My birthday was fantastic. I had such a nice day with Ben, and one of the best parts was that we just did simple stuff that can be enjoyed anytime we are off together. We didn’t “celebrate” in any elaborate, expensive, or monumental way; however, we had so much fun together and I felt special, loved, and appreciated. My favorite part of the day was hearing how Ben thinks I’ve grown and become someone I should be even more proud to be, which he thoughtfully expressed both in the card he wrote and in our morning conversation. Sixteen years of friendship and over ten years in a relationship together, and the guy still knows how to melt my heart and bring tears of love and happiness to my eyes. I am so lucky to be seen and acknowledged the way Ben lovingly validates me and notices my efforts to make progress in areas of struggle. Moreover, because one of the main ways I feel loved and appreciated is through heartfelt words, Ben’s wordsmith skills and willingness of openly express loving sentiments are a perfect gift that feeds that need.

When I was lying in bed last night, the joint pain hit me so hard that I actually threw up from the pain. I began the feel frustrated as the pain only continued to ramp up and become frighteningly severe. I was thinking about how my day had been so lovely and my heart was so full, yet the terrible physical pain still overtook me. On any other day, the contrast between the joy and freedom to be happy from the day and the agony and loneliness of the pain wouldn’t be as disparate as it was yesterday for the sole reason that my days are hardly ever that good. Instead, they are always tinged with some degree of noticeable and polluting physical or mental anguish. It is true that the stomach and joint pain gnawed away at me by mid-afternoon, but it was at a tolerable level and because I felt so happy, it was less debilitating than it might otherwise have been.

Although I felt sad last night when the shadows of pain became monsters to behold, the great mood from the day provides some degree of insulation from the deep depression and frustration that typically accompanied such intense, sleep-prohibitive pain. The night was long, but I made it through. I’m marginally more comfortable this morning, so that’s a good sign.

It’s possible that today might feel especially long and lonely compared to yesterday, as now I’m back on my own and it’s a regular day. With that said, I have a visit with my mom planned for this afternoon, which should help cut the loneliness. I also intend to try and carry forth the feeling of my heart being full, proud, and satiated yesterday despite the fact that it’s an ordinary day rather than my birthday. Why can’t I feel good about myself and the progress I’ve made on Wednesday, July 25th? I say I can; it’s at least worth a try.

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