Sunday, May 31, 2015

thirty-four.

Happy birthday to me. Today I am 34 years old.

Here is where I pause and roll that figure around and around in my head. Thirty-four.

My birthdays are always important to me. I think they've gained importance with age, as opposed to becoming something I shrug at or dread. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is my new year. A few days ago someone raised the point to me that every day is somebody's new year. Very true, I said.

Today feels a little surreal right now. I woke up and told myself: today is my birthday and I should do what I want. I made coffee. I worked out despite telling myself I would take the day off from sweating. It is something I take pleasure in, I told myself, so I might as well do it. I made lunch and talked to my dad, who texted me birthday wishes as soon as he woke up. J brought me flowers yesterday and today they look exceptionally beautiful. I've done a fair amount of staring at my face in the mirror, counting freckles that weren't there a year ago, noting hair that is steadily becoming more grey than not. Later we have dinner plans with a few others. I have also cried today, which isn't something I had listed under "things I like to do." Also not on that list: dealing with nausea and dizziness and stomach pain from adjusting to an antidepressant again. But that is part of the process.

I went to a doctor last night who listened to my situation and agreed that I'm experiencing a relapse with my depression. As of last night I'm back on my meds, and I know there is an adjustment period and I intend on being as patient as I can.
Last night I also spoke with a close friend and, for the first time other than on my blog & with family, talked about how I've been struggling. I had difficult expressing the toughness of this place. Unless I can pull a stunt like the main character in the movie Powder, I don't expect anyone to fully get it unless they are here, in the same scenario. You get tired of explaining third world country frustrations.

Even now I pause often in typing this entry out. I'm still wading my way through the dark and writing about it feels like a chore. How many ways can the heavy be described? I go to one of my most favorite places, the thesaurus, and find: desolation, bummer, abjection, blue funk, bleakness. I first sounded out the last word as "blee-knees," which I actually kind of like. "Oh, I just have a case of the blee knees. Ice and elevation. Don't mind me."

On birthdays I usually like to reflect on things, but today my mind is tired. Many times in my life I've wished that our heads could be safely detachable--especially during bad migraines or when I'm feeling exceptionally blue. As if I could simply take her off for a bit and shoo her out the door, tell her to go play til the streetlights pop on. But our bodies do not work this way. As much as I may pine for the detachable cabeza, I am also determined to fight the urge to disconnect. The thing that is going to get me through this is myself. I refuse to let go of that. Hold on with one hand and search for light with the other.

I don't know. I guess this year my birthday is turning out to be much less about reflection and thought, and more about allowing myself to simply be. Here, now, this.

That sounds good. I think I'll stop writing now and go be for a while.


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