Shop the Birthday Blues Post:
Birthdays: they’re supposed to be a joyous time of the year and a time to celebrate with family and friends.
But what if I told you that year after year, I am the most depressed around the time of my birthday? It’s an odd phenomenon, but apparently, it’s something that many other people struggle with as well.
I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to get a blog post up this week. I’ve come up with ideas, spent 45 minutes typing my heart out, only to go back and erase all of the words that I’ve written. Lately, I’ve been struggling to get out of bed and taking naps during the middle of the workday. I’m unable to focus and complete quite a few tasks on my to-do list.
I was wondering why my behavior was so erratic over the last few days, and then I realized: my birthday is in less than 2 weeks.
Shoot. It’s scary getting this personal on the internet, but this is the only topic I can bring myself to write about right now.
People have always let me down on my birthday, and I always feel like a failure this time of year because of it. On March 3rd, it always ends up snowing/sleeting/being one of the coldest days of the year. No one really wants to come out and help you celebrate. No one really wants to get dragged out to dinner when they could be binging something on Netflix. It’s always been a difficult time of year for me when I figure out who my real friends are.
This year, I gave up all hopes at having a traditional birthday party and decided to book a trip to Miami and Argentina with Tom to celebrate. That way, I don’t feel the pressure to get people together and have brunch/dinner/drinks/etc. I’ll be in a foreign country doing my own thing, with one of the people that I love most.
Even though my plans are pretty solid this year, I’ve had my heart broken on my birthday so many times in the past, that I think I get upset at the very thought of my birthday. Last year, someone who I thought was a really good friend pretty much stabbed me in the back two days before my birthday brunch (a brunch she suggested that I have, even though I really didn’t want to put anything together). I’m not going to lie: I’m still scarred and hurt by it, and we haven’t spoken since.
We face the pressure to always have over-the-top birthday celebrations in this day in age, and I don’t think social media has helped the issue. But if you’re like me and get bummed around your birthday, you’re not alone: after speaking to some professionals, apparently birthday depression is a real thing for some people for various reasons.
Going forward, I just want to do things that make me happy on my birthday, and to avoid the pressure to have a huge, anxiety-inducing celebration. If that means taking a trip with just Tom, that’s perfectly fine. If that means having a low-key celebration at home, so be it. I don’t have the answers right now to completely avoid the birthday blues, but I’m trying my hardest to not let other’s actions bring me down on my special day.
Do you get the “birthday blues?” Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Tom McGovern