So, it was my 26th birthday on Saturday. I’m not very fond of birthdays if I’m honest, they’ve never been the best time for me. My 16th birthday was a week and bit after my dad died, so that was almost a write-off – except Mom insisted on planning a birthday shindig despite how much I didn’t want to celebrate the day. It was my aunt’s funeral on my 17th birthday, I’d had the biggest fight with my mom around my 21st and my 23rd was spent in hospital all day, waiting for MFP to call me. He didn’t. I contemplated ending my life that day, but Mom had gone into hospital and I wanted to pick her up the next day.
If I’m being honest, as well as being a source of contention, each birthday marks an invisible milestone that I’m not very vocal about. Ever since I turned 13, I imagined that I wouldn’t make it to the next birthday because I’d probably end up killing myself before then. Of course now I know that my BPD has been a major factor in my desire to self-destruct and the inherent need to end my life every time things go wrong, but it is an overwhelming feeling to deal with. Although those suicidal feelings have subsided over the last two years, they still pop up when things are particularly bad and I do worry that I won’t be able to not hurt myself.
At one point, I’d forgotten my birthday was even coming up. But Saturday came, Husband spoilt me with presents – including a Magic: the Gathering card that he painted himself! – we saw my nieces and nephew at my nan’s, minus my brother T which was fine. Then we went out shopping, where I had a moment when I felt like I was about to burst into tears. I don’t know what brought it on, but I just felt so overwhelmed for a moment. Once I’d calmed down, I decided rather impulsively to see if my local tattoo place had any spaces so I could get something done after we’d finished shopping. I went into Castle Ink (the place where I got my first tattoo and lip pierced last year) and got a magenta semicolon on my left wrist.
Some of you might have already heard about the semicolon movement, with the mark representing someone who has survived trying to take their life – it shows a story that hasn’t ended yet. I wanted to mark my 26th birthday with something permanent, and celebrate the fact that despite everything I’ve been through, I’m still here. Plus, getting inked is very cathartic and almost relaxing for me. The artist was a lovely guy named Tom, and we spoke about how wasps are the hoodies of the winged insect world before I recommended him Protest The Hero as a band he might like.
The tattoo looks awesome. And that night we got to see one of my favourite bands ever – MUSE. I’ve been a fan since I was 12 and thought I would never see them because they’re a massive stadium band with a huge following. Well, they’re back in the UK and Husband managed to get us tickets ON MY BIRTHDAY! What an experience. They put on one hell of a show, and I am still on cloud nine that I turned 26 with my husband by my side, watching Muse with thousands of other people and nursing a new tattoo.
It might be too early to say this, but as I’m getting older, life is getting better.