It’s My Party…

The line for so long went…

“It’s my party and I’ll cry

if I want to…”

That was then.  This is now…

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...
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Today is my birthday and for the first time in a very long time, it feels good to celebrate the day I was born.  It didn’t for so long because I couldn’t see anything to celebrate.

My parents were somewhat embarrassed by my birth, just 10 months after my brother’s arrival and have been reminding me of that ever since.  I was three weeks early and even just a couple of days ago Mum told me that she wished I had been born three weeks late instead.  Their embarrassment has always been somewhat of a family joke, only I didn’t find it that funny.  Embarrassment rather than celebration at your birth is not something you’re going to look back on with fondness.  No wonder there is only one photo of me as a baby, and even in that I’m with my two older brothers.   And to be honest, when you’re struggling to find the will to live, it seemed like a perfect reason to stop living.

My argument was if they couldn’t be excited by my birth, then why should I still be so-called celebrating?  It just made no sense.  The severe depression that I lived with for so long just added to it.  I didn’t want to be alive, so again why should I be expected to look happy, blow out the candles… and celebrate?

I went along with it some years but others I refused.  I dreaded them, and I hated them.  I wasn’t going to be happy for me!  There were a few birthdays that were spent in hospital.  A birthday while in a psychiatric hospital doesn’t seem like much to celebrate, especially when most admissions were because I was so intent on destroying myself.

That said, one of the best birthdays in that period was in 1998 when I was living at a residential therapeutic community in Dunedin.  Actually that day I felt pretty close to happy and the friends I had made there made it a very special day.  There hadn’t been one like that for a while.  Perhaps the worst one was to come in 2001 (you can work out the day), another memorable birthday in hospital.  More about that tomorrow (in respect of American time zones).

But this year is different.  This is now, and I very much plan on no tears (unless they are happy ones).  Actually I’m sad that my Dad is not here to see me enjoy celebrating my birth.  It would make him very happy, but I believe he knows where I’m at now and can be happy for me.

So what’s different?  Simply that I am happy to be alive.  It’s simple but radically different for me.  I know that I am loved, and I’m even starting to like who I am.  It’s definitely a journey I am still on, but I have turned the corner.  And while my birth may not have been a celebration for my parents, I am learning to separate myself from their embarrassment.  If they chose to be embarrassed by my birth that was their choice, but I don’t have to apologise for being alive all these years later (and no, I’m not saying how many!).

I’m going to party today and while as well as my Dad, one very special person won’t be here to help me celebrate, I am looking forward to spending some of the day with my favourite kids (J,T & L… and their lovely parents).  This is a day worth celebrating.  Not simply because it is my birthday, but because I’ve finally found reason to be happy about it.

And to finish I send my wishes to my birthday buddies Steve and Rance (who share the same day, just different years and Rance is in a different time zone).  Happy Birthday to both of you.  Have a great day!

“The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating. 

―    Jarod Kintz,    This Book Title is Invisible


20 thoughts on “It’s My Party…

    1. Thank you, and and a belated happy birthday to you. I hope you had a good day. I’m very glad I found your blog and look forward to following it. Thanks for the follow here too. 🙂

  1. Awww!!! I want to come party with you to tell you how much you mean to me and SO many others!!! And since Rance’s birthday is the same day in a different time zone, we could just stretch the celebrating! I’ll be sure to pass along your good wishes to him! LOL

    I hate that your earlier birthdays didn’t joy but am so glad that you are finding happiness today! Your Dad is certainly celebrating with you and sending good wishes! So am I!!!

    1. Thank you RHC. It would be so nice if you were here. But make Rance’s birthday across two days and I will too. Double celebrations! But not two years older thankfully. One a year at a time is quite enough. 😀 ❤

  2. The happiest of happy birthdays to you, dear Cate. I hope you celebrate not only your birth and life, but your glorious and inspiring rebirth of a soul too precious and high-flying to stay down forever. I joy in your joy and am so grateful for the resilience and enthusiasm for life that pervades your blog posts. You are my touchstone for that saying, “the harder you fall, the higher you bounce,” and remind me that my own reawakening is not a short-lived fluke, but a true movement in recovery. I wish I was there to give you a’

    great big hug and share some laughter, but I’m celebrating with you in spirit, ever so grateful to consider you a friend and kindred spirit. Much love, J–Eileen 😉

    1. Thank you so much Eileen. 😀 You just made me very happy and I do wish you were here to celebrate with me. Maybe we’ll have to do it if and when I make it for Halloween. 😉 xx

  3. I can’t even begin to tell you how many smiles this post has given me. I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to read the happiness in your words.

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I… *wink* 😉 ❤

  4. Pingback: Dona Nobis Pacem | Infinite Sadness… or hope?

  5. Hi Cate,
    I spent all this time trying to figure out what I lost or misplaced and it was your birthday. Had I known I would have prepared a speech but you’ll be happy to know I have none. In reading your post I see the one wish I would have for anyone. To find the value in themselves that others may miss. Not all of us miss it. Giving you a Chinese Burn from Canada. Brett

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