Birthday Post 9

Today I turn 31. My day began with refilling my medication container. It has 28 compartments, so a week’s worth of taking meds four times a day. Getting medicated for my mental illnesses is among the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have an excellent psychiatrist who has worked with me over the past couple of years to treat my symptoms. I’m so grateful to have more clarity, peace of mind, and awareness.

Psychiatric care is not a magical, perfect solution. It is one component of treatment. I also need to take care of myself by engaging in therapy, both on an individual basis and in support groups. Over the past year, I’ve been taking this a lot more seriously. While I’ve seen multiple therapists over the years, I needed to reevaluate my expectations and participation. I can’t just show up and expect a therapist to give me the answers that will fix me.

After I refilled my medications, I needed to lay down because I’m in pain. My chronic pain has developed over time, but it became clear a few years ago that I could no longer do heavy physical labor. Since then, I’ve been writing to get by. I think a lot of people expect bodily pain to show up later in life than your late 20s, but disabling conditions can strike at any time. Young disabled people struggle to access support and housing because of this expectation.

Today I’m still living in a motel, but I’m grateful that things are moving along. The lease on the new place is supposed to start tomorrow, and we’re eager to move in and settle into a new home. The new studio is perfect for us – it’s right in the middle of downtown Seattle, so pretty much everything we need and want is nearby. We’re right across from a coffee shop and a bookstore, and medical facilities are very close, too.

Every year on my birthday, I look back on the year and blog about life changes. Today, I am exhausted and eager for things to move ahead, but I’m also feeling hopeful. I’m taking the steps needed to improve my overall quality of life. This is not something I could have accomplished by myself. I needed the support of so many generous people helping to make it happen. For all of you, I’m so incredibly grateful.