I recently had a birthday. Notice I didn’t say “celebrated”? I hate my birthday, just another year older and still generally unhappy and unsatisfied with my life. I shouldn’t feel this way. I have a partner of 25 years that loves me to bits, I have a home, I travel, I have people who care about me. It still doesn’t seem like much when I am depressed and that is why we don’t mark the occasion.
I have been thinking about when in life, I started hating my birthday. I can’t seem to pinpoint any particular year but I think it was in high school. I didn’t have a lot of close friends in school so maybe I started getting bummed that I didn’t have a lot of people to celebrate it with. Maybe I started hating my birthday because I didn’t have friends who wanted to do anything for me.
I never kept in touch with my high school friends, nor the college ones. Instead, my small group of “acquaintances” are mostly my partner’s friends. Everybody loves her and she has no shortages in the friend department. I wish I could be more like her but sometimes I say the wrong thing or am disinterested when I hang with people.
Now, I think I hate my birthday because I am one year older and none the wiser. Same old depression and anxiety following me around like a pestering five year old.
When I was born, the world was so much different. I am only in my forties but I feel old. I put together a list of differences from when I was growing up, to now. They highlight just how far we’ve come.
- Being gay was illegal back then, now I am in a same-sex marriage.
- In school, you never learned about depression and anxiety-it was never spoken of or taught.
- I never had Facebook or other social media. Closest things was “IRC CHAT.”
- I am currently taking Prozac, a drug that was “the medication” for depression in the 80’s.
- Playgrounds used to have kids playing in them.
- You used to be “crazy” if you had a mental illness. (some still think this way)
- It used to be so cool if you knew someone with a phone in their car. (or a tattoo)
- Classified ads in a newspaper were the preferred way to meet someone new. Now it’s online dating sites.