The Other Holiday Season

It’s not only Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years season, it’s my birthday season.  I fight with this every year, just as I’m sure everyone born in November-January does.  I just want my special day.  I want a day that revolves around me and is not squished in with Christmas or Thanksgiving.  I don’t feel that it’s too much to avoid the Santa wrapping paper for my gift.  I don’t use it when I wrap your birthday gift in July, so why would you think it’s acceptable now that it’s December?  I’m also tired to getting Christmas themed gifts.  How many reindeer coffee mugs do you think I need?  What gets me is that it shows a total lack of thought and originality when people are shopping for me.  It’s obvious they walked into the mall and picked up the first thing in front of them and didn’t think about what I would really like, want, or need.  I’ve been so tempted to buy up tons of snowman socks or mittens with elves on them and give them out for birthday gifts to my friends and family on their birthdays in August and September.

I do this little rant every year, and I just needed to get it out my system.  The real reason for this post is that this year is one of those milestone birthdays.  I’m not old.  I’m not freaking out because I’m “over the hill” or something.  But I am realizing that I’m older.  I’m not a kid anymore, but I’m not feeling my age.  Mentally, I feel so young and not in a young at heart sort of way.  I feel mentally undeveloped or stunted.  I feel like a person my age should be mentally stable to a certain level, able to handle a certain level of life so to speak.  Admittedly, this level is completely self-imposed, but I don’t think it’s unrealistic.  I am not self-sufficient.  A person my age, an adult, should be.  There isn’t the option of having someone hold my hand and help me through things.  My husband is going to be gone for a year.  No one is going to be here if I can’t open a jar or am afraid of the dark or am staring at the business end of a knife.  I am expected to get over my issues and just get stuff done.  In many cases, I simply can’t.  I have failed to meet yet another milestone.

I’m bumming about my mental illness I guess.  I never thought I’d be this old and feel like a child emotionally.  It’s hard.  It’s hard to feel confident about my abilities when inside I feel so inept and unprepared.  How much longer am I going to have to struggle?  Am I going to feel like I haven’t mentally grown five years from now?  Ten?  People look at me and see my age as a single number, following the general conclusion that I feel misunderstood.  Instead I feel like all the parts of me have aged at different rates.  Shouldn’t my age be several numbers then?

My solution was to ignore my birthday.  I didn’t celebrate.  I grumbled my way through phone calls of well wishes.  I refused to open any gifts until the next day.  Overall, I felt crummy.  I only get one day a year, and I squandered this one.  I’m glad that I spent my day exactly how I want to spend it, but I wish that I didn’t have to banish special birthday thoughts from sight to accomplish it.  I wonder if other sufferers have a hard time on their birthdays.  Maybe I’ll ask around.

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