// birthdays & anxiety

A Wildflowers Home // anxiety and birthdays

Let’s talk about birthdays, emotional rollercoasters, dreaded birthday songs and anxiety. 

I haven’t seen or read a lot about birthdays & mental health / anxiety. 

We all have birthdays, and people with anxiety are a growing number, sadly - especially since our school systems still aren’t changing, but that’s a subject for another day. 

People have a lot of different experiences with birthdays, for some it’s just a day.. for others, it’s a lot more than that!

If you’re a 4 on the enneagram I think birthdays are especially filled with expectations, hopes and a wish to feel special on your special day, which often leads to disappointment when those expectations and feelings aren’t met. Add anxiety to that.. and it gets messy, emotional and complicated.


So birthdays and anxiety..

Growing up I was always looking forward to my birthdays because it meant getting older and cooler, GIFTS and usually a fun party. That made the day feel special.

BUT I also dreaded it, especially the school part, because that meant a lot of unwanted attention and birthday songs.. oh, the evil birthday songs.
Having a birthday on a weekend was the ultimate dream.
Having a birthday on the day where the whole school had a gathering, was the ultimate nightmare.
I still don’t get why teachers feel the need to force kids to stand in front of the whole school just to sing a birthday song, when they say no. I’ve seen kids carried to the “stage” who refused. For some that can be quite an traumatic experience. If the kid say no, it means no. Not everyone loves attention.

Some of my most humiliating experiences and situations have happened on my birthday during the birthday songs. I know it’s meant for a celebration and people mean it well, but having anxiety and a big big issue with blushing when unwanted and/or sudden attention, it has turned into my worst minutes. 


I’ve experienced kids, “friends”, schoolmates, my whole class, even the whole school having a good laugh at my extremely red face during what feels like a forever long birthday song. Yes, my “friends”, even the girl sitting next to me would laugh straight to my face, while I was the most uncomfortable tomato. Those “friends” where invited over for a birthdayparty afterwards. And gave each other funny looks and tried to kill a chuckle when my mom asked me how my birthday was at school. I think the word I might be looking for is bullying. Please don’t be like that, when you see people blushing, getting anxious, weird or awkward, you don’t know what hell they might go through and how it will haunt them for years after.


Teachers, you often don’t know what kind of traumatic hell you often put kids with (social) anxiety through. Please be aware. Educate yourself!


There’s so many other ways one can be celebrated than having to be the center of attention for a whole song. Just typing this makes my my body react. So much anxiety is surrounded with those kind of situations. Maybe have a few suggestions and ask the birthday kid how they want to be celebrated, or if they want to be celebrated at all in school. Don’t assume that a lot of attention and eyes on the birthday kid is what every kid wants.

Some birthdays I’ve wanted so badly to be sick to avoid birthday songs (and unwanted attention) that I actually got sick, even though I can probably count on one hand the number of sickdays I’ve had. If I didn’t have such a bid consciousness I probably would’ve just skipped school on my birthdays. Not probably. Definitely.

Anxiety and fear is a powerful thing. 


Back to adulthood. I recently turned 24, I don’t go to school anymore so anxiety and birthdays look different for me now.. the day isn’t as dreaded as it was before. And most adult parties are usually at night when it’s darker, so that helps a little tool. I know, crazy, but that’s how someone with anxiety might think. Every little detail.

Anyways, I invited a few friends over, even though it was very chill, down-to-earth and it was with friends I’m very comfortable with and something I did look forward to, I still had little to no appetite + an anxiety-filled body and diarrhea (let’s be real) for two days including my birthday.

Enjoying a birthday cake or anything sweet is impossible for me on my birthday. I can’t get a bit down of something too sweet when on my birthday. For some people I might be other tastes, but sweet stuff is the worst when my anxiety is high.

So why invite people over if it brings me so much anxiety? Well, don’t I deserve to be celebrated and have a normal life? Yes. I also do want to share it with friends. Not always, but sometimes. It is worth it in the end. For me. So to have a nice evening, I sacrifice a few days prior and post my birthday where I’m an absolute mess or a zombie walking around. Not all birthdays are like this, but I try to build myself up and beat my anxiety. I refuse to let it control my life.
This is also true for most “bigger” social gatherings, depending on the people and social situation it gets more or less draining.


Last year I had all my 7 cousins over, even though they are family, I’ve known them my whole life, I’m older than most of them, I still couldn’t do anything the whole day before they arrived. My mom asked me to find some cheese or something in the fridge, for some reason I couldn’t handle that, so I broke down and ran to my room crying and trying to calm myself down before going downstairs again to continue the preparations, because well.. the guests arrived soon. It didn’t make sense at all, but anxiety doesn’t make sense.

It was a day I had looked forward to very much! The evening with my cousins is a night I won’t forget (in the best way possible), but the days and especially the hours leading up to the event was extremely draining, tough, messy and painful, but I’m so glad I didn’t let that stop me from having one of my absolute best days!

For me, I know that once people arrive and the party/events begin my nerves mostly calm down and I can have an amazing time. But.. my mind has been overworked and my body has been exposed for something very intense, so if I don’t make sense, forget a lot, seem a little shaky the first half hour, eat slowly or nothing at all or maybe zoom out on your story.. it’s because of what my anxiety just put me through, but I do still enjoy my time and your story! Please don’t take it personally, but maybe show a little mercy and don’t make me feel stupid for telling you the same thing for the 3rd time, hah.

I also use 1-3 days mentally drained after this day without any mental capacity to do anything except maybe watching netflix, do a brain-less actitivity, stare into the air and basically just be a zombie. So don’t expect to much from me the days after a big and/or social event.

Not all experience it like I do. Anxiety looks different for everyone, but this is one story. One person with anxiety. Maybe you can relate? Maybe you know someone with anxiety. I hope this can help you understand them a little bit more or at least give them some credit for what they go through, for something you or others take for granted.


I just thought it was important to address this and talk about birthdays with anxiety. 

anxiety is not glamorous. 
anxiety is not attention seeking. 
anxiety is tough
draining 
exhausting
frustrating 
unfair
scary
and stealing too many moments and memories that was suppose to be fun, nice and carefree.

Why am I sharing all this? Not to make you feel sorry for me or those with anxiety, that’s like the worst. Don’t feel sorry for us, but to openly share about my experience with birthdays while having (social) anxiety. I hope for those of you who can relate that this might be helpful or give some hope or comfort and I hope that for those of you who are happily unaware, that this might give you some insight on how to be there for and understanding your classmates, co-workers, friends or family with anxiety.

last thing I wanna say is,
be kind
you don’t know the size of the battle someone is going through.

A Mother-Daughter conversation about being a woman

A Wildflowers Home // A Mother-daughter conversation about being a woman // @sheisidentified / Alexsayah & Marnie - She Is Identified

Wildflowers, it is an honour to present the generous and extremely kind-hearted mother-daughter-duo behind She Is Identified speaking up about abuse. They have a unique voice because they are mother and daughter, they cheer each other on and everyone else. They’ve even written a book! They’re some of the strongest women I know out there and their from West Canada, about 9 hours time difference, when we’re trying to Skype!

I’ll give you all the links and details on how to grab their life-changing book, but first.. I’ll give the mic over to Alexsayah & Marnie…


Two woman. One story.

Black hair. Curls. Chocolate drops

Dark brown. Wave. Blue oceans.

Mom. Daughter. Rainy weather days.


“Mom, what’s it like being you?” her daughter, much older than before, asks intently. “You’ve been through trials, fought your way out of them, you’ve loved, you’ve lost, learned and grown. What is it that makes you the strong woman you are?”

Her mom smiles; with a gleam in her eye. “I don’t even know. I just am. Being yourself is something you discover with time. With help of course. But some of us don’t get that help; the guidance into discovering who we really are. I discovered who I was later in life. And now I wish I had more time.

But I know that even when I didn’t feel I understood who I really was like I do today, I did my best to stay true to who I was. We spend our entire lifetime becoming the woman we are inside. That’s a loaded question, bubba.

“Is it always a struggle though mom? Will it ever get easier to be me?” Her daughter asks.

“Yes...and no. With time, experiences—whether good or bad, both are important to the process of being the real you with ease—and even practise, you’ll realize that being you is one of the most beautiful things you can ever do. And staying true to that real being is the most beautiful thing of all.”

Her daughter pauses, puzzled in epiphany, “So what you’re saying is…I’m already me. And when I go through life, experience things, make decisions, hold on to my faith, and be a leader in my life instead of a follower, then the true woman in me will continue to manifest?”

“Exactly.”

Her daughter sighs, “a learning curve, but I think I can do it.”

“I know you can do it, bubba. You’re more you everyday we sit and chat together. I can tell.”

“Well mom it takes a strong woman to make a strong woman. And if what you’re telling me is true about womanhood, then all that you’ve been through, though wearisome, has helped the real you come full circle.

As much as you say you wish you had more time, I think the real woman you are needed to manifest at this time, at this moment, for this season. The first half of your life isn’t wasted, it was shaping you. And as much as we find it difficult to be who we are in this world, there’s no one we’d rather be…or can be.

The End.


Thank you Marnie & Alexsayah for sharing your beautiful hearts and a glimpse of your story. Sweet sweet!

She Is Identified is a movement, so make sure you check them our and give them a follow at @sheisidentified.

Read more about their book PACIFICATION: The Lock in our Chains and buy it here.



That was all for the september theme Exploring Womanhood. It’s the first time I’m trying to have a theme on A Wildflowers Home, so it’s been a bit trial and error, but I’m, honoured by all the courageous and beautiful wildflowers who’ve share their heart and story with me.

You can check out all the other posts about this months theme here and below.

Next up is October where the theme will be Transition // Embracing the Season.

Thanks for reading along. See you next month!

// Line Xx

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A Wildflowers Home // Exploring Womanhood // A conversation about being a woman between the mother-daughter duo Marnie & Alexsayah behind @sheisidentified
 
 

Martyna's story on being a Polish woman in America

A Wildflowers Home // journal / exploring womanhood / Martyna's story on being a Polish Woman in America / USA / the states

This month I’m Exploring Womanhood and I asked my friend, Martyna from Poland, some questions on what being a woman looks like in her life, in her country AND being a polish woman in America (she lived in Texas for 6 months exploring her art).

If you don’t already know Martyna I can tell you that she’s a very artistic, generous and kind woman. She’s courageous and brave because she dares to go her own way, even when everyone around her goes the other way. She also has her own blog where she writes in both english and polish, I mean.. if keeping a blog in one language isn’t enough. You go girl!

I have a guest post on mindless scrolling coming for you on her blog, but more about that later.. and let’s get started with the interview.



What about being woman makes you proud?


What makes me proud is the fact that us women we see things from different perspectives that guys. Our way of thinking is usually different and more advanced (proofed by researches).

I grew up surrounded by women who were mainly working at homes (cooking, cleaning etc). They didn’t have so much money to spend on nice clothes or jewelry, what made them look really modest, sometimes not really feminine.

When I was a kid I had one woman that I was super impressed by and was trying to be just like her. She was an American lady who came to Poland to help with mission for children and youth. She was really loving person. What impressed me the most was her deep relationship with God that I could saw through the way she was worshipping and walking in prophetic anointing. I’d been always wanting to be able to hear God’s voice in my life so it seemed like I met a perfect person to learn from.




What are some of the biggest cultural differences about the woman in your country and country you live in now?


In my country (red. Poland) many women are still caught up in the old way of thinking like “man should be the one working more and providing money for our family” while in USA it seems like both man and woman work the same. Sometimes woman is the one who earns more money that man. In some place in Poland women are not allowed to teach in many churches just because of their sex. In America most of the churches allow women to teach and even to be a pastor.


What traditions for women in other cultures do you you admire?


This year I got a chance to be in USA during the Mother’s Day. It’s a HUGE for Americans. Not only children buy chocolate and flowers for their moms, but women are being given all kinds of cards, wishes, flowers and gifts by their husbands, parents, family and friends. Motherhood is a big thing and is celebrated as a big day for women. I love it!


What do you wish to see in our culture for the next generation of women to grow up in?


I wish in next generation people will respect women more than they do now. Sometimes I feel like women are being disrespected or treated worse than men only because of their sex. They are not treated the same in many aspects of life even something basic like business. I wish next generation would be more tolerant and respectful no matter of the sex.


In our culture today, what do you think is the biggest misunderstanding about being a woman?


I deeply believe women are capable to do whatever they put their minds to. They are able to achieve more than they think. They are able to be leader of the nations and voice of those who are speechless. They can change our world into something better. They are stronger than they think, because their strength is not defined by their physical bodies but their strong minds. I think today’s world really doesn’t understand power that women have. The world thinks women are weak, because their bodies are not as strong as male bodies. The world thinks they weak because their voices are softer and not as tough as male voices. But that’s not true. They were made to be strong because of their sensitivity, because of their gentleness. If people only understood that the true strength finds its place in our heart women would be treated differently.


What do you wish women were taught about being a women?


Everything from the previous answer :)
The same about men.


What do you think about wearing red lipstick?


I personally love wearing lipstick! Different shades of red, pink, burgundy! I think it makes you more confident and makes you look super nice and classy :)


Thank you Martyna for sharing about your experience on being a woman.
I wrote a piece about mindless scrolling “So you’re mindelessly scrolling?” on Martyna’s blog Krok w bokwhich means sidestep in english. It’s both in english and in polish (say what! I appreciate your hard work, Martyna!).

I talk about how we’re mindlessly scrolling and how important it is to be more conscious about what we fill our mind & soul with. I give some tips that I use + some great hashtags & accounts to follow that brings a little value and wisdom to your mindless scrolling. I worked really hard on it, so yes, I’m a proud mama. Hope on over to Martyna’s blog and have a happy reading!

Also, check out Martyna’s instagram right here + she recently started a Youtube channel, let’s show her a little love and appreciation and make the beautiful wildflower that she is feel at home!


That was all for now.
Thanks for reading along!


// Line Xx!

PS: Pin this 👇👇👇

A Wildflowers Home // Exploring Womanhood // Martyna's story on being a Polish woman in America