Another birthday

Tomorrow is my birthday.

Why am I telling you this? Well, just my announcing it is a step in my recovery. I’ve always had trouble calling attention to myself. Even on my birthday. Especially on my birthday.

I’ve been this way my whole life. When I was little, my mom would have birthday parties for me. She’d invite my classmates, and I would run and scream and hide in the bedroom. This went on every year until I was 6, and I begged my mom to stop having parties for me. I was having anxiety attacks even then. She did stop having parties for me. I’ve rarely had birthday parties since.

I don’t say this to elicit pity. I actually like being low on the radar on my birthday. It goes very well with my isolationist tendencies. Since the advent of answering machines, I don’t even have to pick up my phone. Friends and family can wish me a happy birthday on the machine, and I can accept their wishes with one layer of personal connection removed. I like that. I also like Facebook on my birthday. Here again, I can be showered with birthday wishes–once removed. For this alone, Mark Zuckerberg wins my unyielding gratitude.

It’s not that I haven’t tried celebrating my birthday with friends and family. It’s just that whenever I have, the anxiety attacks come. It’s happened every time.

But tomorrow, I am going to try again. One of my best friends is taking me out to dinner. I am determined to take in his love and understanding, and enjoy it. A big part of my recovery is all about celebrating the people in my life who do accept me for who and what I am. That acceptance is the best birthday gift I can receive.

At my lowest points during the past year, I didn’t want to reach another birthday. But here it is.

I am a lucky man.

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2 responses to “Another birthday

  • Grief Happens

    First, hope you have a happy, manageable birthday — you deserve it! Second, I had similar reactions to birthdays as a kid — sometimes I still do as an adult. My parents would plan nice, elaborate parties and I’d want to hide under the bed. I, too, am still coming to terms with how to handle my own day.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Alan Kravitz

    Thanks, Grief Happens. One of the cool things about blogging is that I learn that I’m not the only one who goes through so many things. I hope you keep coming to terms with your birthday in your own way.

    Like

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