Hi, I can really relate to your post, although I am much older than you at 44..I remember many a birthday being spent alone and miserable..that no one cared and I was forgotten about and unloved (which in reality is not true..it was the depression talking and feeling of abandonment that you are going through)..no body remembered it - not my friends or even my family..what little family I have left. My friends and family also knew I spent Christmas alone and Thanksgiving, and they would not call me on those days. It was just another day. In my twenties and thirties it really bothered me..but it doesn't anymore, because I am used to spending Christmas, Thanksgiving, Christmas eve and New Years alone..so I figure..what the heck..my birthday is just another day, and I will spend it alone as well, and not have any expectations that anyone will remember it..that way, if someone does, I have always enjoyed "pleasant suprises". Sometimes, I just go out by myself and treat myself to appetizers, and a drink..
Just a suggestion..why not make hints to your family and friends that it is your birthday and see if anyone would like to meet you out for a drink or dinner somewhere to celebrate? What will probably end up happening, is that they will all invite their friends, and you will get lots of presents and people buying you dinner or drinks out of it. I recently started doing that..I would tell my friends about two weeks before my birthday, that I did not want to spend it alone, and if they would like to meet me somewhere for a drink..many times, I get a resounding "yes" and then my birthday ends up being really nice. Sometimes, people get really involved with their own problems and busy hectic lives..so please don't take it personally..I don't think people forget your birthday on purpose or do it maliciosly and you are certainly worth having a great birthday..but maybe just put out a few "hints" a few weeks before hand...and they will come!