Today is my 22nd birthday! I was hoping to spend this weekend celebrating with friends, but due to the fact that my birthday (always) occurs during midterms week, I’m spending the first night of my birthday weekend inside. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, although I hate to admit it. I have the chance to reflect on how far I’ve come since last year. Things have gotten so much better, and I would have never anticipated having such a great year.
A year ago today, I was already drunk at 4:00PM.
Granted, I celebrated my 21st birthday a year ago today, but I had a bad habit of drinking alone during the middle of the day. I would also drink out of frustration. Forming that habit was especially scary for me because I knew it can turn to a dependency.
Today, I’m sober…for now.
Once again, I must cut myself some slack since it is my birthday. However, I’ve come to a point where I only drink in social settings, and alcohol is not a part of every social outing.
A year ago today, I was anticipating my next hospitalization.
I was so pessimistic about my recovery that I was wondering when I’d wind up back in the hospital. I felt as though I was destined for an infinite loop of hospitalizations and discharges, and that I wasn’t fit for any kind of productive lifestyle.
Today, it has been 315 days since I was in an inpatient facility.
It’s also been 324 days since I last engaged in the self-destructive behaviors that I have been monitoring (excluded due to potential triggers).
A year ago today, I was dating a guy who didn’t appreciate me for who I was.
He just wanted a girlfriend, and I made myself available. At the same time, I was willing to date anyone if it meant not being alone. I was co-dependent.
Today, I’m happily single.
I’ve made a commitment to myself to not put my energy into anyone who wouldn’t do the same for me. I’d rather not constantly question whether or not someone truly cares about me. I no longer have a problem deciding they aren’t worth it if they don’t appreciate me, and I am no longer afraid to turn people down when I simply don’t think we’d be compatible.
A year ago today, I thought I had nothing.
I had friends, pets, a family, a college education, goals, and progress. None of that mattered to me. I still felt alone, and I still felt like a failure.
Today, I feel fortunate to just be alive.
Because I’m alive, I can not only appreciate what I have, but I can now build upon it.
A year ago, I lived for other people.
If I wasn’t making others happy 24/7, I wasn’t happy.
Today, I live for me.
I’m not afraid to be the teal-haired feminist with opinions and passions that others may not want to hear.
Just remember that things can always get better. You never know where you’ll be one year from now.