Birthdays are tough for me. There... I said it. On the outside I may seem A-OK on my birthday but inside that is usually not the case...and I have a feeling that I'm not the only one who experiences the birthday blues.
In years past, I could predict the onslaught of anxiety and depression as my birthday drew near. No matter what I did, I always was just riddled with the blues on my special day.
I think that's the thing about anxiety and depression...it tends to pop up on important days.
The ironic part is that I absolutely LOVE celebrating birthdays for other people. It is seriously so fun for me to go out of my way to celebrate and make my loved ones feel extra special. When it comes to myself however...not so much.
Does that ever happen for you too? And it's not just with birthdays either! Do you ever struggle to give yourself the celebration, approval and attention you can easily give to others?
Being me...aka someone who is always working to be better and grow...I spent some time this week reflecting on this pattern of negativity because my birthday is drawing near (October 6th woot woot!). What I found was super interesting and, since I'm not the only one with this issue, I thought I would share my findings.
First, I dug in and thought about the reasons why I felt down on my birthday. What was my inner critic telling me? What thoughts tended to go through my head like rapid fire on a repeating tape?
After thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized something.... I tended to get down in the dumps and reject any sort of positivity on my birthday because I felt that I didn't deserve anything good. I felt that I didn't deserve to be celebrated....
Apparently, at some point I had decided that I'm only worthy of being celebrated if I meet criteria set forth by my inner critic....definitely a no win situation.
For example, last year I felt totally down in the dumps and sabotaged any sort of true celebration (super annoying to my amazing husband and family who wanted to celebrate me). When I think back on it, I realized that I believed that I wasn't worth celebrating because I wasn't making the money I "should be" making in my business. SO RIDICULOUS!
And if I go back further and further I can see birthdays where I didn't feel worthy of being celebrated because I was single or because I believed I was too fat. Again...SO RIDICULOUS!
The funny thing is...I always planned fun things and parties with friends for my birthday every year. From bar crawls to club nights to weekends away...I went big with my planning each year.
My vibe was screaming "Notice me! Tell me I'm important! Help me feel special!" while at the same time I felt unworthy and as far from special as you can get.
Now on the outside you may not have noticed this at all....often times I would appear as a super happy and confident birthday girl. However, on the inside I was sinking in anxiety and feelings of unworthiness.
It makes total sense to me now why my pattern has been to get depressed around my birthday....and now, this year, it's time to permanently change things.
As my birthday draws closer, I can see the thoughts already starting and my inner critic ramping up the harsh, judgmental, dialogue.
"Better lower your expectations because you are going to be disappointed"
"No one wants to celebrate you"
"I hope you aren't planning to take any pictures because you are totally flabby"
"Another year has passed and once again you are a disappointment"
"Don't even think about treating yourself to anything! You don't deserve any presents because you are no where near your monetary goals"
And those are just a sampling of what my inner critic has been saying...
I'd bet big money that these statements aren't anything new. However, the big difference is that I NOTICE THEM.
I know I'm going to have a wonderful, happy, non-depression or anxiety filled, birthday this year. Because now that I notice the pattern, I can do the work to reverse it and block the negativity.
So this year, my theme is gratitude and radical self-acceptance. I am going to celebrate the heck out of myself because I know I am worth celebrating. Not to mention, I plan on really deeply receiving and allowing others to spoil me a bit (not an easy thing for me!).
For the first time in a looonnnggg time, I am actually looking forward to my birthday and I think this is a wonderful start to the last year of my 20s.
Now if you will excuse me....I have some birthday shopping to do. Happy Birthday to me!!!
P.S. Want to join me in the celebration? Do something to celebrate yourself and how amazing you are then tag me on social media (@simplymeganv) when you post the evidence! It's time to stop only celebrating others and to start giving yourself the approval and celebration you are 100% worthy of receiving. Join me and let's celebrate because we are worthy of being celebrated!