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Thread: Birthday depression

  1. #1
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    Birthday depression

    My birthday was earlier (during social distancing) and typically i always get very depressed on my birthday, but it only lasts a couple days and I move on. But it’s been a few weeks now and I’m still feeling the disappointment. Everything in my head is rational: we’re in quarantine, social distancing! How are we supposed to celebrate? So I’m not really upset about it. But also, I still felt like there were ways to feel special on your special day, and they didn’t happen, and i’m struggling to get myself out of this unproductive funk.

    I knew i couldn’t expect my friends to do much for me even if they wanted to. I knew this anticipating my birthday, so I tried to make it special for myself: treated myself to a good delivery meal, buy some stuff I wanted, dolled up to take pics i felt confident in, ruminated on all the social media birthday wishes. And I know after it’s safe to meet up again i will celebrate. But I still felt disappointed. Even though i tried and told myself not to expect anything, I guess I still did.

    I saw other people got “special treatment” on their birthday in the same circumstance as me. They got flowers and chocolates and cute surprises or I saw their friends greet them in such high regard (as shallow as it seems, an instagram post of your best friend is “high regard”) and a part of me in my gut secretly wanted that, and not only thought “that’s nice!” but also “I hope I get that.” I know I shouldn’t think that but I did.

    I also keep comparing myself to my best friend. I went all out for him on his birthday, did as much as I can to make him feel special, even though he hates birthdays (they’re overrated to him) I still used it as an excuse to treat him well and maybe see he’s worth celebrating, and it worked!! He’s also gone all out for his and our other friends. But i didn’t feel that energy from him. He didn’t really say much compared to my less close friends and i feel like if he wanted to make me feel special on my special day that he knows matters to me then he would’ve done more?

    Its probably stupid to think that, considering the circumstances. I guess I thought about my friends and what I would do if it was their birthday instead, and I tend to do more than necessary, like I would probably order them a nice meal or surprise them with a delivery of wine or flower delivery and a phone/facetime call, or try to get my birthday gift delivered. Anything I can think of that I know would make their day. And it’s not like these friends don’t know I would want these things as well, they know (for example, I always mention how I always wanted flowers but have yet to receive any by this age). Some people like myself are able to communicate selfless excitement, but i know it’s not possible for everyone, so i’m not really ruminating on that, but just the fact i didn’t even get that, kinda got greeted with “Happy bday” by my closest friend kinda hurt? It’s not that because I did all that he should do it back in some kind of owe-and-exchange, but I thought that’s how we felt of each other, which I think explains the gut feeling of disappointment rather than the conscious feeling.

    I know I shouldn’t have had expectations—I did my best to challenge them—but i still did. I know I shouldn’t have expected other people to try to make my birthday special for me, so I tried to make it special myself, but i still expected it. I failed to challenge these expectations and they’re still bugging me weeks later. I’m not sure where to go from here, or even why I find myself in this feeling every birthday. I’ve also accepted its okay to feel disappointed on a day you put high meaning to that isn’t very personal to the rest of the world, and that not everyone is you. But what is this funk in my gut?

  2. #2
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    Happy belated birthday!

    Why do you "always get very depressed" on your birthday? Since you put high meaning on birthdays there is every reason to make yourself happy. Is it always due to some unmet expectations, even without the quarantine? Is it often linked to this particular friend? Did you ever let him know that you want to feel special on your birthday, or maybe he thought you had the same attitude as his (that birthdays are overrated)? If he knows how you see birthdays and yet he goes above and beyond for other friends' birthday but not yours, maybe he doesn't value your friendship as much as you do, and you may want to reconsider treating him as your best friend.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. Happy Birthday.

  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by Medium0
    I also keep comparing myself to my best friend. I went all out for him on his birthday, did as much as I can to make him feel special, even though he hates birthdays (they’re overrated to him) I still used it as an excuse to treat him well
    Sorry you're feeling down.

    Couple of questions if I may:

    1. Is the 'best friend' the same guy your previous thread was about? Ie the guy who you're faithful to but you're not actually in a relationship?

    2. What did you take from the advice given in that previous thread? I noticed you asked the original question but then didn't respond to any of the questions people asked you back, so I'm wondering what you took from it

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  6. #5
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    No this is a different guy, the one in my previous post the advice really helped and we parted ways, wasn’t as bad as I thought. I didn’t answer back because the responses I received were enough to slap me in the face and I didn’t want to keep bringing it back up.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by SophiaG
    Happy belated birthday!

    Is it often linked to this particular friend? Did you ever let him know that you want to feel special on your birthday, or maybe he thought you had the same attitude as his (that birthdays are overrated)? If he knows how you see birthdays and yet he goes above and beyond for other friends' birthday but not yours, maybe he doesn't value your friendship as much as you do, and you may want to reconsider treating him as your best friend.
    No this friend of mine has only been around a year, this is my second birthday being friends with him, yet the same depression has been for at least every birthday since I was a tween. I figured it might be that I have to reconsider him as my friend, it’s just weird because everything asides my birthday had been mutual and I never had doubts prior.

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Sorry to hear this. Happy Birthday.
    Thank you!

  9. #8
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry about the birthday blues—and, most importantly, happy birthday!

    I can't help but get the feeling that some of what you're feeling right now might be connected to more than your birthday—a craving, let's call it, to be seen and appreciated by those close to you. Which is okay. Aside from being a very strange time on planet earth, I think the time you're in right now—early 20s—is pretty strange as well. Can only speak for myself, but looking back I see it as kind of being a bit stuck between adolescence and adulthood, a period where I was shedding some husks and still very much building my support system.

    I think there are certain days—birthdays, holidays, New Years—where we kind of can't help but take stock of where things are, what we're surrounded by, and invariably that means we see what's missing a bit more clearly, and feel those voids. Again, that is okay. Give yourself a moment to feel it, and also to take note of what you do have. I find that in affirming that for myself, somewhat slyly, it helps me seek out the things I'm missing, and need, without it feeling like punishment but more of an ongoing, and pretty satisfying—if occasionally lonesome—journey.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Happy Birthday, Medium0!

    I'm sorry you're hurt and no one reciprocates celebrating your birthday and they completely ignored you. Know that you are not alone as it happens to me, too. Granted, I'm married and fortunately my husband and sons wish me a 'Happy Birthday' despite my requests for no fanfare. I'm not the one to anticipate gifts since no one knows what I really want which I simply buy for myself at random times throughout the year and same for Christmas, too. I have a local BFF from when I was 9 years old and we go out for a meal and all day shopping trips every month so birthdays aren't incredibly special.

    I sulk, too because like you, I've gone through a heck of a lot of trouble to make other people feel special birthday or no birthday. I'm always the first to jump up and race to a friend, relative, neighbor or acquaintance's doorstep with homemade dinners, sides and dessert in tow in the event of birth, death, birthday, sickness, tragedy, post-hospital, anniversary, financial hardship, you name it and I've taken immediate action. I'm the type of person who will drop everything and dash to a person's aid at a moment's notice. I cook like a madwoman for other people's parties, surprise parties, festivities, celebrations and holidays. I am 'Martha Stewart.' I am the mastermind to rally people together and make it happen. It's all hands on deck at that time. I sew quilts for other people, homemade crafts, homemade gifts which were painstakingly and lovingly made. I spend time, labor and money on others. I've been this way all my life as it is my nature.

    Then when my or my immediate family's birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, special occasions and dates arrive, no one does anything for me nor my loved ones. I'm incredulous. A lot of people don't mind being showered with love, labor, time, my money and my attention yet when it's time to commemorate my, my husband and sons' special dates, all I hear is "crickets." Radio silence. It's obnoxiously disgusting to be blatantly ignored.

    Therefore, I've since pulled the plug on all my efforts. I don't knock myself out for other people anymore. I no longer send them a lot of money for remembering every occasion for them. I no longer deplete my bank account. I do less and less nowadays and in the future as well. Suddenly, I have more time and money and I get to do what I enjoy. I have a cleaner house, cook a lot of home cooked meals for my household, save so much money, buy what I want for myself (clothes / jewelry / shoes / handbags / regular hair appts) get plenty of sleep, no longer sleep deprived, I take better care of my health and I don't have stress anymore. I no longer budget for others while denying what I could've either saved or bought for myself. Those days are gone. What I'm telling you is that there is an upside when you take control back into your life.

    People are who they are. A lot of people take you and me for granted and take advantage of your and my hospitality, good nature, goodwill, generosity, effort, labor, time, money and sincere heart. It is human nature. Don't expect and you won't get hurt or your hurt will at least become less.

    Do what you enjoy such as perhaps exercise, take a long hot bath, enjoy great movies, read a good book, listen to music of your choice (classical is soothing), eat a delicious home cooked meal, immerse yourself into a hobby and give yourself healthy distractions.

    People will always disappoint you. Grow accustomed to it.

    In the past, whenever I felt lonely and forgotten (pre-COVID-19 pandemic), I fed the homeless, gave manicures and pedicures to the elderly in nursing homes, they told me stories of their lives which were fascinating, I served in church ministries such as park clean up and I helped the disadvantaged. My pity pot days were no more and I began to count my blessings tremendously.

    This world is full of people using others in the worst case scenarios. A lot of people are indifferent and apathetic towards you (& me) and this is how society is. People are consumed with their own everyday troubles, busyness, jobs, maintaining their households, family lives, poor health, personal life and often times struggling financially. People are consumed with their daily survival only. Many times they don't have brain space to even think about your birthday nor mine. It's the way people are. Once you accept human nature, you won't take affronts, disrespect, insults, apathy and indifference so personally anymore.

    Chin up. Take good care of yourself, Medium0.

  11. #10
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    Happy birthday!

    I can't even imagine what celebrating your birthday during social distancing must have felt like. I get that you did something special for your best friend, but him not returning the gesture doesn't mean he doesn't value you. I sometimes get a birthday gift for someone and don't necessarily receive one back on my birthday. Doesn't mean they don't value me.

    We all speak different love language. Check out that book if you can.

    Also, consider that your friends might have had lots to deal with during social distancing. And just because someone posted a photo of being lavished with gifts, doesn't mean they had a better birthday than you. Please stop comparing yourself to others. Photos are curated, you choose the best one to share with the world. And being greeted on social media means little as it takes almost no effort to send a casual HBD message to someone. However, spending time with someone and connecting often throughout the year that is precious!

    I do feel for you - it isn't exactly the easiest time to have a birthday right now. Wishing you the very best!
    Last edited by greendots; 04-20-2020 at 03:35 AM.

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