A Reflection on “My birthday, two thousand and sixteen”

I never made it to Los Angeles the following year.

Anxiety, depression, two hospitalizations and a borderline diagnosis later, I sit in a small restaurant in New York. I am well and I no longer rely on him as a major support system.

I wrote some of my best work back then. Truly. I have written a few pieces since then that rival those works in passion and honesty, but it was such an iconic era for me creatively. The heartbreak pressed on me developmentally. I knew he was gone for good, and I poured myself into my work.

Every word held meaning. Every line held a piece of my broken soul. But slowly, the pieces were put back together and I was able to open myself to love again.

Two thousand and sixteen saw blood, tears and shame. It saw the development of awful habits. It saw the destruction of even more awful habits.

The week before I turned twenty, I was hospitalized for the second time. While there, I realized it was not how I wanted to live my life. The key phrasing here is live my life- I want a life.

Two thousand and seventeen has been good to me. I met the girl I’m in love with. I stopped smoking. My mental health is practically stable. I have a job. I’m doing research with my professor in the summer that will carry on into the fall. I changed my major and rebuilt relationships I thought were obliterated into dust.

Because of the pain, I’m stronger. Because of the pain, I’m better prepared for the future.

I’m eager to reach my next birthday.

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