Thursday, August 04, 2011

Forty-two

  • Its statistically half way through my life.1
  • It is the angle in degrees for which a rainbow appears.2
  • It is the height in inches of unicorns.3
  • It is the answer to life, the universe and everything.
 


    Image credit

     
    It is also the birthday I celebrate today.

    I'm disgusted to discover I am now officially middle-aged. When the fuck did that happen? Its amazing how much I don't want to bound out of bed and greet the world after having that particular thought.  I suppose I could celebrate being 21 again. The first time round it involved the biggest joint I've ever seen as my birthday present. Perfectly sound idea! Yes!

    All told, its a Significant Birthday. When you add in recent events - giving up alcohol, getting a diagnosis - then it is even more significant. Today marks the start of the transition from the first half of my life to the second, and - I think, I hope - the transition from traumatised, non-functional Sharon to self-aware, happy and emotionally stable Sharon.  I am only 3 years away from the age both my brothers were when they committed suicide and I feel that acutely. I don't want to still be struggling with my mental health to that extent in three years. There will be struggles, that is a given: Bipolar is a lifelong condition, and there will be lifelong struggles. But what I hope to do in this second phase of my life, is to discover what it is that gives my life meaning.

    When I was in second year Philosophy at university, I wrote a paper which stated categorically that the meaning of life for humans is to ask what the meaning of life is. To some extent, I still stand by what I said then, but I have learned enough now to know that we humans can find meaning for our lives in the pursuit of what makes us happy. Happy...happiness. It's a concept foreign to me, that's for sure, but  armed with the right medications, the right diagnosis and the right choices I might just be able to find that spark of happiness. 

    It is immeasurably sad that at 42 I don't know what true happiness is. 

    What I do know is that now I have a chance to finally figure it out. 

    That almost makes up for the "middle-aged" tag.




    1. a bunch of statisticians
    2. some maths nerds and god
    3. me. probably not true
    4. bow down and worship Douglas Adams


    9 comments:

    1. Happy Birthday! I'm only two years younger, so... I know how sad it feels to be in the 40s and officially "middle-aged." I love the facts about the number 42 in the beginning and the hopeful tone of your post.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Seriously, my mystical side (which is all bowed down) is all aflutter, 42, how can this not be A Sign! FORTY-TWO! This is it, this is the beginning of the end of your Dark Ages, I really do believe that with every fibre of my heart.
      And it is sad, yes, but what would be even immeasurably sadder would be if you never had a chance to find out. Your life took a turn for the very horrid in the past 2 years but the reverse is equally valid. Imagine where you can be 2 years from now, you can have quality of life the likes of which you never dreamt of, for the first time in your life really you finally have a chance to learn how to make good choices (behaviourally- and chemically-speaking)! Sod middle-age, middle-age is the new shaggable, rock on with your healthifying self! And happy birthday, dahling, you're a fucking warrior, truly you are.
      Portie smooches, the loud sort

      ReplyDelete
    3. Thanks for the advice, very helpful and appreciated!
      Medical leave letter

      ReplyDelete
    4. I've just discovered your blog - how on earth have I missed it??? - anyways, please keep sharing. I so appreciate your honesty and humor (yes, humor) -wishing you peace in sobriety. Congrats on 57 days. That's huge.

      ReplyDelete
    5. Anonymous10:17 pm

      Right there w you on the 42. it's very transformative in ways I could never have predicted. Said it before but Happy Birthday luv. Imagine having this whole life to live over again. We kinda do now. Here's to mid way thru age! Looking forward to the second half. xxoo ~cat

      ReplyDelete
    6. love you.
      bow down and worship douglas adams. hahahaha.
      i am back from the dirt farm so PAPPY SMURFDAY my dear and let me know what i can send that will make you smile...
      xx

      ReplyDelete
    7. 42 was a big year for me. In fact turning 43 marked the end of some huge transitions and brought with it some clarity about how I want to feel, how I want to live my life and what my priorities are. I am finally beginning to feel like the worst is behind me. I think I really did learn the meaning of life last year.... Happy belated birthday!

      ReplyDelete
    8. I hope you had a blast on your special day. I was really amused by the unicorn picture, it's hilarious!

      ReplyDelete
    9. I turned 42 lately. To be honest, didn't feel any different. It's what you feel inside that counts, not some number.

      ReplyDelete

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