So you could say I’ve been freaking out a bit about turning *whispers* thirty *whispers*. For those who’ve seen Friends, I’ve been doing a Rachel. For those who haven’t, where have you been?
I’m not ashamed about that. It feels as though I’m leaving my youth behind, although I have always been a child trapped in an older persons body so I don’t think one birthday is going to change that anytime soon.
Plus, thirty is a milestone in itself. When I was a little girl I imagined I’d have my dream career by 21, a husband and all that stuff just ~sorted~. You know, it would come naturally to me. Like most things did back then. But as I grew older and the anxiety and trauma set in I found it harder and harder to imagine that life for myself and I never, ever pictured me at thirty. I just never thought I’d make it here. I’ve had a lot of hardship in my life and for a while I thought it would stop me from continuing with life itself. But I’m here, and I’m grateful.
Putting me aside for a second, there is a wider societal pressure around turning thirty. If you don’t have kids, married and in a seemingly total secure place in your dream career then you apparently aren’t succeeding at life. Well that’s not the case. Everyone grows at their own rate. Life happens at different speeds to different people. We shouldn’t compare one another in these arbitrary ways.
For me personally, my twenties have been a mixed bag. Unconventional, some may say. I’ve spent more time in relationships than I’ve been single. I don’t regret that but I’m glad I’m taking the time to just be me now. Even though those relationships never turned into anything it doesn’t mean I didn’t value them or that I haven’t learned anything from them because I do and I did. Each one has made me into a better person and I thank them for that. Most of them anyway.
Just like men, I’ve had good friends and I’ve had bad friends. Heck I’ve been a good friend and a bad friend but I’ve always tried to be as authentic as possible with people. I’ve wasted some time with some friends but I can’t say I haven’t had fun along the way. Just because something doesn’t last doesn’t mean it was pointless. I’ll be honest, there have been times when I don’t know why friendships have ended. At times it has felt like I’ve been cut out of peoples lives and then they’ve wanted me back when it suits them. I know sometimes people just simply outgrow each other but sometimes there is more to it than meets the eye. Even if they don’t want to admit it. Still, it doesn’t mean either one is less worthy - just less honest and willing to communicate.
There are many things I’m proud of hitting thirty. I’ve been in and out of hospital more times than I can count but I have managed to stay out since 2021 and remain stable. I have managed to secure my own home, renovate and decorate it with the help of family. Now my house is my haven and I hate leaving it because it is so gorgeous and cosy and beautiful. Saying that, maintaining it is a job in itself that should be applauded. I am continuing focusing on my writing and putting something in the bank each day.
Not only do I have severe mental health problems, but I live with chronic physical illness too. I am learning more and more about my illnesses each day which can help manage them a bit better but they flare up under stress and I am sensitive to stress. It is all a big balancing act but I am in more control of it than ever. I have a good routine and if anything gets me out of that routine I am done for. I know I will have to live with this forever but knowing that I can somewhat manage it to the best of my ability is somewhat comforting.
Heck surviving your twenties is simply a feat in itself without all this illness and trauma so I am extremely proud of myself for being where I am today. But it is a double edged sword. I am not married and without kids, there is a stigma towards people like me. I don’t have a traditional job. Where am I going in life some may ask. Well the truth is if you asked me a couple of years ago where I’d be in a few years times I’d have said I thought I’d still be living at home, at one point I thought I’d be on the streets or homeless in some way like I have been in the past and many times I thought I’d be dead because I couldn’t take the idea of being homeless again.
What I am looking forward to about my thirties is feeling confident in my own skin. As I progressed through my twenties I got this feeling more and more as in my teens and early twenties I used to feel so hung up on my body it got me feeling so depressed I had to go to the doctors. Now I really do love the skin I’m in. I see my body as a vessel. My body is strong and it has carried me through so much hardship and it will continue carrying me through until the day I die. I am so thankful to my body. I just wanna give her a big hug.
It just shows, where I am now is miles away from where I thought I would be. I have come so far in such a short space of time. I think turning thirty has made me reflect on my life and made me think about what I want from it, and the main thing is stability. My life isn’t the same as most other thirty year olds, and that’s okay. I have to do what works for me, and if people don’t understand then they weren’t worth having around in the first place. #Anxiety #Fear #Psychosis #Bipolar #MentalHealth #Stigma #bodyconfidence