Birthday Cheers & Birthday Blues

When I was younger I loved my birthday! It was so exciting to have a birthday party and have all your friends over. I always heard the adults say just wait until you get older. I thought ok this will happen in my 30s because that’s what any reasonable elementary kid would think right? Little did I know that soon birthday’s would become very hard.

This year has been especially hard. I’ve been dreading turning 25 since my birthday last year. Before you say “oh but that’s so young to be complaining of her age” I want you to read this blog post. Birthday’s when having a chronic illness aren’t always enjoyable. It’s a reminder that as you get older you realize how many years you’re sick. Your dreams of what would happen by this age are shattered.

In school, my friends and I would talk about, oh by this age we will be xyz. We had dreamed up this thing that by 25 we would have a good career, be engaged or have boyfriends at the least, and that our life would be so exciting and fun. Here I am tomorrow turning 25. Have I met any of those dreams – not really. I have a good job and I love my job but I didn’t go to college (I tried a semester and then Dad died and I was starting to miss school before for not feeling well and after he died I couldn’t even focus on school.) So I didn’t have to stop while I was deep in college. I can’t work a full work week which is why I work part-time. Did I dream that when I was 25 I would be single? That’s a quick no. Has my life been exciting and fun? Yes at times, but it’s been a rough couple years. We are so grateful for the blessing house and many other things.

Birthday’s are saying goodbye to dreams every year. It’s hard to look forward to something when you know as you turn older your symptoms get worse and you still don’t have a complete diagnosis. When this started I was 21. I was supposed to have all the independency I could’ve wanted but I had to say goodbye to that. On January 1st 2020 I was already super anxious and upset about my birthday close to the end of January. With my depression being more intense, it was really hard to look at the future. Now as I’m with my counselor, one of the sessions we talked mainly about how I’m viewing my birthday. I can be sad – that’s okay to feel that, but then I can create fun memories. Do something I love to do or create new traditions. So for Saturday I’ve picked a day of shopping and fun. I mean that sounds totally fun right? It has helped to give me something to look forward too. She also said instead of viewing it as everything you’ve lost think of everything you’ve had to overcome.

I’m not saying my birthday is going to be all sunshine and rainbows because a part of me grieves on my birthday. I want there to be more room to create new memories and traditions. Birthday’s have also been really hard since Dad died. It’s weird to keep getting older and Dad isn’t physically here to celebrate.

So I’ve decided this week I’m going to wear my favorite things to help me look forward to every day. You can expect lots of pink, maybe some tie-dye, fun bright colors. Oh I forgot – how about some accessories.

So just a gentle reminder if you run into someone with a chronic illness just remember this, not everyone is always looking forward to their birthday for a variety of reasons.

Here I am though turning 25 on January 28. A half of me will be sad and a half of me will be ready to celebrate!

So to all of us Happy Birthday.

God wants us to live our life abundantly. So I will be trying to do that this year.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10

xoxo,

Abby

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