“Birthdays are the worst days.” I didn’t say it, Biggie did (RIP). What I said was more along the lines of a Mobb Deep lyric of “fuck birthdays”. Or at least I use to say it. With my birthday falling in this month, I find myself considering all the ways I’ve felt about my birthday thru out my life.
Today while talking on the phone with Amy, she happened to mention the fact my birthday was coming up later on in this month, and out of no where I became over whelmed with emotion, unexpectedly. Cudnt say whether the emotion arose from a combination of factors I was already feeling and dealing with in that particular moment, or because of a more deeply rooted issue stemming from the effects my birthday tends to have on me.
Over the span that is my life, the day of my birth has been many things to me.
It’s been a day I tried so hard to forget, that one year, it literally snuck up on me and I didn’t realize it was my birthday until my best friend mentioned the fact of it the morning of at the breakfast table. True story.
My birthday has been a day specifically meant for me to get as high as possble. A cultural practice I picked up from the guys in here, perhaps to try to forget we’re in prison, if not jus for a day, or maybe, jus cos that’s how birthdays get celebrated in the joint.
My birthday has even been a day that flat out depressed me. I’m talking, without notice or reason, jus sum plain old sadness. A state of blues more worn then my state blue uniform….sum of the loneliest days of my life and I’ve spent months in a one man isolation cell.
It’s been a day I hid from everyone around me. A day I wudnt mention, period. A conversation I wudnt bring up, and avoid if asked about it. A defense mechanism against depression? A defense against the ppl whose birthday practices only made me more depressed or agitated? Idk. The one thing I didn’t want to hear from ppl is ‘happy birthday’, cos fuck birthdays, u know.
I remember back, growing up in my Mom’s house, she and my siblings wud make my birthday the happiest day ever for me. Even tho we didn’t have much money, it wasn’t about what “things” I wud get, my Mom is what made my birthday special, and I miss feeling that kinda special. Maybe, jus maybe thats what was depressing me. In prison, being special is not always a good thing. For a long time in my life I tried my hardest to fit in with a crowd and social scene that I not only was never going to fit into, but was never going to be accepting into. I was too different in too many ways So, I let prison take my special day…and turn it into jus another Tuesday.
I began to wonder how I went from my birthday being one of the happiest days of my life, to being a time I ran from, got depressed over and wanted to forget.
Spending my birthday last year on a surprise visit from my Mom, which I thank Amy for making possible, was the best surprise ever. I don’t particularly like surprises, but I have to say, not only did they get me good on that one, but I really appreciate they did. I loved it. Amy said she had never seen me smile so deeply. I was able to put my head on my Moms shoulder and became her little boy again. With cake and ice cream to boot.
That surprise visit from my Mom and Amy created a momentum I’ve been brave enough to let change me. Move me a new direction for my old ways of acting. No more internal conflict as the order of the day, I’m going back to cake and ice cream. No more depression or drugs, I’m going all the way back to how special my Mom’s love made me feel when I was a kid.
My life may not have been what I wud have chosen it to be were I to have known I was coming, but now that I’m here, I’m a make the best of it, starting with taking my birthday back from prison. So let me be the first one to wish me happy birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAY!!! :-). Glad to have u back!
Jason B. Thompson
Categories: Jason Thompson