Every year, in the days leading up to my birthday, people ask me what I want.
And usually, they’re looking for something they can buy. Because money solves all problems, right?
Most of the time, I comply and sometimes I have to rack my brain for stuff that I wouldn’t mind having. This year, I couldn’t really think of any “thing” that I really wanted, any “thing” that would truly satisfy the question of what I want for my birthday.
So now, two or so hours before “my day” begins, humor me as I answer that question honestly.
I want to be healthy. I want to be “cured”, if you will. I want to be done with all of the
doctors visits, the therapy appointments, the medication.
I want to tell people that I’m doing good and actually be good inside and out. I want to walk out in public, listen to the radio, make friends without fear of being triggered or hurt, without fear of having a PTSD episode, a panic attack or something that would embarrass myself in front of others.
I don’t want to be sick. I don’t want all of the stigma and judgement and pain that comes from suffering both physical and mental illnesses. I don’t want to be afraid that people will pity me, or think that I’m lazy or not trying my absolute best.
The funny thing is that no one has told me outright that I should grow up, that I should stop pretending or that it’s all in my head. No one has outright told me any of these things that I’m afraid of, yet they are so heavily engrained into my psyche that I have to
consciously question them so that they don’t overrule my mind. This societal “ableism” is something that I am judging my self worth on, and it’s not healthy at all.
So I don’t know if I can get better. I can get to a point where it’s manageable, but with all of my diagnoses, I can’t just “get cured”. I can make it so that I have more good days than bad.
So, for my birthday instead of wishing for a cure, wishing to get better, to just be “fixed” doesn’t feel possible. Instead, I want to be able to accept where I’m at. To accept that some days, I won’t be able to get out of bed. To accept the doctor’s visits and medical bills, the medication and extra effort that it takes to keep going, to keep up with a handful of responsibilities. I wish for the ability to see people that I went to college with going on to get their Master’s or land jobs that will eventually lead them to a CEO position in some big company and be proud of them without feeling guilty for doing “less” than them.
To help me in this wish, I ask for your prayers, your well wishes and good vibes. If you have words of encouragement or support, please share them with me. To be honest, it will be the best birthday gift I could ever hope for.