This year, for my 36th birthday, I’m asking you to donate €36 to One In Four.
When I was growing up my Mum and Dad gave me an amazing childhood. It was filled with love and support. They were interested in everything I was interested in. I remember my Dad singing a lot and I remember my Mum laughing a lot.
And my birthdays – every 22nd of December – were amazing.
We always went out for dinner to my favourite restaurant and I felt really, really special. My birthday was probably my favourite day of the year.
And then my Dad died when I was 29.
That’s destroyed my brain in many ways. Emotionally and mentally, years later, I still really struggle with it.
And my birthdays aren’t the same. Now I feel a massive sadness every year on the 22nd of December. I just want the day to be over. Yes, it’s lovely having a son to celebrate it with, but really I’d rather put the energy in to his birthday.
So I’ve decided not to celebrate it any more.
Or more specifically – instead I’m going to spend the day working on The Unbirthday Project.
I’m devoting the day to writing to everyone I know – individually – to say thank you. Thank you for being part of my life. Thank you for the impact you’ve had on me in the past and present. And for each person, thank you for something specific.
I hope it makes everyone feel good. I hope it makes me feel better.
And I hope it raises money for One In Four – an amazing charity that works with so many people whose childhoods were robbed through sexual abuse.