Bipolar for Your Birthday: Another Day with Bipolar Disorder

January 30, 2011 Natasha Tracy

Last week was my birthday. I didn't do anything or mark it in any way. That is mostly because, on my birthday, I look back and see bipolar behind me and I look forward and see bipolar in front of me.

Bipolar for Your Birthday, Again

Bipolar isn't a present you really want to get, because once you get it, you can never use it up, stick in the attic, throw it out or regift. Bipolar is the gift that just keeps on giving.

And birthdays just tend to remind me of all the time I have spent with bipolar disorder. It reminds me of all the things the disease has taken away. And if I happen to be anhedonic, I don't even feel like cake in the least. (Which is a shame because philosophically, I really like cake.)

So in today's video I talk about why I didn't even have candles and a cake for my birthday.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2011, January 30). Bipolar for Your Birthday: Another Day with Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 10 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

October, 14 2023 at 5:05 am

Hi, today is my birthday and I feel very grateful for it. I had calls from family in the morning, I had to remind friends of my birthday because I have become quite isolated from friends and they are busy anyways with work, children and other commitments. Bipolar disorder is a real demon I'd say because when I have episodes of depression I can become super low and everything in my usual routine feels near impossible to do. I am trying to beat this feeling.

March, 22 2016 at 8:57 am

It's my birthday this week so I decided to take the week off, relax and do a little spring cleaning to occupy my time. So far I haven't got much done, but that's okay. I've been dieting for a while now and doing water aerobics 2x a week. I've managed to lose a whole pant size despite medication by cutting waaaaay back on what I was eating and cutting out the comfort junk foods. Whether I manage to keep it off will probably be another story but for now I choose to bask in my victory. Like the previous bloggers I too often morn what I missed out on over the years, especially on my birthday and now that more than 1/2 my life is over. It really sucks but I still keep plugging away trying to make baby steps toward some sort positive changes. After all what's the alternative. Now that Spring is here it reminds me of what my Grandma used to say "Learn to bloom where you are planted". I feel more like a withered old weed that someone has poured bleach on but instead of feeling sorry for myself today I bought a nice bouquet of bright coloured daffodils for my table to cheer me up and then went out for a nice long walk in the sunshine practicing some mindful meditation along the way deeply breathing in the fragrant scent of cherry blossoms

March, 20 2013 at 6:32 am

This made me smile and laugh today. It made me think of a birthday card I received. It said "one day only matters if you are a banana" (with pictures of a perfectly yellow banana and then a slightly brown banana with black dots). I have often wished that I could re-gift my bipolar disorder to my father who made my life a living hell growing up.

May, 5 2011 at 10:09 am

ldycheroke57, I loved reading your comment. Especially the last paragraph. I also try to do some things to the extreme, just to feel the moment, feel the rush, something to try to grasp onto in the moments where I don't want to live...I can stop and try to remember that in actuality I prefer wringing the most I can out of my life...bipolar or not!

Natasha Tracy
February, 4 2011 at 8:08 am

Hi Meredith,
Yeah, I understand. But when I experienced, it was kind of nice having strangers say Happy Birthday. There was no expectation on my part, so I could just privately smile a little. It's not like the high-stress of a party.
But to each his own, of course.
- Natasha

Natasha Tracy
February, 4 2011 at 8:06 am

Hi David,
I know the feeling. But if there's one bright spot it's this: your birthday only comes once a year :)
Maybe pick a Tuesday a month from now, go out with a friend, and just have a celebration for yourself. Not a birthday. Just a "yay me" day. When you feel like it. Not when the calendar tells you to. Because there will be days when you don't feel like you do right now, and they're worth celebrating.
- Natasha

February, 2 2011 at 3:29 pm

I changed my birthdate on FB the week before my birthday just so people wouldn't randomly tell me happy birthday.

February, 2 2011 at 9:53 am

Once I passed 40, I use to sort of dread my birthday for a lot of the reasons you and David share. Getting older in a youth-worshiping culture, time passing me by, midlife crisis, the milestone thing, hating being bipolar another year and another and another...
Then I got cancer. Talk about a wake up call. Sweating whether it had spread to other parts of my body or not. Wondering if I was going to waste away and die hideously, begging for the release of death like my mother-in-law died of bone cancer. Lost a kidney to that disease. Thank god I had two and could afford to lose one. And it hadn't spread. At least last time I was checked. They never tell you you are cured once you have had the big "C". They just write on your chart "no evidence of cancer". What if it had been my lungs or my brain? Cancer has a way of making you rethink your priorities and just how valuable your life is to you. F*ck wanting and trying to kill myself during a depressive episode. I had a bad episode just three weeks ago where I was thinking everyone would be better off if I were dead. But when I'm not being sucked under the cesspool of the opposite extreem of my illness, I realize having bipolar wasn't "quite" as terrible as dying of cancer, losing parts of myself piecemeal, being slowly and agnonizingly poisoned by chemo, being burned alive by radiation treatments. (Reading back on that last sentence, substitute "bipolar treatments, and it almost fits the same discription as cancer treatments!)
Almost, especially the depression part of my disease, but not quite. So I celebrate my birthdays again. I don't just celebrate, I sing, dance and cheer, throwing up a pumping fist in triumph. Take that, fate! Here's to you, cancer! F*ck YOU, bipolar disorder! It's been another year, and I'm still here, still alive and getting revenge. My revenge is that I'm still breathing. Still doing. The best revenge against cancer and bipolar I can get is to stubbornly ENJOY my life as much as I can. To live it, experience it, drown in it. To defiantly keep on living, out of spite if for no other reason. I'm not going to lay down and die just because fate decrees that for me. Natasha, I see why people like to paraglide or jump out of planes; it is in DEFIANCE of the nether that wants, seeks to devour you. You want to run, screaming obscenities at the fates, and throw yourself into the empty air with abandon, and feel the terror and the joy of your life's blood coursing through your veins, feel how puny you are in the world, yet still triumphant and defiant and ALIVE. I'm here, I'm still alive, and not beaten!

January, 31 2011 at 6:54 am

Hi. My birthday was last weekend as well and i didn't celebrate it or tell my friends. Anniversaries suck because they remind me of all the missed milestones and how far back i'm lagging compared to where i thought i'd be. I feel like it was nothing to celebrate especially since i'd been having suicidal thoughts all week and seeing ways to die all around me

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