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I am 40 today. I don’t mind growing older. In fact, I hope my body allows me at least another 40 years. My body already feels like I’m 80 anyhow. (Ha! That’s chronic pain for you!)

The only thing I really mind is that, outside of my family, I don’t have anyone to share it with. The journey I’ve been on the past few years - the journey of special needs parenting and chronic illness - has been a lonely one. I have friends, but no one close. No one who will take me out for drinks to celebrate, or possibly even know what today is. The few people who I was close to fell away when the balance of our relationship became more give than take on my part. I only have so much to give, and my family has first dibs. And I get how, to someone that doesn’t understand where I’m at, it could be challenging to be friends with me. I’m not unsympathetic. I know I’m a hard friend to have these days. To an outsider I might appear flakey, inconsistent and unreliable. In reality life is just really tough right now and it drains me. I need people who understand that if I don’t answer a text or cancel plans, it’s because I’m perpetually exhausted and spread thin. I may be fine one day and wake up the next in so much pain I can barely walk. My immune system is a mess, so I’m constantly catching things. And if it’s not illness, sometimes I run a fever for no reason at all aside from “inflammation”, the source of which my doctors still can’t pinpoint. Or I may be fatigued from illness or from actual lack of sleep.

Speaking of which... the only reason I’m even up is because J wouldn’t sleep again tonight. (Last week she stayed up for 33 hours straight! Ugh!). We laid down at midnight and I woke up (in pain) at 3:30 am to find her awake in the living room playing the Xbox. Had to do the bedtime routine all over again, and now she is finally peacefully sleeping. I had assumed by this stage in parenting erratic sleep would be a thing of the past, but alas it is not so. My 40th birthday gift from my husband is a weekend away in a nice hotel so that I can just rest for two days. Not even joking.

Going to try to get a little more sleep before morning. I may not have anyone to drag me out for drinks tomorrow, but I do have my dear mother taking me out for coffee, I’ve taken the day off of work, and I plan on enjoying myself regardless of circumstances.

One last thing I’d like to clarify - where my diary once served to chronicle my youth, it’s main purpose now is to help me vent. My life isn’t all bad. I’m thankful for so many things in life, including my husband, daughters, and job. But sometimes I need to get the negative shit off of my chest, and this is where I dump it.

4:24 a.m. - 2019-05-22

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