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  • Writer's pictureLaura L

The end of 2021

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

2021 was a big year for me. It started out rocky enough: I actually found myself more depressed than I was immediately after C died in 2019. My grief and angst culminated in a terrible bout of vitiligo in March. (Will share in another post what I have done to treat the vitiligo.) Then I caught COVID in April, was severely ill for 5-6 weeks, a cyst burst, I had a staph infection, gained nearly ten pounds, and I lost over 1/3 of my hair. So, to say I had a rough start in 2021 would be an understatement.

"Should I just kill myself?" I sobbed to my friend R. Yes, it sounds both vain and vapid to contemplate suicide over something as trivial as one's looks, but in conjunction with C's death, I just didn't see the point of living. "You should definitely not kill yourself over your looks... especially in the Midwest," R quipped. (She'd also grown up here, though she'd since moved to Arizona.) I begrudgingly decided to continue on.

Then, my luck suddenly and profoundly changed.

In the later half of 2021, I met S, I got my big job, and my skin improved. A -- whose house was ruined by C's suicide -- bought a beautiful new home, and multiple out-of-town friends visited me in St. Louis.

A miserable, (seemingly) hopeless and dark year for me ended up one of the best. S and I spent New Year's Eve at the Saint Louis Club, where my friend P and his significant other joined us for the New Year's event. The buffet was not particularly vegetarian-friendly, but it was still delicious. There was amazing music from the Fabulous Motown Revue (they allegedly performed at President Obama's inauguration). As the band played "I Will Survive," I looked up and realized: I did survive. I survived the worst thing that has ever happened to me, and then I survived more bad shit after that.

Later, the band played "At Last," and I looked at both P and S.

P -- the kind of friend I always wanted (and even actively prayed to meet back in the day, when I was desperately Googling paid networking groups and envying people with high-powered friends lol). Fiercely loyal, ruthlessly ambitious, and always there to answer the "3 am calls" underneath his Machiavellian schtick, he has really been there for me since we've met.

And S -- the man I'd been looking for my entire life.

"At last," they were there.

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