Today is my birthday and I turned fifty years old. Yes, as I have told my loved ones and friends, I turned a half century old today. Lol! I am an antique, covered in flaked gold (like older dishes and vases). I have long worried how I would react to this number. Would I break down? Feel old and get depressed? The answer is no, I haven’t. Instead, I am happy and it feels more like I have reached a milestone in my life, than a dead end.
In previous posts, I have mentioned my struggle with major depression and anxiety. I lost all of my thirties due to this dreadful mental illness. I missed out on having a child of my own and so many other things that those in their thirties embark upon…it is like I was non-existent for that decade of my life.
My forties was a time of recovery and moving forward. I worked through many life pangs, trauma, and heartache (including a very painful divorce) during this decade. I mourned the loss of my thirties and what that meant (no biological children, lack of career, etc.). I mended a lot of things to, including returning to school to get my Master’s degree in social work, having a social life again, and obtaining and keeping a part-time job.
Today, I am celebrating all the milestones that I have crossed and goals that I have accomplished in just the past decade. I am extremely grateful for mental stability. I am thankful to have such a loving, caring, husband, his family and my family, and close friends who support me in my endeavors and accepts me in my limitations. It is a wonderful feeling (for the first time in my life), to feel unconditionally loved and accepted…not just by others in my life but by myself. Yes, I feel that I have started to finally care about who I have become and what I have accomplished.
I recall all those years of my life that I wasted on literally hating and criticizing myself for everything that I did or felt I was doing wrong. I constantly felt out of place, unloved, and as a nobody. I covered my insecurities, self-loathing, and pain through humor. I am not sure where I’d be without my sense of humor. But, today, I embrace myself in all my glory and flaws and take pride in the journey I have taken to become who I am.
Today, as I turn fifty, I look forward to what the next year holds for me. I am hoping that I will transition from part-time work to full-time employment in the profession I am passionate about…mental health. I went on a job interview yesterday and I feel that it went well for they sent me out for a drug test and criminal background check. I also have a job interview on Wednesday.
I am moving forward and beyond the struggle of my mental illness and all the things that have held me back in my earlier years. Today, I am celebrating me, those who love me unconditionally, my journey, my future, and what I can contribute to society while I am here.
I may have turned fifty today but fifty is just a number. My life is definitely not over yet.