I’m the type of person who thinks birthdays are important. They mark the day one’s entered the world, and that should be celebrated. When I find out about someone’s birthday, and I know them pretty well, I do my best to plan something.
Nobody should feel alone on their birthday.
I believe I’m in the small minority. I continue to do so and learn from both the triumphs and mistakes from each celebration.
For my birthday, this isn’t always the case. I wish one day someone would take up the initiative as I have. It comes from that old do unto others. This only leads to resentment. I should clarify: I always take on much more than I can chew because I want to do so (and learning that it’s not healthy; working on that).
I remind people of my birthday, give suggestions, but ultimately say yes to something they want to do, have people there I didn’t want to be around, and I still did the majority of the planning. This made me feel off. Grateful, yes. Deep down, I felt sick and ruminate for days afterward.
Something isn’t right here. Is it selfish? I don’t want to be selfish. But being a doormat is also no good. Why do this to myself?
Anyone with a mental illness whose condition comes with a sack load of depression will tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t be on this earth. This voice is particularly the loudest on your birthday. If then the sense of the day is impersonal, echoes of worthlessness and burden follow through.
With some self reflection, and help from therapy, I’m now looking at how to frame my birthday so that I don’t fall into the same loop as above, which feeds the depression monster. Treat me like I treat everyone else. It seems so damn simple. The simplest things are the hardest.
I’m learning to say NO. No, no, no, no, no. It’s doesn’t make me a shit person. It’s the hardest word for me. It’s almost a taboo swear word.
This year, my goal was to try to have someone else plan my birthday. With all going on plus the detox of benzos, it felt overwhelming to plan. I mustered up the strength and asked my mum to plan my birthday. Guess what? She did. She worked with me the whole way, but did all the heavy lifting. Asking for what you need does sometimes work.
It still would have been alright had she not accepted. Plan B: get out and do something. Throw it out there to a few people what I’m doing, and see what happens. No staying in bed today. I matter enough to give a fuck about myself. I may not feel like it, but I’ll keep trying. The professionals say eventually it’ll click.
It’s my personal New Year’s Day. Instead of resolutions, I’ve made some short and long term goals. Here’s to working towards improving myself more and more.
After this year, it’s a party of one, and anyone wishing to join, bonus.
I wonder if I’ll have the same stance next year?