My birthday is less than a month away and I am already feeling the stress and emotions that have become as much part of my birthday as a delicious pavlova!
I have always loved birthdays and I have never been one to not celebrate, but the last few years, since being sick, birthdays have become increasingly difficult.
My 23rd birthday in 2014 we went big because it was my first birthday since my prognosis and the importance of celebrations, due to not knowing if it would be my last, was at the forefront of my mind as well as friends and family. I remember struggling on the day, but not as much as I did last year.
Last year my actual birthday was not fun in the slightest (luckily I had my family and friends who lifted my spirits before the weekend was over). I wrote about this last year. As I was going so well with treatment I didn’t feel the need to go big, nor did I want to put that pressure on my friends and family. I didn’t want to be the person that ‘cried wolf’ expecting that people celebrate my birthday like it could be my last, and then the following year be like ‘hey, I am still alive’.
I felt that I needed to celebrate like a normal person, but the reality is that I am not a ‘normal’ person. I am a person living with terminal cancer who is living on borrowed time. Every birthday should be reason to celebrate. However, I still find myself torn – do I treat my birthday like my friends treat theirs or should every birthday be celebrated like it could be my last.
All this going back and forth, the pressure and expectations, built up around one day ended in me spending my birthday crying. I literally cried all day.
And here I am again, less than a month until my birthday and I am struggling.
This year I turn 25 and I feel a quarter of a century should be celebrated. Also, it has been a pretty shit year so far and it would be nice to share a happy moment with friends and family, but I fear that I will end up in the same place as last year.
I don’t want to spend another birthday crying.
But, if I plan nothing, will I end up crying anyway?
Do you sense my stress?
I have celebrations tentatively planned for the day of my birthday, 10 July, but I have not yet sent out the invites, as I don’t know if that is what I want to do. Maybe your comments tonight may help me decide.
Thank you for reading a pretty pointless blog post that was essentially just a rant.