How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi Kate, Tomorrow is my birthday and I feel quite sad about

This answer was rated:

Hi Kate,

Tomorrow is my birthday and I feel quite sad about it. I want to feel festive or at least good about it but I feel that I should be in a different place in my life. Plus I just feel that all the bad things that have happened to me shouldn't have. Sometimes it is difficult to believe it's my life.

I wonder how long people are in therapy for. I am guessing it varies with each person but I have been with my therapist for 2 years and wonder if she is thinking that it is long enough and I'm not further along yet. I remember she once told she doesn't tell patients that there is an end date to therapy because then some patients continue to need help on purpose just so it doesn't end. I guess this is a good thing.

My life has had so much sadness in it. I know I sound whiny and complaining (because I am) but I certainly didn't think I would have another tough year filled with assaults and physical sicknesses. I wonder if there is happiness for me to get or will I just go through another year filled with sadness and fear. I guess there is no way of knowing.

Any thoughts? They are always appreciated.


Happy Birthday! I am sorry that you do not feel better about your birthday. But it can sometimes be difficult because many people feel the pressure to see their birthday as a very happy time and sometimes, that is just not so. Birthdays can be reminders that you have not achieved what you wanted to achieve or that you miss someone special, for example.

It may help to take that expectation away from yourself. Treat your birthday as a special day, but don't put undue pressure on yourself to make it a perfect day. Do some things you enjoy and maybe treat yourself some, but do what you can and do not perfection from the day.

Everyone is different in therapy as to how long they are there. Your therapist is right, putting a limit on therapy can be damaging because sometimes there are issues that are uncovered that need dealt with, or as in your case, things happen that are traumatizing and that need to be worked through. So don't pressure yourself to meet an expectation. You can be in therapy for as long as you need to.

It has been a very difficult year for you, Kathy. And although you have gotten through it, it was not easy. But that does not mean you will have another bad year. Telling yourself that is going to discourage you and make you expect the worst. And that can make even the happiest things that happen feel a little tainted. It is hard, but try to look forward to the upcoming year with an open mind. It may not go well, but then again maybe it will be your best year yet! If it helps, take it one step at a time. See what you can do today or even just in the next week. Looking at the whole year is going to be too overwhelming.

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Kate,

I feel quite fortunate to have found you on JA. You have really helped me since we first started chatting. Often you have been sort of a life saver in between my appointments with my therapist. I just want you to know how appreciated you are.


Thank you so much, Kathy! That was nice to hear.


If I don't get a chance to talk with you again, have a Happy Birthday.