Wish I didn't have a birthday so I didn't have to be disappointed every year (RSD?)

I dunno if this is particularly ADHD related or possibly RSD but does anyone else hate their birthday?

I get upset every year because my birthday is never how I want it to be. I just want to see friends and have a good time but more often than not, that doesn’t happen. I don’t have a wide pool of close friends, which is fine the rest of the year, but my best friends are musicians and they’re always travelling to play gigs on my birthday since it’s in the middle of summer. People are always away on holiday too.

Last year, I got glandular fever over my birthday and did absolutely nothing. My best friend got me a really crappy keyring from a petrol station as my present. Even when I was younger, my birthdays were always terrible - family problems repeatedly happening over my birthday meant my parents didn’t pay it much attention.

There have been a few exceptions where I’ve had an amazing birthday and felt really loved, even if I’ve not done anything for it - a few years ago I worked over my birthday and stayed in with my then-boyfriend, and it was lovely because he spoiled me.

But the majority of the time, I get super upset for the entire week because it’s the one day of the year where it’s socially expected for people to make a fuss about me, and I see other people having great birthdays, and I make an effort for everyone else, but mine sucks.

My birthday is coming up this Saturday and I’ve just been crying about it. I decided over a month ago that I wanted to go to a festival in the evening and I won 2 free tickets for it. I asked people if they would come, several said yes, but then none of them bought tickets, despite me warning them it was selling out, and it sold out.

They are apologetic, and they are good friends, I don’t blame the people around me. But I always react so strongly when my birthday isn’t how I wanted it to be. I don’t think I ask for much, just to have a nice time with friends. Even though my birthday is Saturday, I’m celebrating Friday instead so my best friend is available. I can compromise. But now I’m looking at changing my plans entirely and not bothering with the festival because if I go, I’ll only have one friend with me.

I often wish I could erase my birthday entirely and just not have one at all. I get super upset every single year about it! It feels like an opportunity for everyone I love to show me they don’t care about me (even though I know they DO care). It’s just one stupid day of the year, and it’s so ridiculous that it makes me so sad every time. I feel like a stupid petulant child. I over-react massively to every tiny problem! I remember having meltdowns as a child when my parents didn’t let me have the party I wanted, or the cake I wanted, or whatever.

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OOF. Birthdays.
I know so many people who really hate or couldn’t care less about their birthdays, ADHDer or not. Though I will say our emotional dysregulation does tend to make things feel worse to us due to that inability to regulate properly. So I definitely could see how emotional dysregulation could make things worse. My birthday is 21 December, meaning I often have to celebrate way earlier if I want the chance of anyone being around. Yay Christmas… My 21st was the worst. I wanted a trip to Vegas. My boyfriend at the time didn’t save up money, I had saved up some, another friend had saved up plenty… but because my boyfriend didn’t save (not even getting into how he somehow blamed me for that) I called the whole thing off. I don’t even remember what I did that year. I was so pissed.

That turned me off of birthdays for a while. I did manage to get to Vegas for my 25th, and I went with my then-boyfriend-now-fiancee (NOT the same boyfriend from the above paragraph), my best friend of nearly a decade and a half, and her boyfriend. So we went… and as luck would have it I was coming off of an infection :'D Thankfully a couple days in I was feeling MUCH better, but I still had to waste a lot of time sleeping. So even though I enjoyed the time and it -was- awesome, I was still upset that time got eaten because I had to rest to avoid relapsing.

I think that trip - success though it was - was when I decided that planning something beyond dinner for my birthday was just too exhausting. Sure it’s my birthday but I still have to plan everything. I have to decide what I want to do. Where I want to go. I have to invite people. I have to coordinate when is the best time to go. Then after all that work, I have to deal with people dropping out at the last second, or people not doing what they were supposed to (like buying a ticket… or saving money), or people just not showing up… and it’s frustrating. It’s exhausting, because you put all that time and effort into planning, just for it not to work out for whatever reason or reasons.

I more or less just ignore my birthday now. I hang out with my friends online … mostly cause … most of them aren’t local so I can’t even do a party and invite my closest friends … because 90% of them live not near me :sweat_smile: But yeah… I struggle a lot with birthdays too and haven’t quite figured out how to… birthday without being disappointed. :\

This is funny, I was just talking about birthdays!

And yeah they can be incredibly stressful, it’s like birthdays are 20x harder to plan than a normal event. And I don’t think you’re childish for getting upset. It’s a very high-stress situation which can make it hard to focus big picture.

I don’t have any advice, just some love :heart: :heart::heart: Hope this yeah doesn’t turn out terrible for y’all!!

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I get upset at my birthday because it’s a reminder that I’m older and that I’m not where I thought I was going to be in life. It makes me think of my regrets, all the heartbreaks, all the times I embarrassed myself, all the times I felt like I screwed up. I never look back on how I’ve had so many successes and never feel like what I do is enough. It’s a never ending saga, moving target of where you believe what your life should be.

I don’t like talking about my successes. I feel people will think of me being arrogant, “omg we get it Scot, you’re doing so well, why are you rubbing it in?” So I choose not to speak up on them… ever… I’m slowly getting better at sharing these but it’s still a struggle.


Birthdays are quite an anxiety thing for me too. I tend to go for the last minute planning now, so if people can’t come I can assume it’s because I mentioned it so late. I also tend to do the ‘expect nothing and everything’s a bonus’ thing.

It helps that there’s always one person I can count on to remember and be lovely to me on my birthday (my wife). Maybe that’s how come I cope with them better these days.