretty much been alienated from all of my old friends, I have no family of my own, no siblings, and my parents - being part of my abusive past - are not people that I am very close too. But despite all that, I was really on solid ground for the first time in a long while. And I was happier with myself than I had been in a long time. I finally had a sense of my own identity and confidence in myself.

And that's how I usually feel... except for yesterday, when it was my birthday and there was no one to celebrate with. It was kind of a bit of a downer. :) But I try to look at it as a new beginning.

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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for fighting for your life and surviving.
And you should know by now how much I admire you opening your heart and home to Jewel. You must be a good person, because she chose you. :)

Belated happy birthday, friend. :hug:

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. Welcome back to reality and Happy Birthday!!!!


You've come a long way, baby! I can relate. :hug:

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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. Happy birthday...and yes I can emotionally relate to that.
I don't even have to imagine. Without my baby I feel alone even in the most crowded of spaces. I hope this year ahead is one of pure happiness for you.
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm no reader, but I read that
I feel you. ... every inch.

You are the bomb for figuring yourself out (or at least grabbing a hold)

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Look at it like a fresh start. You did have a terrible year. Now you have
control over your life once again. Nothing is better than that. Keep up the good work.
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. You're amazing.
You've had a terrible year, but you seem to have a very positive attitude and a real desire to go forward with your life.

Happy birthday!
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