Before I begin this post I wanted to apologize for a strange notice you may have gotten. If you follow my blog you may have seen an email that I posted the other day and I accidentally did. I was trying to figure out how to integrate a new feature to my blog (which didn’t work…) and what you saw was the HTML (internet language) codes. Sorry if I confused you or cluttered up your inbox!
My birthday is tomorrow. My parents says that it will be about exactly twenty-three years to the day since I was born on a Friday and tomorrow is a Friday as well (TGIF anyone?). Something you must understand is that I LOVE my birthday. I always have. I don’t know why. It’s not the gifts or being the center of attention. I think it’s just celebrating a special day. I love holidays and a birthday is like a holdiay. It’s out of the ordinary and the routine. It’s breaks up the normalcy of life and gives a person something to celelbrate.
I will admit I love presents. Not the gifts themselves but the unwrapping process. I love to open things. Cards, toothbrushes, dog toys, gifts. You name it I can open it. And I am relishing the opportunity of unwrapping things tomorrow.
On a more serious note this birthday will be the first one I have spent at home in two years. Last year I was spending the day on caution (aka prision) at CFC and the year before I was at Laureate. My birthday at Laureate was also my 21st birthday. The age that you become an ‘adult’. I spent the day making flubber, crawling around on the floor (I wasn’t yet released from my wheelchair) with a tube in my nose. For my 22nd birthday I spent the day on CFC’s highest level of care isolated from the other girls. However, on that birtheday I learned that even in the most miserablest of circumstances good could things could occur. The girls not only sang happy birthday to me (even though they were not techinically allowed to talk to me due to the strict rules of caution) but sang do-re-mi from the Sound of Music and completely took over the unit with signs wishing me happy birthday (I owe most of the happiness of that day to my dear friend C. Oh how I miss you). It was the first time in a very long time that I had felt that kind of love and allowed myself to receive it fully.
This year is different. I get to experience this milestone in freedom. And oh is it a milestone. It will be the first brithday in probably more than ten years where I will be happy, healthy and safe. I won’t be locked up in an EDU or a residential treatment center but surrounded by family. I will actual be able to blow out candles since they aren’t prohibited due to health codes, I will enjoy my cake (well, Oreo Dessert actually) and be able to keep all of my presents since there is no restriction on items I can have.
I am grateful for my two birthdays away since they have led me to the place I am now. I still have every single sign the CFC girls made for me. I treasure the memory of how they strived to make my day special and even agreed to play the game Hug-a-pug which I got for my birthday (thanks Aunt Pam!). And in fact I’m missing all of those girls as I get ready to turn 23. But I don’t wish I was back at CFC. I so wish they were here and we were celebrating a year of recovery, hard work and happiness together.
So instead of a birthday filled with tubes, wheelchairs, tears over cakes, isolation and supervision I will spend my day celebrating the blessings that have ocured over the last year: the unexpected miracles, the God things, new friendships, recovery, dogs, a new apartment and many many more. I will be surrounded by those who know me best but still love me. I will get to open gifts and spend the day as I choose.
And if I believed in wishes I would be wishing on my candles for all of those blessings and more. For me and for my loved ones and friends. It’s time to shape my next twenty-three years around recovery, healing and happiness. I know if I do that thenI will be able to get through anything.