Some mental health people will say that crying on your birthday can mean you are recognizing that you are aging and aren’t ready for that. Some say it is a sign of a deeper depression and you may wish to take a better look.
Thirty years ago, I was dreading my birthday and wanted to skip right over it. I thought of how my candles would have set off the smoke alarm if we put on the number of candles for my age. That is true today and probably not then.
It may have been because I had one year left until the big four 0 or 40! Besides that, I had suffered from depression and especially SAD or seasonal affective disorder which comes in the winter months when there is little to no sun where I live.
The day of my birthday, I was riding an elevator with a co-worker friend and she said, “Didn’t your dad die on your birthday?” That is all it took. Yes, he did die on my 10th birthday and that meant I was dealing with this for 29 years without really understanding why.
I made a point from then on to celebrate all month long. My hubby says I celebrate all year! Facebook and he are the main ones to point out my actual birthday. I, some family and friends just start making plans to get a meal together, go to a movie or bring me flowers in my month!
In my work with people, I will often talk about anniversaries and how difficult they can be due to my own experience with my dad’s death. Just last year I figured out why it bothers me so much for my husband to go up on our roof. My dad fell off a roof and that is how he died.
I was thinking it was all about my husband’s age and some of it is. But I have been extra sensitive about people going up on roofs for longer than this experience with my husband. The first step in changing this fear for me was understanding where it comes from. It has helped me.
This year in January, I turned 69. My youngest son said it is the love birthday. I didn’t want to hear that from him. But that is what I get for making sure my children were all well-educated about sex, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, etc. The touchy subjects many don’t talk about.
One year I gave them a book by Peter Mayle about where babies come from and they asked their grandma to read it to them. She said, “You have your mother read that to you.” Then their paternal grandmother would shut the television off when cattle or other critters were giving birth to their babies.
I thought, no wonder our world is the way it is today and I started to change that for my children and the people I would work with, even though I would be uncomfortable at times also.
Sexual attitude readjustment (SAR) was helpful to attend and I recommend it. Everyone should have the opportunity to attend one.
I have noticed that others in my life have also decided to celebrate more than just their birth date. I noticed when one of the women I sponsor posted the notice on Facebook about her birthday being all month one year.
Her birthday is in February as is my daughter’s, so for a few years we celebrate from my birthday month and through theirs.
Thankfully, I no longer dread my birthday! And I have remedies for SAD, like vitamin D, a sunlamp, and laughter and tears are regulars in my life now. They were just beginning some forty years ago. Thirty years ago, I started to laugh daily and cry as needed.
Do I always know when tears are needed? No, of course not. I am, however, more in touch with my emotions than ever. I will let them roll down my checks without care, whenever! Thankfully tears will often happen in front of the television as I am watching Hallmark movies.
I am looking forward to having a 70th birthday party in January of 2024! It would be fun to invite everyone that reads this. In the meantime, Happy birthday to you wherever that lands and wishing the best of 2023 for you and your family.
First published by Mindful Mental Health in Medium
About the Creator
I am married and we have 7 children, 25 grands and 9 greatgrandchildren. I work part-time as a culture consultant. I started writing A Poem a Day in February 5 years ago. I've written 4 - 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo. Now Vocal and Medium.