Wednesday, September 14, 2016

# attitude changes # battle

Birthdays and Me...

The other day I wrote a post about turning 40 next week and my attitude towards it. I meant every single word in that post and somewhere, under the depression, there is still that spark of excitement over a new year with new possibilities and opportunities.

But right now, it's under the depression. Every year, about a week or so before my birthday, I feel it coming on. I try to fight it. I try to keep busy, to ignore it, but I pretty much fail every time. Very few people understand and that just makes it worse.

I make joking posts on Facebook about how it's 10 days before my birthday and I haven't received a single card yet and how people should celebrate the 10 days of me or something equally silly but under all the frivolity is a grain of truth. I watch other people post about all of the love and gifts and time with people that they got for their birthdays and while I'm so happy for them, a bit of it slices at me. The voice in my head reminds me that when my birthday comes along, I'll be alone, that I'm not important enough or special enough for anyone to be with me. I'll try to tell it to shut up and to remind it that I don't live near anyone, but it reminds me of how I've dropped everything to drive hours and hours or to fly to spend someone else's with them.

My brain can be a total asshole at times. It's worse when I try to talk to others about it because they always have the same response. Stop depending on other people for your happiness on that day. Go and do what you want to do. That's great because I can't do that. You see, all these people have one thing in common...they're in happy, committed relationships or they're surrounded by friends. They aren't alone. They can't understand or don't try to understand that the one thing I want to do that day is not be alone. I don't care if I curl up with someone on the couch and have a movie marathon or what have you. It doesn't have to be big or flashy. I just don't want to be alone.

I want my birthday to be special and in my head that means being with people or at least a person who loves me. I spend every day alone. Being alone isn't special. I can go to the movies or out to eat alone any time I want to. I've spent my entire life not feeling special or wanted.

When I was a child, my sister was the golden child in our household. She could do no wrong and I could do no right. At my mother's house, it was my brother. I had birthday parties canceled because of something they did. By the time I was in high school, I felt as if I were either invisible or expected to be an adult. I just wanted to be a teenager but I had been trained to take everyone else and so I fell into line and did just that.

Then, I got married to the first guy who paid me any kind of real attention and who I thought meant it when he said he loved me. I wrote in other post what birthdays were like for me. I always made a big deal out of his and out of things like father's day but it never worked the other direction. I still felt invisible and as if I were only there to serve a purpose.

After the divorce, I guess I thought things would be different. Instead, I was raped for my 30th birthday by someone I thought I knew and trusted after I'd spent over 12 hours traveling to get to where he was. The fact that I had any spirit left was something to be beaten out of me or taken another way. I was a nobody in his eyes, just something to use, abuse, and then throw away.

I don't remember the next few years...I moved to New York, spent birthdays alone or in class. I moved back to Michigan and I think once since 2007, I spent the day with someone I loved and it was lovely. For my 35th birthday, someone decided to throw me a birthday party...except nobody came which just solidified my feeling of not mattering. Now, here we are, five years later and it's 9 days before my birthday.

I'm depressed, in tears, and just want to put my head down until it's over. Little things feel huge and though I know they're not, I can't seem to push past them. I'm trying. Oh, how I try. I give myself little speeches about how it's not personal if someone sees your messages and doesn't bother to respond to them even though you used to talk every day all the time. It's not personal if someone you've worked with on multiple projects goes ahead with a project without you or without even telling you. It isn't personal if people don't like or comment on your posts or on things you comment on theirs. I tell myself that I'm not invisible. I tell myself that I am loved.

I tell myself all of those things and deep down, I know them all to be true but for the next 9 days it will be a constant battle of depression vs reality. I'm exhausted already from it and I know that there will be a million more tears, a million more times checking my email, a million more times stopping myself from doing things like checking my amazon wishlist to see if anyone has bought anything for me...it will be all of these things and I will win but for now, I fight.

So please...if you interact with me over these next 9 days, try to understand that I'm fragile, that I'm hyper sensitive and that my brain is ready in an instant with some lie or way to misinterpret things. Most of all, just try to love me. Know that I am not this way by choice and that it's something I'm constantly working on and trying to get past. It's hard but not impossible.

I love you all...really and truly, I do and if nothing else, writing this helped me. It cleared things out of my head and somehow, when it's in my own words, in black and white, it's easier to deal with. It gives me those moments of peace where I can take a deep breath and say yep, brain, you suck and you're full of nonsense but I'm going to keep going because I know I'm loved and I'm stronger than this. The depression will strike back but it's those moments..the moments of truth...that keep me going. This post helped me and maybe it might help someone else too.


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