My Birthday’s Back Again

It’s the anniversary of both my blog and my birth day. The first article I ever wrote (maybe not published) was ‘Birthday Blues’ and it was written out of necessity. Birthday blues aka the recurring feeling of sadness and despair that occurs as my birthday comes round. Each year I become overwhelmed with the tears and emotions that comes with fluctuate between planning nothing and celebrating. I anticipate and panic about the inevitable sadness and numb to happiness I’m meant to feel. My therapist refers to this self fulfilling prophesy. Reluctant to agree I protest that its based on learned behaviour due to past experiences. But it’s true, I spend so much time dreading the day and numerating on past trauma, that I remove the possibility of me ever enjoying the day. Part of me wants to ignore my birthday all together craving evaporation, while in moments of respite I dream of being happy… Each year I regret not doing anything.

Both the day of my birthday and my celebration leave my thoughts skewed and vulnerable. As the perpetual D.U.F.F, I find the celebration hard because I struggle being the centre of attention despite craving comradery and affection. Burdened with the chronic sense of unappreciation and disappointment, a day where my loved ones gravitate towards me is a bittersweet. It feels alien so I’m unable to cope with it, my neurons haven’t created pathways and there’s no level of “Cope Ahead” that could prepare me for the ambush of sentience. My anxiety regarding people true intentions and thoughts toward me are my main points of focus. Most days are just as problematic but subjected to the same level of bullshit on “day” is emotionally destructive. The reminder of the day of my birth when suffering from suicidal ideation and para-suicidal tendencies meanss I flirt regularly with my mortality. The irony of craving death on the day I was born exemplifies the contradiction that is my life.

snippet from the boat

I have an inert belief that because it’s my birthday everything is magically or conveniently meant to be perfect is stupid and juvenile. The world isn’t obligated to turn into Camelot because this day several years ago I was born. I attribute the naiveté and overall regression on my mental health. One of my biggest issues with life is that I either catastrophise or idealise , that makes me believe in the deliverance of fairy-tale endings. I need help swallowing the overall injustice of life. On a macro level, I’m owed nothing is this life and this extends to me birthday. I’m only entitled to disappointment and distress on micro level – and the ability work through these everyday disappointments is something I need to work n.

Me, Alimat & Shrifah

What did I learn in the 23rd year of my life. I didn’t learn anything new in my life at least from an academic perspective or anything momentous or life changing. What I did learn was DBT skills to help me accept emotion and change certain behaviour and the way I react to certain behaviour. Through the experience of necessary pain and essentially trial and error, I have developed an understanding into what my body, mind and soul can withstand. This applies professionally (career wise) and interpersonally (relationship wise). I graduated from university at 23 and experience the enduring heartbreak that is constant job rejection. Trying to secure my first graduate job extracted a lot from me emotionally , completely ruining my self esteem and my perception of self worth. In my role a PA/ Studio Assistant, I learnt that I need separation between my working and personal life – the establishment of clear and succinct boundaries for me is paramount. In my first marketing role, I learnt that hotile working environments amething I’m not constructed to withstand – an environment which confict with morial compass and socio-political . I’m incredibly senstitive so dalingg with antagonistic people without the afety net of medication is something I failed out.

I got increasingly familiar with failing in my 23rd year of life – to quote myself 5 months ago “failure became my best friend”. Before DBT (Dialectal Behaviour Therapy) the fact that I was unsuccessful in achieving everything I wanted to do or in my desired timescale would have broken me. Pre DBT me would categorise this “L” laden year as ‘ Year of Failure”. Thankfully I’m almost a year into DBT, no longer splitting of thinking into dialectics, that’s I can recognise this year, as my “Year of Persevering”. Throughout this year I had to admit defeat and radically accept that the situation is “above me now”. I can now appreciate the fact that I tried and endured as much as I physically could have. I had so many set backs and obstacle but I continued or problem solved. In order to fail, I had to try so alternatively this year could have interpreted as my “Year of Trying”, cliché as it seems I need to turn my interpretation of this intro somewhat positive. 2016 was my year of regret so although I had so many let downs and disappointments, I have no new regrets.

As I blow away the embers of chapter 23, I naturally think about the next chapter and what I aim to achieve throughout the upcoming year. Goal wise I would like to gain my masters in Corporate Brand Management, attaining mostly As. Technically I won’t graduate till August when I’m 25, however it would be just be my dissertation left to do and I’d be almost there. I would like to be writing and producing content more frequently and would like to have maintained/ kept the friends I’ve made over the past couple years. Ideally I would have been in my first adult relationship but the relationship is not an aspiration. You can’t aspire for something you have less than 50% control of because a relationship and interpersonal effectiveness requires 2 people. “Men move mad” and although I comprehensively know I can move madder, in chapter 24 I’m trying not to.

I want spiritual and financial growth, emotional maturity and stability. I want to feel content in my life and work towards achieve long term goals. As I try to work towards achieving a good quality of life, a firm grip and application of emotional regulation skills and healthier coping mechanism would be amazing. I would like to be less consumed in my depression, working through my self esteem issues and belief that I’m defective. However I’m increasingly aware that this is the last year before I turn 25 and officially closer to 30 than 20, anxieties regarding what I’m yet to achieve will be more pronounced. As I write this, an immediate of panic and dread just set in – I’m yet to have a serious adult relationship, make strides career wise or complete other adulting things (e.g. savings, car & house). I want to mean something to someone and reach my so called potential.

PAUSE

You’ve just turned 24, 11 months are left. This year I need to take time, sekkle down and breathe. Breathe into the disappointment of not being where I want to be in life and understand that everyone has their own pace

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