Happy 56th Birthday to Me!

birthday cake

So today is my birthday. I am 56. Eek!

You all are always so positive and I suppose those of you that comment on this will be kind and supportive. But I’d like to kick my life in the ass.

Now I’m not going to lie and say I have a terrible life. I have a nice big house, a cleaning lady, and a great husband of 30 years (you notice I listed the cleaning lady first). I have three adult children and with some luck they will all make it through 4 years of college. I have a lot of friends (both real and cyber). Now I don’t have two shiny new cars in the driveway. I drive a 2001 Tahoe. But hey, it runs and looks good…it’s cheap transportation.

I have a nice church that understands me. I have a good therapist and psychiatrist.

I have money. We’re not rich, but we are comfortable. I can always afford my medicine and treatment. We can take modest vacations.

I have a patient family. For those years off and on where I basically laid in bed and skipped events, they were understanding.

I had a decent experience in school. I got my Masters and taught all kinds of kids. I was a school principal for two years.

But for being 56, I am disappointed.

I remember being 40 and talking about my weight. I NEVER thought I would be 56 and still fighting it. I just don’t want to die fat.

I did some incredibly stupid things while manic. Back before I even knew what manic was, I did all kinds of lying and manipulating and just causing chaos in other people’s lives. These people did not deserve this in any way.

Thus the cycle began. Severe depression (suicidal) followed by some hypomania where I excelled at life, which then flipped over into mania. I left a wake of destruction when manic. (I’d apologize to these people, but they probably would run if they saw me coming. I don’t know where they are anyway.)

So is this a pity party? I guess so.

I am listening to an audiobook on how to be happy. I am trying, folks. So far, it’s told me to put “be happy” at the top of my daily to-do list. Then it told me to meditate for ten minutes every day. Then it told me to keep a phone gratitude list and gave me a couple of apps. I downloaded one and it was fine, but I think blogging is just about as good.

So what am I doing with my life? I’m resting a whole lot. I’m taking Klonopin prn and seem to need it a lot. I’m waking up at five and am very lonely. I’m doing the stuff on my template. I’m surviving. I’m not winning any awards for anything.

Is this my “stable” time? I’d guess so. I’m certainly not hypomanic. I do feel a little depressed, but not that down, down depression where you can’t get out of bed. I need to be grateful for that…I know many are not as lucky.

I think plenty of people get sad or irritated around their birthdays. I just try to lurk around so people don’t celebrate. I hate to be the center of attention now. I feel like a mental blob with nothing to say.

My husband reminded me that we basically go through this every birthday. That I moan I have not accomplished enough with my life. That so much of it was a waste. But then he says “Who among our friends has lived any better life than you?” And he is right. I know there are pediatric brain surgeons in the world, but they’re not among my confidantes. My friends are like me…good times and bad. I just happen to have a little more “kick” at times due to the bipolar.

So today I plan on finding a cupcake to share the day with.  I plan on walking a mile around that lake. I plan on forgiving myself for all of the people I hurt while manic. And I plan on loving myself more.

Thanks for being here.


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