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Birthday Blues

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #168276

    Meredith
    Participant

    So my 34th birthday was yesterday, and I'm aware that most people think “Birthday-schmirfday, what's the big deal?!” I don't subscribe to the whole blow-out birthday celebrations either. What I'm trying to say is I think I have realistic expectations about the whole she-bang. I'm so disappointed by the fact that only a handful of people even called, mostly family members who live far away. The whole texting of Happy Birthday! just seems hollow to me and I make effort every year to call my good friends on their bday to let them know how special they are. I almost always get a card or make a handmade card for very close friends to share sweet sentiments. Am I wrong to be disappointed, hurt, or feel like my friends should make more effort? I'm struggling with this cause I know the pain is disproportionate to the actual problem making me wonder what deeper issue is there for me.

    Thanks in advance.

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Meredith.
    #168306

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Meredith:

    Retroactive… Happy Birthday!

    The “deeper issue” you mentioned, could it be that your feelings as a child were not taken seriously, were trivialized, as if they were not important, not … logical and so, not relevant?

    anita

    #168316

    Meredith
    Participant

    Absolutely Anita, your response brought swells of tears to my eyes and a sad feeling for my younger self. This is actually something I'm working on with my therapist. The other problem I have on top of it is not being compassionate to myself for feeling this way. Instead I tell myself to “buck up” or stop being selfish, so I layer on more bad feelings like it's an icky feeling layer cake. That doesn't taste good to anyone. I'm not sure how to get out this cyclical thought pattern right now.

    Thanks for your response:)

    #168328

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Meredith:

    I have a suggestion and I will give you an example taken from your original post.

    You started it with: “So my 34th birthday was yesterday, and I’m aware that most people think ‘Birthday-schmirfday, what’s the big deal?!' I don’t subscribe to the whole blow-out birthday celebrations either. What I’m trying to say is..”

    Before you came to the issue of your thread, you had a thought, something like:  don't complain about your birthday! Buck up! Birthday-Schmirfday! Your feelings are not a big deal! You imagined people reading the thread will be thinking that because you already thought it. So you prefaced your thread with your response to your own thought.

    My suggestion: pay attention and recognize that thought, a repeating, persistent thought, no doubt, occurring at different times throughout the day at different situations. Then think something new, something like, in this case: my birthday does matter to me, my feelings are a big deal. I will type this thread like my feelings, no apologies, no prefacing.

    anita

    #168340

    Meredith
    Participant

    Thanks Anita, I didn't even realize I was minimizing my own feelings and will try to check these thoughts instead of letting my “buck up” schema continue to come back again and again.

    #168380

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Meredith:

    We all do that, having conversations within our brain, not with another person. The voice of the person who minimized your feelings in real life gets daily activated as thoughts and you, the child who heard that person in real life,  argues with that voice for her right to feel what she feels. The noticing of those “conversations” is part of the practice of Mindfulness.

    It is necessary in the process of healing, to increase mindfulness of existing thoughts patterns (and the feelings attached to them), and insert new thoughts in there, new thoughts that unlike the old are congruent with reality. Reality is that your feelings matter. It matters that you are disappointed by the fact that only a handful of people called to wish you a happy birthday, that you dislike texting happy-birthday, that it seems hollow to you. It matters that your practice of getting a card or making a handmade card for others on their birthday was not reciprocated.

    Your feelings carry valid messages to be listened to. It may be that you will choose to not send a card to some people's birthdays, those who texted you or did not contact you at all on your birthday. It may be that you will choose to spend your next birthday some other way. Or today, maybe today, you will choose to do something really nice for yourself.

    anita

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