Today is my birthday. Today is not a day I expected to see. For the first time, today it truly hit me just how incredible it is that I have lived nineteen years on this earth. I have survived severe anorexia, depression and multiple suicidal periods. In fact, just ten days ago, I came my closest yet to ending my own life. But, just as my newest tattoo reminds me, here I am living despite it all.
Something I have struggled with almost every day of those nineteen years is pessimism. Mostly directed at myself and my future, but also at the world and others as well. So I challenged to create this list, of nineteen good things that happened between this birthday and my last.
24/06/2017 – 24/06/2018
- Having a beautiful birthday picnic for my 18th on a beautiful day, with beautiful new Sydney friends (that’s it above)
- Getting my first tattoo
- Getting my second tattoo
- Painting props for the university theatre society – even though I didn’t perform, I was still a part of something (and got free tickets!)
- Leaving veganism behind me
- Making incredible and unexpected friends during eating disorder and psychiatric treatment
- Becoming a Christian
- Getting to meet the alpacas at my parent’s new property in South Western Australia when I went home for Christmas AND THEN one of the alpacas gave birth
- Ticking off a bucket list item by hiking to the Figure 8 Pool in the Sydney Royal National Park
- Re-joining the gym
- Moving from my tiny solo place into a 2 bedroom apartment with another hip person
- Reading the Vegetarian by Han Kang before realising it was quite psychiatric and a little triggering, but excellent nonetheless. Along with lots of other incredible new reads such as Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
- Creating my largest t-shirt rag rug ever, for a custom order. It’s a massive 1.5 metres wide, which was no simple feat to sew by hand
- Doing lots of headstands in new kick-ass places
- Also learning to do fore arm balances AKA Pincha Mayurasana
- Teaching myself to sew clothes – I’ve always been able to sew, just never clothes
- Finally starting actual physiology subjects now that I’m in the second year of my science / arts degree – and loving them!
- Completing my first ever eating disorder specific treatment in the eight years I have suffered from anorexia / bulimia
- Surviving to see my 19th birthday, which, because of a near suicide attempt ten days ago, I wasn’t even sure I would be celebrating. The other things on this list are great, but this the best one of them all.