August 19, 2014 I celebrated my 37th Birthday. It was an amazing time shared with some friends. It is also the first birthday I have actually celebrated in 7 years.
I could share many reasons why I haven’t celebrated but let’s focus this year on why I did.
August 19, 2013. 8 days post heart attack. I had been released from the hospital the day before. Happy Birthday to me right ? I lived, so umm maybe I should be doing something because I almost did not make it to my 37th. Sadly, no. You see, my Heart Attack was still a secret to most people. Very few people knew at this point what happened and if you look back to my posts in February you will see that is when I came out and told the world.
Friends did the usual Facebook “Happy Birthday”, I got some texts and phone calls. I had people invite me out for a drink. I replied to a few people, half heartedly, I declined the invites because I did not want anyone to know what was going on. It was so hard not to tell people what I was feeling and thinking. Part of me wanted to celebrate my life but I knew my reality that day.
I slept a lot as I was still battling fatigue. I walked my 20 minutes as instructed. I read a little and basically stayed in my protective cocoon. It kinda sucked really.
Truth. I felt very alone. I felt like I may have not even been worth people’s time even if I was healthy that day. It was like I was in a dark room with one light shining down, four walls with no escape. I was trapped in my own loneliness. The only escape was the hard way out and that would have meant telling people why I was staying home and not returning their phone calls. I couldn’t. I did not understand a lot of what happened and I was still trying to make sense of it all.
Please don’t get me wrong here, I was thankful I was alive but the reality that I may have never seen another birthday was quite striking and the fact that the Heart Attack happened so close to my birthday only made it worse.
In 12 months, I realized that I really am not alone, that I am worth celebrating. Life in itself is worth celebrating. It doesn’t matter how crappy other birthdays were or how others made past birthdays miserable. What does matter is that even if we don’t have an elaborate birthday party, that we take the time to celebrate the past year and the year of life that we will now enter in hopes that we make it to the next one and many more after that.
August 19, 2014. I celebrated with friends, had a few wobbly pops ( yes, 3 is the # I remember putting me into umm “tipsy mode.” I did a failed muff dive shot, I laughed, I goofed around, I had fun. It was nice to hear Happy Birthday sang out of tune from my friends. It was fun having a wide mix of friends sharing their stories about the silly and crazy things I have done. It seems everyone had a great “ Mini” story. Each of those stories no matter how embarrassing made people laugh, made me laugh and that my friends is exactly what I needed last night.
If you wish to view the failed Muff Dive Video, it is on my They Call Me Mini Face book page. They Call Me Mini
Thank you to everyone who came out and making my night fun and a little crazy. I am looking forward to next year. I only get better with age from here.