Home My Journey A Case Of Chronic Birthday Blues

A Case Of Chronic Birthday Blues

by InvisiblyMe
A photo of a large round yellow cake with a mouth and eyes, designed as a grumpy-looking M&Ms character. A bag of M&Ms is above him and lots of the chocolate treats are flowing down into his mouth. Below is the post title: A case of chronic birthday blues.

Lesley Gore sang it best : “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”. Except there’s no birthday party & my Sjögren’s has dried up any tears I could possibly cry today anyway.

Yep, you guessed it. 9th August is my birthday. I’m not miffed about ageing – there’s not exactly a whole lot we can do about it – it’s the emotions that come with it when you feel your life has been frozen in time and you can’t help but think of the years lost to illness. But it’s not all bad. At least I still get asked for ID if I buy a scratch card.

Everyone has their own feelings on birthdays, whether you feel like it’s just like another other day, you get excited and absolutely love them, you find they make you miserable, or whether you hate them so much you’d rather put your head in a blender.

You can check out last year’s reflections on birthdays with chronic illness here.

Chronic Illness Birthday Blues 

I used to enjoy birthdays. When you lose a lot to illness, birthdays lose a lot of their colour and frivolity. It’s not just because there are no friends and no presents for me to unwrap, it’s because of what birthdays remind me of: what I’ve lost, how fast time is flying by and how far behind in life I am. 

I don’t get the chance to get overly maudlin because there are more pressing concerns to deal with, like nerve damage pain that drives me mad, my stoma having a tantrum or these damn bollocking migraines. 

I can’t believe I had to Google the spelling for bollocking just then. I always go for a “u”, making it bollucking.

I’m now 33 and my ability to swear is fucking fantastic. My ability to spell such words, eh, not so much.

There’s no denying that chronic illness changes the landscape of birthdays. While it can take much from us, it can also make us painfully aware of what’s truly important in our lives and allow us to really appreciate the small, simple joys in life we may have not been attuned to before.

A Fraying Rope

For some reason, the relentless nature of my migraines is getting the better of me. They’re not typical migraines, as least not as I know them to be, they’re predominantly this severe pain in one eye. Give it long enough and I’ll start throwing up like something from The Exorcist and the pain just keeps on going. I have sinus issues and inflammation from an autoimmune reaction that I don’t think help matters, but I can’t figure out what to do because I’m running out of options.

I’ve now been given a new horrible-sounded epileptic drug to act as a migraine prophylaxis medication. This comes with a long list of contraindications, risks and side-effects. I’m saving starting that for tomorrow. Next time I’m going to the vets.

I’ve just felt exhausted lately, desperately trying to keep up with the long list of things to do but having increasingly dwindling amounts of time where I’m functional enough to do them. 

I feel like I’m at the end of my now very frayed rope. I know, I should have bought a better quality one, none of this Poundland malarky. It must be covered in baby oil (or some unidentified bodily fluids more likely) because I slide down it pretty quickly and seem to find myself dangerous dangling off the end of said rope far too often.

I will be happy to get the legal stuff I need to do for my solicitor out of the way as soon as humanly possible as it’s making my teeth itch. At least with that part done I can at least have my bollocking migraines without thinking legalese jargon. 

Ideally, I’d just like to shut off from the world for my birthday but I can’t escape my body, and that’s the problem. Realistically, a day to just rest without feeling guilty or resentful of all the things I’m behind on and have yet to do would be lovely.

So yes, a seed of grumpiness was planted in me since getting chronically ill that has continued to grow over the years. Move over Victor Meldrew, both my feet are in and I’m thigh-high in the grave.

Birthday Blues Are Okay

There we have it. A bit grumpy and fed up with bollucking bollocking migraines, pain and everything else. Birthdays aren’t my friend anymore because they have a tendency to make me realise the loneliness and the things I’ve lost. And yes, there’s a toddler inside me having a tantrum because she used to love unwrapping presents. But there also things to appreciate, and there’s always cake. All will be okay in the world after chocolate.

I just want anyone who might be reading this that may likewise feel a bit crap when their birthday rolls around that it’s okay, you don’t need to ladle more guilt on top for not feeling glittery and joyful. Forget the expectations and the pressures. You do you. Relax, shut your brain off, do something for silly fun or do nothing at all. Whatever you need to get through the day and look after yourself.

Admittedly I do live with depression, albeit being highly functioning as I’m powered along by guilt. Now, when I refer to ‘grumpiness’ one shouldn’t confuse the two, but I didn’t want to get too deep with this post. If you struggle with mental health issues, whether a result of chronic illness or not, the effects of birthdays can be surprisingly hard-hitting. It’s not pathetic to find birthdays hard to swallow and you won’t be alone in that, so please reach out if you need support.

Birthday Gratitude 

Despite all the grumpiness, I am very, very grateful for many things. 

  • Like Tramadol, which has kept me going for the past I don’t know how many years living with this ridiculous level of constant pain and fatigue.

  • For orthopaedic pillows, my laptop, tea, and my new dressing gown with cat ears on the hood ????

  • I’m grateful that my cat allows me to give him a hug every now and then. I approached him with a toy the other day and he still gets this condescending look come over his face, like he’s far too mature and sophisticated to play. Poke him with the stick enough times & he’ll eventually take pity on me and play for a whole minute. Score.

  • I’m grateful that a pigeon pooped an inch in front of me last week and not an inch less. 

  • I’m grateful for my family, for my parents who’ve always been there for me and for my mum’s awful yet awesome sense of humour.

  • I’m grateful for – an aww shucks moment hereYOU reading this inane blog post, for all of my online friends and acquaintances, and for a special group of ladies that know who they are.  

  • And of course a huge thank you goes to whoever invented chocolate. I owe my life to this stuff. 
A black scroll divider.

Please don’t feel any need to comment on this post, especially as I’m not sure my chocolate addled brain will be able to reply to all comments, at least not in a timely fashion. I would just like to say a big thank you for reading & supporting InvisiblyMe.

I have plenty of cake to go around so please join me in a piece and have the best week you can everyone. Cheers!

A photo of a child, probably two years old, sat down wearing only trousers. The background is totally white. In front of him is a cake, and he has his face right in it. Above this is text, reading: Birthdays are nature's reminder to eat more cake.

Caz  ♥

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Ami August 9, 2021 - 1:59 pm

But we’re all going to comment anyway because we love you! Happy Birthday Caz! or happy Caz day! You’ve got me constantly saying bollocking now lol! Lots of love to you beautiful! Xx

Benn Bell August 9, 2021 - 2:10 pm

Happy Birthday Caz!

foodzesty August 9, 2021 - 2:35 pm

Happy Birthday my Sweetttt Cazzz!!!

B August 9, 2021 - 2:37 pm

Ideally, we’d all escape our bodies and party till the wee hours. Alternatively, we might toast with a coffee. Fuck it, we will.

Happy birthday, dear Caz, you sweet, brave, talented, loving creature.

Terri, Reclaiming Hope August 9, 2021 - 2:41 pm

Caz, I can’t tell you how much I want to give you a huge (very gentle) hug right now. Birthdays can be difficult for people, and as you said, there’s no need to feel guilty about it. I hope you’ll take your own advice, and “just do you.” I’m celebrating that you were born on this day, because the world is definitely a much better place with you in it. I hope you can get some relief from these migraines soon; I know they’re making you miserable. Sending lots of love your way sweet friend.

foguth August 9, 2021 - 2:52 pm

♫♪♥♥♥♥♫♪Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday Dear Caz!!!!! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

Tips: headaches are often a sign of dehydration, so drink water or eat a few almonds – they are better than asprin.

Stacey Chapman August 9, 2021 - 3:07 pm

Happy Birthday Caz or more fittingly, birthdays can suck it. Either way, I’m thinking of you!

englishwithkirsty August 9, 2021 - 3:19 pm

Sending you virtual chocolate ????????

Gemma - Wheelescapades August 9, 2021 - 3:45 pm

Happy Bollocking birthday Caz!
Sending hugs, cake and bucket loads of tea. I go through phases with birthdays, some I look forward to, some I couldn’t care less about, and some I think too much about what the future holds. As for getting older, I say we can only get wiser, and it’s better than the alternative.

Robyn August 9, 2021 - 4:17 pm

Happy Birthday!

Ashley L. Peterson August 9, 2021 - 4:28 pm

It’s your party and you can have a tantrum about whatever bollocking/bollucking nonsense you want to. Hugs and love. xo

Jo Jackson August 9, 2021 - 4:44 pm

So Sorry that you’re having to go through this, but best wishes for your birthday. Sending virtual cakes and hugs x

Lindsay August 9, 2021 - 4:44 pm

Happy birthday, Caz! Chronically ill birthday are tough. I’m thankful for YOU, because you are always so supportive, honest, and caring. I imagine anyone who gets to know you in real life feels very grateful each year when your birthday rolls around because it means another year with an amazing person. Hope your birthday is filled with chocolate!

Sandee August 9, 2021 - 4:49 pm

I’ll be 70 next month and I don’t pay much attention to birthdays anymore. It’s just another day, but I’ve had the birthday blues in my youth. I so get it.

♪♫Happy Birthday to you,♪♫
♪♫Happy Birthday to you,♪♫
♪♫Happy Birthday Dear Caz,♪♫
♪♫Happy Birthday to you.♪♫

Have a happy day, my friend. ♥

nedhamson August 9, 2021 - 4:49 pm

Happy birthday – when I have been really down – emotionally or physically – this Tracy Nelson tune – Living the Blues helped in a strange way. The line “feeling so bad I don’t wanna get better – always made me smile.

Masha August 9, 2021 - 6:01 pm

It’s your birthday and you can do/feel/deny/accept/holler/scream/think/wish/blast off, or do whatever you want.
Happy Birthday dear Caz, wishing you a most wonderful birthday!!! Lots of love and blessings xoxo

Ogden Fahey August 9, 2021 - 6:18 pm

its my party and I’ll fart if I want too – you would fart too if it happened to you!! 😀 <3 😀 XXX

InvisiblyMe August 12, 2021 - 5:15 pm

Hahahah I so wish I could fart now ???????????? Thanks for making me chuckle lovely! xx

capost2k August 9, 2021 - 6:23 pm

Oh, Caz, if you were in our colony of Kentucky I would want you to stop by and give you a hug and some chicken soup… and a birthday cake (which might go by a slightly different name in your grumpy condition! ????) But since your are across the Pond, I will just wish you a better day tomorrow and keep you in my prayers on my ‘prayer walk’. ❤️&????, c.a.

Popping Wheelies August 9, 2021 - 6:59 pm

Happy Birthday, Caz. – I will come back and address what you said again after I can read it more thoroughly. It is stifling hot here, and even in the AC my MS is balking.
A bit of trivia that you might enjoy. It’s My Party is the only single ever to be #1 in the UK, Europe, and US at the exact same time.
~ George

InvisiblyMe August 12, 2021 - 5:24 pm

I had no idea about that Factoid, George. Are you one of those people that are full of weird and wonderful information? My dad’s like that. He comes out with all sorts of things, and I’ve no idea how he’d ever know such things in the first place ???? I hope the heat eases off a little, living with such stifling heat for so long must take its toll. x

Smelly Socks and Garden Peas August 9, 2021 - 8:50 pm

Happy Birthday Caz! ????????????
Here’s a dinosaur to make you smile I hope: ????

You’re doing better than me, I haven’t been ID-d in years and years. Big hugs xxx

BBYCGN August 10, 2021 - 2:54 am

I completely understand. Though I do not have the same health issues, I share the same feelings due to my health condition which is a genetic mutation and its resulting complexities that wrap around its roots in some sort of barbaric strangulation process.

I should be in an asylum just so I can adequately express my turmoil, fears, and frustration in any manner I so choose. But instead, I am turning it all over to God! He gives me peace in ways I cannot explain. He gives me strength in the heaviest of rain. (That rhymes).

Thank you for helping me realize that I am not alone. You are not alone, either.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! ???????????? (even though it’s a bummer’ish day).


Greg Dennison August 10, 2021 - 3:19 am

I’m sorry you’re going through all this… I hope you find a way to have a happy birthday. (And I just realized I know someone in real life on this continent who was born on the exact same day as you.) (My birthday is coming up soon too…)

InvisiblyMe August 12, 2021 - 5:26 pm

Were they also born in 1988? My mum was rather miffed at being just a few hours late getting me out. She was hoping for 08/08/1988. What date is your birthday? I hope you feel a little brighter for your birthday and can make the most of it doing whatever you please! x

Liz August 10, 2021 - 5:21 am

Happy belated birthday. Have a bollocking birthday, if you want. ????????
You know me, enjoy some dvds if you want and do nothing. Xx

sunisanthosh August 10, 2021 - 8:24 am

Belated birthday wishes dear friend with lots of love. ❤

Despite Pain August 10, 2021 - 9:46 am

I hope you did you and managed to have a nice day despite those bollocking stupid migraines and everything else. Oh, sometimes life just isn’t fair, is it? And it is ok to say that. (I say it often!!)
But, getting older, hey, another year older, another year wiser. Actually, that can’t be true. If it was, I’d surely be a professor by now. I just get extra grey hair and wrinkles with each year. Told you, life isn’t fair! ???? ???? ????

Take care of yourself, Caz x

Mariana Gouveia August 10, 2021 - 10:45 am

Feliz dia e que tudo possa melhorar… abraço carinhoso

Heather August 10, 2021 - 1:44 pm

And I’m grateful for you writing this post and puting into writing what I feel every single year when my birthday rolls around and at least someone says “why don’t you do something nice for your birthday??”.

Happy Birthday <3

InvisiblyMe August 12, 2021 - 5:44 pm

I’m both glad and sorry that you can relate, Heather. It’s good to know we’re at least not alone, and yes, those sorts of comments when birthdays roll around are pretty difficult to swallow! Thanks for the comment & birthday wishes, I really appreciate it. ???? xx

Paula Bardell-Hedley August 10, 2021 - 4:08 pm

A belated happy birthday to you, Caz. Not only are you an astrological Leo but you possess the heart and courage of a lion, too. ???? xx

Incidentally, it was my birthday on 6th! ????

Ann Coleman August 10, 2021 - 7:19 pm

Happy belated birthday! And hang in there….you deserve so much better!

Rosebud's Diary August 10, 2021 - 8:17 pm

Happy belated birthday!! It’s your party and you can do whatever you want to!

Rachel Duerden August 11, 2021 - 1:08 pm

Sorry I’m a bit late but I hope you had a massive chocfest.

The Oceanside Animals August 11, 2021 - 4:25 pm

Charlee: “Happy belated birthday to you! We hope there was lots of chocolate! And cake!”
Chaplin: “Maybe chocolate cake?”
Charlee: “Oh, yes! Chocolate cake!”
Chaplin: “We’re glad you’ve got Virgil there to keep reminding you that, even on your birthday, you serve a higher power, i.e., Virgil.”
Lulu: “You cats don’t have too high an opinion of yourselves, do you?”
Charlee: “It’s not possible for a cat to have too high an opinion of itself.”

James Viscosi August 11, 2021 - 4:38 pm

Happy belated birthday! They’re pretty much like any other day here, except maybe with a few more greeting cards on the mantelpiece ― no cake to be had, sadly!

Jay August 11, 2021 - 6:05 pm

Happy birthday all the same!

gaillovesgod August 11, 2021 - 10:41 pm

A little birdie told me you had a birthday, Caz!
I pray it was a blessing.
You were thought of and prayed for.
Thankful for a chance to finally send you a birthday wish!
Loved Your m&m meme and your cat! 🙂
Me and God love you

Dawn Pisturino August 12, 2021 - 1:36 am

A belated Happy Birthday!

pauldelancey August 12, 2021 - 3:53 pm

Sending you cyber hugs for your birthday.

barmac5 August 13, 2021 - 2:00 pm

I missed your birthday as I was having a few days away visiting friends. So, happy happy birthday special lady. Hope you enjoyed every inch of your chocolate cake and more. I know I can’t live without it. Bar xxxx

Samantha August 14, 2021 - 7:46 pm

Happy belated birthday, Caz! I’m saying it anyway, because I love mine and I just wish that good, special, happy feeling onto anyone. It’s okay if you hate your birthday, though. There’s no law to force you to love it. Just ending you lots of love, kindness, warmth and strength to – hopefully – magically extend the effect of all that chocolate.

Carolyn Page August 14, 2021 - 11:20 pm

Happy Belated Birthday, Caz.
I can’t say I’ve ever used the word ‘bollucking/bollocking, no matter how it’s spelt.. I’ll have to find a way!
Cats are like that. Too sophisticated for us mere mortals. But, Caz; aren’t they fabulous creatures. I love their independent ways… I’m thinking of one I had in the nineties… What a great pus he was.. Love the sound of the cat eared dressing gown!
Sending hugs and kisses –

trippingthroughtreacle August 16, 2021 - 10:20 pm

Happy belated birthday lovely Caz! I’m with you, not a big one for birthdays, especially as the years go by and I can no longer pretend that I am young! Hope you over indulged in chocolate and cake 🙂 xxx

Mrs. Ram Jam August 18, 2021 - 2:13 am

Happy much belated birthday! And I’m glad that bird didn’t poop on you, too. ????

katelon August 30, 2021 - 6:31 pm

Happy Belated birthday! Mine is on the 4th. I used to love birthdays as my Mom made such a big deal of them, even when I became an adult. But since all my birth family died, my son left my life and friends are far away, I’ve spent most birthdays alone for quite awhile, so I have to find ways to celebrate on my own.

Thanks for following my blog, I appreciate it. If you read the posts, you’ll find out about the work my work partner and I are doing, along with various teams, and soon, this dark timeline will be ended and a new one put in place, the one that this planet was originally designed to be on, and human bodies will be restored to their original self healing design. Rejuvenation will also be available along with many light based healing methods, technologies and modalities.

Presently, the health care system is very dark and designed to create and sustain illness, not eliminate it. I know as I’ve been drugged for almost 70 years. I used to have severe migraine headaches, tension headaches, depression, much pain in my body, severe digestive issues, many injuries, etc. along with my lung issues and all except for the lung stuff have been healed via my years of therapy and holistic training and treatment, and help from the light. Even now, almost all people with my limited lung capacity are home bound and on oxygen. I do aerobic walks every day and am active. So please hang in there and keep your hope. Relief is coming 🙂


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