It's a week away from my nineteenth birthday- and along with what should be excitement comes with this heaviness of emotions.
Birthdays feel so conflicting. There is this part of me that is like, "Man! It is my birthday, this is a day where the people who love me celebrate the life that I am living, and out-poor so much love to me. There will be cute Instagram posts, ice cream, presents, so many affirming words- ALL things I LOVE." But, there is the other part of me that is, "How did I make it this far? I wanted for so long to give up yet, I am here. How could that be? Whoa! that is HEAVY" Do you see how conflicting that is?
Being someone who struggled with suicide, self harm, anxiety, and depression, alongside not being on meds nor going to counseling for it for so long I would pray every day that God would let me come home. I would scream and cry, pleading to be able to be anyone else, for the darkness in mind to slow, to just be dead. I remember countless times writing notes to the people I loved the most then, slicing into my skin dreaming that I would bleed out if I just took more sleeping pills but- God had different plans.
& Here I am, still here, turning nineteen so many years later, ALIVE.
Every year on my birthday I get this reminder: I DIDN'T WANT TO MAKE IT TO THIS DAY. I NEVER EVEN EXPECTED TO.
I'll be celebrating a year of life that I never even dreamed I get to have. I'll be celebrating yet having the unshakable feeling that I still have days where I don't know If this life is worth living. I'll be celebrating but knowing that I will still have days where that same darkness will completely overwhelm my entire being.
Yet, MAYBE, just MAYBE this heaviness is an even bigger reason to PRAISE Jesus for the life that I have- and to celebrate the woman I am becoming. I know that the Lord has used this messy and hard part of my story to GLORIFY him, to have conversations with people who now follow Him because of the work He has done in this part of my story. I know that I am loved, cherished, adored and overwhelmingly fought for by the people who Love the hell out of me. That is a reason to celebrate- even when it feels WEIRD.
Friends, although I am excited to be surrounded by the people who love me the most, celebrating- I still feel heavy. I still am angry and sad that birthday's feel so weird to me. Yet, I am trusting that it won't be this way forever. I am trusting that there will be a birthday where I will have won this fight against this disease and my entire being will be ECSTATIC it is my birthday but- for now, things are weird and that is okay.
I hope nineteen brings dance parties, so much joy, love, peace, and that I will be one more year closer to winning against this darkness.
Birthdays are oh so weird BUT that is okay- and I hope if you're like me that YOU know that.