With every birthday, with the exception of Jehovah’s Witnesses, comes the celebration of your life. My birthday this past Thursday (June 20th!) was no different. I went to bed Wednesday night and woke up Thursday morning with equivalent excitement. From the moment I opened my eyes, I had an uncontainable air of downright glee. My boyfriend said that he had 3 surprises for me from the hours of 9 – 12, I had an appointment at the hair salon for noon and I was planning a road trip for my family reunion. Everything was going oh so right! Until…I made the decision to be unhappy.
Things started going wrong when:
- My bf got called in to work, and we couldn’t celebrate all weekend together the way we’d envisioned we could.
- I didn’t get to see my mom.
- I calculated just how dead freaking broke I am with $12K in credit card debt and counting. Why was I going on vacation again?
- I was feeling like a failure when I realized my Kickstarter campaign wasn’t going to achieve the goal.
The thing about depression is, even the most trivial of thoughts for some (what I like to call the “neutral minds”) are augmented to the 20th level for depressed people. Quite literally, one bad thought can escalate to 10 in a matter of miniscule moments. And then there you are in your dark place and feeling lost. Wondering how the hell a perfectly capable person like yourself could completely lose it to a series of unfortunate and evil thoughts?
But it happened. On this weekend, of all weekends! Then, in my celebration angst, I decided to engage in the spirits! Not the smartest move. Alcohol, in any amount, can only exacerbate the problem. I was growing more and more melancholy. When my bf finally arrived after 2 days of drinking and binge eating, I was a weeping willow of sadness and despair. During every minute of the first 10 hours we were reunited, I was constantly hovering between a face full of tears or those inconsolable post-tear wimpers.
I was fucked up.
It only got worse once my bf joined my family and myself. At this point I was in a really painful position. I wanted all the quality boo time in the world, but also wanted to spend time with my family. After only a few hours of trying to make everyone happy, my already ticked off brain went ape shit and I had one of my worst melt downs. Ever. It was not cute. I was snappy and just wanted to sleep and withdraw from the prying eyes of people that don’t understand depression. Instead, I compromised with everyone and kept drinking. And overeating. Not my finest moments.
Is this what every birthday is going to be like? In an effort to feel more like a grown up and more mature, I have a meltdown? I think I need to stop seeing my life as a race. With the threat of each additional year of life, I feel like I’m behind and like I need to catch up. This past weekend was sad for me because I realized that I was trying to please everyone else, but while doing so, I let go of each intention to please myself.
To my family it probably seemed that either my bf was physically abusing me or that I was bat-shit-crazy. I assure you, neither is true. I’m just at that struggle point where we all find ourselves eventually:
If the goal is happiness, why am I not happy? If happiness is a choice, why do I allow myself to choose everything but happiness? And if I eventually do find the strength and courage to make the choice to be happy, will I truly be happy? Is it really that simple??
For about 30 minutes on Saturday, I had a really deep chat with my grandfather and boyfriend on the subject. Both men, very wise beyond their years — yes, my 72 year young g-pa was probably one of the wise men in a different life– were both very encouraging. But my depressed mind couldn’t see that. And even after our conversation, I just wanted to keep living in my despair.
Fast forward to tonight — 3ish days after my birthday, and wtf did I really do for myself in celebration of my 24th? Absolutely nothing.
And that’s just fucking sad.