Friday, February 19, 2010

My Birthday

Written Thursday, February 18, 2010

My 29th Birthday! Ha, ha! :)

Ten MUSTS to having a free-spirited birthday. :)

(For girls)

1. You must wear a boa. The feathery fun just screams classic and party all in one breath.

2. You must smell fabulous. It doesn’t matter….a cheap Walgreen's body spray or an expensive French eau de toilette…douse yourself multiple times a day so that there is no denying that you smell fabulous.

3. You must do something adventurous and/or risky. Adventurous is in the heart of the doer….so sky dive, eat some vegetables, or…..touch a trash can.

Introducing……my wonderful, amazing therapist…..Heather!!! :) She surprised me and took me to McDonald’s for lunch on my birthday. I don’t think I’ll ever not love McDonald’s. :) But….once we got there and I asked to take a picture with her, she so kindly suggested the trash can. The expression on my face is perfect….sooo indicative of my anxiety….. “Trying to smile. Trying to look happy. Feeling stressed. Feeling fear.”

Round two. Still can’t believe I’m touching an outside trashcan!! Holy Moly. Still have that “I just got socked in the stomach” feeling. The “creepy crawlers” are running up my arms. But….I’m doing it….with a smile. :)

Round three….with Nicole, another staff member who helped me celebrate my birthday. Definitely feeling more comfortable :) but if you look at my left hand you can tell that there is some hesitation to touch my coat. Cross contaminating has been a crucial part of over coming my fear of germs, dirt, and feeling dirty.

And then eating my burger WITH MY HANDS that I did NOT wash since touching the trash can!!!! Quite a monumental moment for me. Definitely felt anxiety for a couple hours afterwards, ruminating about what I had touched and not having washed my hands.

4. You must wear your favorite party panties. Whether your idea of party panties are white granny-pannies or leopard printed laciness, just rock those panties and smile about your secret all day long!

5. You must dance when you’re sung to. Dance like you were born to get your groove on, because half the people singing sound more ridiculous than you look.

6. You must eat as though everything is fat-free and calorie-free. It IS your birthday….and the “f” word and “c” word don’t even exist. :)

7. You must have the same number of candles as your age. Own your age, ladies, own it.
This was the yummiest cake ever…..oh my! :)

8. You must dress up in costume. Go all out and be Marilyn Monroe for a day, or sip your latte with a fake mustache….whatever floats your boat….just dress up.

9. You must make someone else smile. Smiles are contagious….if you can make someone else smile, you’re gonna smile too.

10. You must have your cake and eat it too. Because what’s a birthday without a cake….and besides, it’s fat-free and calorie-free….so, indulge, Birthday Barbies, and enjoy. :)

Although I had much more fun and many more smiles yesterday than I had anticipated, I also had a myriad of small battles throughout the day that took intentional effort on my part to win. OCD and depression don’t really care what day of the year it is and certainly don’t pause for any sort of celebration. By mid-morning, I was wrestling with my inner demons. From all outside appearances, most would have thought I didn’t have a care in the world and loved the simplicity of living. I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse……I suppose it’s probably both. The roiling of my broken heart, my anxious mind, and my sensitive soul draw me to what I know soothes. I’ve made huge successes in the last four months, and I feel more free than I’ve felt in years; but when it feels like my world is falling apart for no logical reason at all, resistance of compulsions and acceptance of just being become a victory worthy of celebration all in their own.


  1. LOVE it. Your beautifully written, ever so eloquent writing touches me once again...through laughter and tears, I am able to get a small glimpse into your world. It was great to see some of the faces that have been making this journey with you. It was great to see how you celebrated your birthday. It was great to see your smiles. It was great to see your victory with the trash can (AMAZING!). It was great to see (and read) that free spirit continue to soar as you refuse to given in to the old messages that you have worked so hard to replace.

    Can't wait to see what else God has in store for you as you start looking forward to the last year of the third decade of your wonderful life! Hope I get to share some of it! XOXOXOXO

  2. You are the greatest, Kristen! I'm so excited for you. It seems like you are making giant steps along your recovery journey. Happy belated birthday!

  3. YAY! Only five more days and you'll be home. I pray that you continue to surround yourself with the people who love you and who will lift you up whether you are having a tough or easy day. I love the 10 must haves for your birthday. I need to print it out and make it something I keep up with every year. The eating cake part is no problem for's #4 I have to work on. Happy Birthday and happy 70's! xo

  4. Kristen, you are amazing! I love how even when you are struggling, you are one of the most spirited people I know! And I too love the 10 birthday must-haves, thats amazing, and I totally agree that those are essential, even if you don't have anyone to celebrate with, you can have a party all by yourself!! It's great to see pictures of you having a great time and make huge steps. Hope the rest of your time there is amazing, and I hope that your homecoming is even more amazing, and that you continue to grow and learn and accomplish everything you set out to do. God Bless you and I can't wait to see you again!

  5. HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA! OWN IT OWN IT OWN IT!! You WOULD go to McDonald's for your birthday -- Lord help us when the Monopoly game comes back. :)

    Only 1...2...3...FOUR more days till you come home! Can't wait to give you a big giant hug, we miss you. We're so proud of you, you friggin' rockstar!

  6. Great job Kristen love the boa