Today is my 30th birthday. And as much as I want this post to be upbeat and positive, the truth is I’ve had a hard time getting my head around how I’m feeling about this milestone birthday. I’ll be completely honest with you, it’s not a day I’ve been looking forward to. In fact, part of me would have been happy to completely bypass my birthday this year. And it’s nothing to do with age.
Since falling ill, I’ve struggled with birthdays. It’s a day for celebration but there’s always a part of me that feels tinged with sadness. I can’t help but be reminded that a whole year has passed and I’m still here fighting an invisible battle and missing out on so much along the way. It feels bittersweet.
Thirty has hit me that little bit harder because it has made me reflect back on my twenties. And while I could tell you about all of the amazing things I’ve done and achieved, I feel that would only be sharing part of the story. It would be cherry picking the best bits while ignoring all of the struggles along the way.
The honest truth is I’m living a life I never imagined myself living. And part of me feels robbed of the life I wanted. While I still try to live life to the full, part of me can’t help but feel restricted and boxed in. Most of the time I’m looking in and enjoying things from the sidelines. While there is undoubtedly a lot of joy to be found, I still long for the life I once had from time to time.
It goes without saying that there are times where I find things difficult; it’s sadly part of the challenge of living with chronic illness. Unfortunately for me, my birthday happens to be one of those times. I guess it’s a reminder that puts everything into the spotlight.
Having said all of that, I know that I will find a way to pick myself up again. I always do. Birthday cake certainly helps! I know I will make a conscious decision to move forward again and put my focus back into my recovery. I’m a very resilient person and I’m also surrounded by amazing and supportive people who thankfully help me along every step of the way (which I am incredibly grateful for).
I want to finish this post on a positive by saying that one thing I’ve learned about myself over the past few years is that I’m forever hopeful, plus pretty stubborn and determined to boot. I know I will continue to tell myself that one day I will feel better. That my thirties will be even better than what I imagined for my twenties. Hope keeps me going. And it’s something I’ll always hold onto…