Every single year I do this thing called “The Birthday Countdown”. Basically, in the month leading up to my birthday I do daily posts on all my social media channels counting down to the big day. I don’t do this to drum up extra birthday cards or because I want people to make a big fuss. I do love a big fuss though. I do the birthday countdown because I’m excited about my birthday. I’m excited about everybody’s birthday if I’m honest.
I believe that birthdays are the one day of the year that its all about you. A twenty-four-hour celebration of everything you are. You are a one off. There is only one you. One of my favourite quotes is by Dr Suess, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
I grew up believing I was worthless, that I was unloved and unlovable. I believed that because of the things that happened to me when I was a child that I was broken and dirty and that if people saw the truth of me they would be disgusted. Sexual abuse does that to you. It makes you ashamed. I know now that my belief system was all wrong. The truth of me is that I’m kind. I’m loyal. I’m a good mum and good friend. I have empathy for others, I am clever and after 25 years of believing I was nothing I now believe that I deserve one day out of 365 to celebrate my me-ness. To celebrate my strength and my loving and my compassion. I deserve to be on this planet and this planet is lucky to have me.
My passion for birthdays is also fuelled by the fact that I feel immensely lucky and privileged to be here. I have known people who have ended their own lives. I know the despair and the pain that leads to that crisis point where you are absolutely
convinced you cannot continue to live. I’ve been there but I survived, and I am grateful that I did and that my children didn’t have to live with the pain that it would have inflicted on them had I been successful.
We lost a friend recently to Sarcoma and she was too young. When people moan and groan about how old they are I think about the people and their families who would have loved to have seen just one more birthday.
When your birthday comes around shout about it. Even if its just to yourself. The first and last person you love you should be yourself. A counsellor once asked me what I would say if my child self was standing right in front of me. I would have thrown my arms around myself and would have said “I Love you”. That’s what I needed and that’s what we all deserve. Buy yourself a present. Let everybody know. Birthdays are amazing and so are you.
Mine is three weeks today (21st August)