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Birthday Blues

I can’t be the only person in the world who gets a bit depressed around their birthday. Some of you might get a little down in the dumps on your birthday because you are getting another year older and you desperately want to stop the hands of Father Time. Others might feel the birthday blues because they are forced to work or be out of town instead of celebrating their special day with the ones that they love. Or maybe you are like me, and every year when your birthday comes around, you are reminded of how many people you cut out of your life and how small your family and friend list really is.

Today is my birthday and instead of being joyful and happy, I have to admit, I am a little teary-eyed and feeling blue. The lack of birthday wishes on my cell phone and the absence of bright and happy birthday cards filling my mailbox certainly makes me think about who I have left behind in my life and the reasons why I sit here today with just a speckle of people who have wished me the best on my special day.

It was my choice you know. My choice to cut my mother out of my life after dealing with her physical and emotional abuse for years. My choice to leave the town I grew up in and everyone I knew behind without even a forwarding address for anyone to get ahold of me. My choice to sever relationships with people over the course of my adult life because I thought it was in my best interest to move on from whatever toxic relationship I was dealing with.

My choices. But it still hurts on days like this.

It hurts because I’ll sit and wonder if my Mom is thinking about me on this day. I’ll wonder if anyone from my past will remember this day as being my special day and send me a surprise text or a sweet card in the mail. I’ll sit and imagine how wonderful it would be to have woken up to birthday wishes from hundreds of friends and family members like everyone else I see on Facebook or Twitter.

I’ll sit and wonder and imagine all of these wonderful scenarios all day and then begin to feel regret about cutting so many people out of my life. When I check the mailbox after lunch and see that there is not one card in there from anyone I know, the regret consumes me.

But then I shake my head and I begin to wonder what I’m exactly regretting. Why am I so upset that people who hurt me don’t wish to acknowledge me or my special day? Why does it surprise me and upset me so much when I don’t see a card in the mail from my Mom or I don’t get hundreds of texts from friends and family? I made the choice to cut all of these people out of my life and leave them behind; so why am I so upset now?

I get upset because I want the scenarios and fantasies in my head to be real life. I wish I had grown up with a loving mother who would never dream of missing their child’s birthday. I wish I had hundreds of friends in high school who still wanted to know how I was doing and still wanted to include me in their lives. I wish I had a group of close friends who wanted to treat me to a special birthday dinner. I wish for so much; but the reality is that I never had any of that in the first place. The reality is that I’m regretting cutting people out of my life who hurt me, bullied me, and humiliated me all because I want some birthday cards.

If I don’t want to feel blue on my birthday, then I need to quit regretting what I don’t have and never will have. I need to appreciate what is right under my nose; a loving fiancée, two beautiful boys, and a handful of close friends who would never hurt me the way my Mom did or the way that the bullies in high school did. Wishing for something I will never have accomplishes nothing and keeps me living in the past. My future is right in front of me and there is still time to get that friends list to grow.


Birthday Blues

Sarah Burleton NY Times bestselling author

Victoria Gigante Writes For Psych CentralSarah Burleton was born in a little town in Illinois to a very emotionally disturbed woman. Her first book, her child abuse memoir "Why Me," spent 26 weeks on the New York Times and the print version is endorsed by David Pelzer, author of "A Child Called It." Sarah is now realizing her goal in becoming an ambassador for abused children and adult survivors and is currently conducting workshops and seminars throughout the state. Her message of strength over adversity and her story will help counselors, teachers, and other professionals identify signs of abuse and learn ways to establish trust with an abused child.

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APA Reference
, . (2016). Birthday Blues. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Nov 2016
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