And let's be clear. I'm not throwing any sort of pity party or playing the martyr. I don't think that anything I experience is any different from what many other people feel. The only real difference is that it's actually me experiencing. Because, I can empathize and relate to other people, but I can then only feel (deeply! intensely!) as myself. (Sidenote: Let's not get into a semantics discussion of the definition of self. All I know is that I wake up in the same capable/strong/perfect-and-flawed body every morning and do my best to go about my day.)
But, when I fight depression, I have coping mechanisms. I don't allow myself to just climb into bed and stare at the ceiling, even if that's the inclination. I exercise. I delve into flute-music-teaching, or a book, or writing. Or I start a new project. These things help; I rely on them. And you know, some of the things that have come out of a depressed period are accomplishments that ultimately make me feel very good.
Overall, I am slowly becoming the person I want to be.
And then, of course, there are the not so great coping mechanisms... sometimes I drink too much.
Sometimes, I fuck up.
But, these screw ups should not define who I am, any more than the accomplishments necessarily should. It's all just parts that make up a whole, right? I am a conglomeration of the goodbadmediocre, and I wouldn't want to wholly identify as any specific part of that.
But birthdays... they're difficult not because of getting older, although that's obviously very much a reality (grey hair and eye crinkles be damned). They're difficult for me because I feel alone. I knowknowknowknow I have so many friends and family that care about me and love me and I have plans for the rest of the week because people care and love... but still, I feel lonely, and for some reason, slightly homesick for a home I can't quite define.
And damn, birthdays/holidays... so much pressure to have a 'good' day, but it's just a day, and it might be good, but it might be not-as-good. It's just a day.
But hell, even writing it down helps, and today is a beautiful sunny day and I'm about to go to a job I love within a career that is pretty damn awesome. I am a lucky person, and I am proud of who I am and what I'm doing with my life.
So, here's to year 34, and a lot of good days.
Sidenote: I pretty much always want cake, but today (and maybe tomorrow)... I'm definitely going to eat some.