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7 Ways to Commemorate Your Birthday When You Wish You Didn't Exist

I love birthdays, but not everyone does, and it’s every harder to celebrate making it another year when you’re experiencing suicidal ideation.

The point of birthdays is to be happy that you’re alive and to be celebrated by the people who love you, but when you’re upset that you still exist, “celebrating” may not feel right. 

As a lover of birthdays, even when the odds are stacked against me, I’ve had them all. Great ones, magical ones, horrible ones that left me crying and jaded for years to come… I have a lot of experience with birthdays, and that includes birthdays where I’ve been suicidal. 

You may not be happy to be here, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t worth celebrating. Hell, I think it’s almost most important to celebrate suicidal birthdays because it shows you’re still standing and you’re still here, and that means something. Unsure of how to do that? Here’s some of the ways I’ve learned how to celebrate birthdays when you aren’t actually happy you made it to the next year.

1. Go dark.

Turn your phone off. Delete your social media for the day. Just shut it all down. Why?

Sometimes it’s nice to have everyone tell you how much they love you, but when it’s your birthday and you aren’t really happy to be there, seeing everyone else so overjoyed that you are can be overwhelming and have the opposite effect. It’s your day to be selfish, and that means it’s OK to turn off your phone. Sometimes silence is what’s needed over giant outpours of love and affection, and I don’t think people quite understand that.

2. Find a way to feed your soul.

That sounds so zen, but really what I’m trying to say is find an activity that brings you peace. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top or loud; rather, maybe something quiet. If you

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