Saturday, September 11, 2010

Today used to be my Birthday

Without trying to sound dramatic, today is my birthday and I'm just waiting for it to get the hell over with it.  I HATE being alone on days like these.  Sure, there is an expectation of what I think a birthday should or could be, a happy celebration of my birth, but birthdays are also like the holidays to me, empty and void of genuine well wishing from most people.  There are a few exceptions, VERY FEW, and those few are the only ones that keep me here.  It's too bad they are all thousands of miles away.

I can understand everyone wishing me a "Happy Birthday". It's expected and many do mean well.  But they don't stop there.  They have to rub it in with things like this:

"I hope you're having a fabulous day, filled with lots of happiness, friends and/or family with you!"
"Hope your livin' it up today. Have a good one."
"I hope you get to go do something fun to celebrate the day."
"Hope you do something fun"


Everyone expects birthdays to be a special day where you get to do something special, and I'm one of them.  But its specialness is really a stupid idea that I need to let go of, because here is the cold hard reality:

It's no different from any other busy, late summer day.  And today was typical of what happens.

I had asked some other "friends" if they would like to do something today for my birthday but, either they were already at some other event (that I was not invited to) and couldn't hang out, or they just didn't want to do anything.   So I was just going to find something to do on my own.  I was feeling the depression start to hit me early this week so that was not helping it.

So, this morning I woke up groggy and frustrated from a restless night caused by an unbearably stressful and mindless job.  Immediately I got a call from a "friend" who wanted to drive out to The OC* and watch the Red Knights motorcycle procession honoring the fire fighters killed on this day in 2001.   That sounded interesting so I agreed to go.

On the way, I told him that it was my birthday today.  He was surprised and actually thought I was joking. I wasn't surprised that he would do that.  You see, this person doesn't really pay much attention to the thoughts, feelings or lives of other people.  If it's not about him, it doesn't matter.  When he called me -- and he calls me often -- he was merely just bored and looking for something or someone to entertain him.  I've known him for 5 years.  I have to tell him every year that it's my birthday.  I don't expect him to care.  But he will at least buy me dinner, because by his own definition, it's expected.  He'll just do it.  I'm not manipulating him, I'm just taking advantage of his predictability.  But it comes at a cost.

We get to The OC* and I have to listen to him complain about... oh, I don't know.  Who gives a shit anyway?  I stopped listening to him after the fifth time he mentioned how he regretted wearing a black t-shirt in the heat... the whole time.  I finally told him to either walk in the nearest shop and buy a white t-shirt, (there being a shop every 100 feet for the next two miles of the boardwalk) or shut the fuck up.  After a little back and forth about how he would never do that etc. he finally stopped complaining.   But it doesn't stop there. His excessive narcissism kicks in and he as to express himself on every little thing he thinks, sees or does.  And I'm expected to listen with deep interest and even laugh at his non jokes.  Also, I must be prepared to be outwardly and aggressively dismissed, sometimes quite rudely if I dare express anything that interests me and doesn't interest him.  No, I'm not exaggerating here.  And No, I'm not pretending to care about his interests either.  I pretty much ignore him but he really thinks I care, even if I tell him I don't!   He really is that narcissistic!

There is nothing as depressing as being surrounded by people and still feel utterly alone.  But, being out in the sun on a crowded boardwalk with an asshole is better than the alternative, which is sitting at home contemplating ways to kill myself.  I resist going home because to do that is to face my loneliness head on and I just don't want to lose myself in the suicidal thinking.  It's best to stay distracted for now, at least until it passes.

Anyway, because of his incessant boredom and his need to be doing something, we end up missing the processional anyway.   The only reason he wanted to go.  Typical.

Now, I'm sitting at home writing this while debating if this should be deleted or posted.  The day will be over in a few hours.  And I'm starting to feel like I might make it.  I don't know.  I was in the hospital again a few weeks ago because of my heart.  Is this the life I'm to have from here on out?  When is my heart going to kill me so I don't have kill myself?

* The OC I'm referring to here is Ocean City, Maryland. 


  1. Sorry your birthday wasn't great. Are you going to be okay?

  2. I'm worried about you. Depression is devastating, and it sounds like you're going through a dark time.

    I don't know if this will be of much comfort, but remember that many others struggle with depression, and they understand the depth of suffering you're experiencing. There are people out there who understand this kind of pain, even if you've never met them.

    Find something, anything that gives you meaning, and hold fast to it. This episode will pass, so find something that gives you strength to weather the storm.

  3. I'm prone to depression myself. One thing I try to remind myself when I feel that way is that no matter how bad things get, they do always get better eventually. I've had to remind myself of this several times over the last several months, actually, because there have been moments when I felt like I'd rather go sit in the garage with the car running than deal with my situation.

    You may be physically alone, but people care about you. I care.

  4. There are givers and takers. Call me cynical, but most people are takers. We all have them in our lives, and they will always disappoint. They are those friends who talk endlessly about their problems, never asking about yours. They expect you to be there for them at the drop of a hat, yet never show up when you come calling.

    Enough of the takers!

    You diverse better!

    I decided years ago to avoid the known takers in my life. When I absolutely have to deal with one, I simply expect them to act selfishly, and I harbor no expectations of any benefit in return. As a result I am never disappointed. Its taken a long time but I finally have small core group of people around me who are generally givers.

    Now I have to make sure I now don't digress into becoming a taker.

  5. May I simply offer a belated happy birthday?

  6. Honestly this is how I usually feel on days that are supposed to be "special" for me - my birthday, my graduation day, even my wedding day, etc. It really sucks. And the last time I opened up to somebody about it they kind of chewed me out. So I think maybe I know how you feel, and I'm sorry you have to feel that way. You don't deserve it.

    For the record, I'm glad you were born. And I'm glad there's a day when we can all celebrate the day you came into the world. :D

  7. Sorry that you had such a sucky birthday. I'm prone to depression, also prone to letting assholes into my life. Don't know why we do it. Guess if we did we wouldn't. Take care.


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