Been thinking about birthdays lately. In these past couple of months there have been a lot of birthdays among friends and family. I just had my birthday last month and my youngest son had his birthday today. My son who has autism always gets a little tense (to say the least) about upcoming birthdays. I can understand why. There is always that element of surprise to birthdays that can be good or bad. You never know. For children…there may be the risk of some scary clown at the birthday party or the disappointment of not getting the present you truly wanted and receiving socks and underwear instead.
As an adult, birthdays carry that extra burden of thinking about our age and growing older. We may wonder if we have achieved what we wanted to achieve by this age. We may worry about the future. Or we may even begin to think of our mortality. Yet it is a rite of passage to celebrate our birthday. But if you suffer from depression birthdays can sometimes seem like a festivity you could do without.
This year I feel moderately okay about my birthday. It kinda slipped in there without too much fanfare and that is the way I prefer things. Sometimes as a little mind trick I imagine I am one to two decades older than I am and then whoosh…back in time I go to the present. I feel years younger. :>) It does seem that as you get older that the time sure seems to speed along. And my children’s birthdays can also have a bittersweet tinge to them.
I am sure you remember or have heard of that Fiddler on the Roof song Sunrise Sunset:
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?
Seriously when did this happen? It is a reminder to seize these moments…appreciate them before they are gone.
Celebrate the birthdays. Eat the icing off the cake. Take pride in the fact that you have survived these years despite your life challenges and/or depression. You are here for a reason. We all are. I really do believe that.
How about you? How do you feel about birthdays? Does your birthday trigger any depression for you? How do you cope? Would love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to join in on our discussions. The more voices the better.