I’ve come to terms with the fact that my life is inherently dramatic. In fact, my last relationship was nearly straight out of a John Green novel—ask my ex, he’ll vouch for me.
Sometimes life knocks you down really hard on your butt, and no matter how hard you try—getting back up feels almost impossible. Things spiral. Sometimes it’s your fault, and sometimes it’s not.
On that note: I get cold sores. Yeah, I know: Eww! Gross! Cooties!
Go into a dark room and never kiss me again.
Okay, that last part was a little melodramatic. But, I get it: Cold sores are gross and painful and ugly and serve no other purpose than to make people miserable.
If I could only loathe one thing for the rest of my life, cold sores would take the spot.
I never used to get them, and there’s a hell of a story behind why I do now.
Here’s the ‘too-long-didn’t-read’ version of things:
After I left my abusive kind-of-relationship four years ago, I spent that year rebuilding my life and realigning my priorities. I was a sophomore in college, just lost the job I had for almost two years, and I changed my major for the third time. On top of that, while I was struggling to leave the relationship, I failed all of my classes.
My plan was to focus on getting my grades up so the University wouldn’t kick me out.
In order to do that, I sacrificed friendships, sleep, time, money—you name it, I did it. I regained twenty of the forty pounds that I lost up to that point, too. But you know what? I did it. I earned straight A’s for the first time in my life, and I was goddamn proud of myself.
So, when a guy I thought was cute invited me to a New Year’s Eve party, I decided that I had earned the right for a little time out.
I’d come so far: I deserved some fun for once, right?
When I got to the party, everyone was absolutely trashed. It’s a college party, so that’s to be expected. But what I didn’t know, was that the party was BYOB.
To my salvation: there were two girls who were more than happy to share their bottles…
“You don’t have herpes right? Okay, then you can have some.”
…with the entire party.
I didn’t think anything of it, shared the drinks, and had the time of my life. For the first time in years I was having fun and relaxed. For once, life was good.
A week later: I’m too sick to move. Or eat. Or drink water.
Everything is pain.
After a long visit to the ER, I found that not only did I contract cold sores— I was also severely dehydrated, had tonsillitis, and something else that put me into a blinding amount of pain. They hooked me up to an IV with fluids, and another with antibiotics, and gave me a ridiculous amount of pills.
Eventually I started getting better and everything returned to normal.
That entire year was absolute drama-ridden awfulness. More than anything else, do you know what this experience taught me? No, not that the world is unfair, that God hates us, and that nothing ever works out. Those could be true, but that’d be an entirely different article.
It taught me that more often than not: The Drama™ in your life is not always in your control. Not entirely. You can make the best choices possible and still have to deal with some sort of fallout.
In fact, unless you lock yourself up in a room and never contact anyone again: Drama’s bound to happen.
It doesn’t matter how much bad stuff is being thrown at you, or how hard. No one cares about that. What matters is how you choose deal with it. What matters is how you react to it.
Do you channel it to create more drama and more shit for yourself and others? Or do you use what you can to help yourself move forward?
To quote my least favourite poet, Charles Bukowski:
‘What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.’
Photo Credit: StephanieFunes via photopin (license)