Beware the Birthday

I seem to have a selective memory when it comes to my birthday.

For instance, I’ve typically been fine leading up to my birthday, though it’s been years since I’ve gotten through one without tears for no reason other than what’s going on in my head.  I seem to forget, year after year, that I ALWAYS have some sort of reaction prior to my birthday.

This year is setting a new record.  My two close friends and my mother keep talking about my birthday, coming up this Saturday. They ask me what I want to do. I say I don’t know.  I don’t want to have to make a decision. I want someone else to do it for me. I’m tired of decisions.

I have two conflicting feelings when it comes to my birthday. First, it’s a day that is supposed to be “mine”.  I always feel like it’s anything but mine.  I want to crawl into bed and just cry until I have no more tears.

So, not cool with the general population. Everybody hates

The most frustrating part is that I don’t even have definitive memories to associate with this.  Just absolute, out of the blue, panic, freak-outs, breakdowns, and overall depression.  Sometimes, even as soon as the day after, I’m back to normal. The day is over.

The other side of the coin is that I’d be upset if no one noticed it was my birthday.  I want to be invisible, and yet I don’t. It hurts to be invisible.  So I’m grateful I have two incredible friends and a renewed relationship with my mother where I can share this day with them and know that, hopefully, I will enjoy myself and forget what plagues me, even for a little while.

Less than a week ahead of my birthday, I’ve found myself breaking down, randomly, getting incredibly frustrated, can’t stop crying, little things getting me down, and nothing is able to get me back up. Everything I look at or deal with or hang around, including my dog and/or my horse….my mind switches to all of the negatives of the situation. “I don’t exercise my dog enough. I need to brush her more. I’m a bad owner.”  Or, “Who knows if I can even ride anymore – I shouldn’t even be in the horse business. Who am I kidding? This dream is over.”

Those are old problems – old habits – that I would revert to years ago.  Yet here I am again, jumping to the negative. Assuming the worst of myself.  I’ll never succeed. I will be fired. My dream is over. Time to face the music.

Reality tries to triumph and tell me how much time I have left in my life to accomplish the things I want to do. To create my business and make it my life. To have a family.

Every year I battle this depression around my birthday, but I normally don’t have to suffer it a week in advance.  And the more people talk about it, the more depressed I get.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that (of course ruling out PMS!), if I have emotional or somatic reactions that seem abnormal and out of context…Perhaps it’s not my current situation causing them, but implicit , or explicit, memories from the past.  Naming it helps.  But not quite enough.

I’ve talked to my close friends, but I don’t want to burden them now that I know the true cause of this “funk” that I’m in.  They’d listen, they’d be supportive…They know some of what I dealt with.  But I’ve been “good” for so long…I don’t want them to see my losing it now.

I’d strongly considered canceling my appointment with my therapist tomorrow, thinking that I’m just not “up” to dealing with my feelings and that it would be better to just leave it be and they’ll go away.  Now that I’ve realized the potential cause, maybe talking to her can help.  I can’t handle it, emotionally, if it makes it worse.

I feel like I’m fanning flames of a fire. I’m losing it. From the Lyme disease, I feel trapped in my body. I feel trapped at work. And now I feel trapped in my own mind.

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One thought on “Beware the Birthday

  1. I don’t think it’s unusual to have this reaction. I have heard adopted children and foster children have this. It is nit necessarily about memory, but about how it feels to be you in the world and how it feels to be welcomed or wanted in the world. Even if things feel ok now, there is a grief over not having it feel that way at other points in one’s life. Take care.

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