Today is my birthday. I keep trying, year after year, to convince myself that the way I felt on my birthday the year before was just a fluke, that I only felt that way for one reason or another. But I don’t know if I can push it away this year.

Every year on my birthday, whether I’ve been suicidal recently or not, I have urges that seem to come up out of the blue. It doesn’t matter if I’m surrounded by friends – it actually seems to make it worse. At the end of the day, I feel utterly miserable without any good reason. I wish I could enjoy the day…I wish it wasn’t so complicated. I was looking at the stars last night and found myself wondering how I’ve made it another year when I somehow fully expected to be gone by now. Not as though I’ve been counting down. I just expect something to have happened that would prevent me from making it to August 12th again.

My mom pitied me, I think, that I didn’t have any plans. She came up and took me out yesterday, although I wasn’t up to much since I’ve been sick. I kept telling her that it’s not a big deal, that my birthday really isn’t a huge thing, and she would tell me that it is, and she seemed sad that I felt that way.

Birthdays are complicated. They’re not always simple celebrations of life – although I wish they could be.


8 thoughts on “Birthdays

  1. First, happy birthday!

    I hear you on the complications of birthdays. I prefer to treat mine as a regular old day, yet at the same time, I’m pissed if people don’t acknowledge it. I don’t want to celebrate, but a “happy birthday” even in passing, goes a long way. It sometimes is shocking that another year has passed and we are still here. Sometimes I wish that wasn’t the case, but at the same time, another year is another year of adventures and possibilities! Celebrate however makes you happy – even if it means taking an extra long afternoon nap 🙂

    1. I can tell you understand! Yesterday brought up so much – mostly bad stuff unfortunately. It’s very hard to bounce back right now. I wish that I honestly could have skipped yesterday. 😦

  2. Hey Kashley –

    Happy Birthday. I’m glad that you are on the earth, I’m glad that you have had the earth move another loop under your feet.

    I think your post struck a chord with me around permission. So much (much much) of my energy is around how I feel *about* how I feel. If I could just feel things, it would be so much quicker. But I have so many thoughts and feelings about how I feel.

    So, two things I try to hold in my mind when I’m getting upset ABOUT how I am upset. I try to remember that I am allowed. That I have permission. I actually write the word ALLOWED on my hand sometimes to remind me. I’m allowed to have these feelings. I’m allowed to be upset. I’m allowed to not like my birthday, or not want to go out with friends, or want to escape my body or this life, I’m allowed to feel whatever I am feeling. And the second thing is “Of course I feel this way.” I guess this is a version of the first thing, but it helps me sometimes to remember that I have f’ing good reasons for feel upset. If my daughter came to me, in my same body, in my same life, if she came to me and said, “I feel scared. I feel sad. I feel upset.” I would never for one second doubt that she had the right to.

    You don’t like birthdays. Something about them upset you. That’s ok. You are allowed. You have permission. Of course you are upset.


    1. Thanks MMM. You’re right about permission. I never feel like I have permission to feel bad things (or even good things). But I still hate being upset. 🙂

  3. Hi Kashley, Happy Birthday! I empathize with you on how hard these are. Thankfully, life can be celebrated anytime – one little step at a time, one little risk at a time (all stuff I know you’re doing) – for some reason it makes it harder when we feel like we “should”… I think. Feeling obligated to myself (to love, or celebrate) always makes it worse. I’m sorry you’re feeling low I wish things could be different, too.

    1. I think you’re exactly right that it does make it harder when we feel like we should celebrate or feel any particular way. That’s maybe a big reason why birthdays can be so hard. But, now that it’s through, I’ve just got to take a deep breath and try to move past everything that came up. Thanks for your support in this. 🙂

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