Christmastime with Depression

sad_christmas1“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

This has always been my favorite time. The lights, decorations and Christmas songs, the family gatherings and the food! Everything about it makes me smile. I deck the halls as much as possible and can be caught singing obnoxiously to anything and everything labeled Christmas. In years past, December has always acted as a bright, magical band aid to the soul, healing any imperfections from the months preceding it.

This time, things are a bit harder. This time, I am not well. It’s getting colder, and I’m in pain. A stressful year is coming to a close and I have not coped well. I’ve struggled, fighting my own mind to try to be normal, trying to find happy. I’ve turned to medications to aid in my battle and even tattooed myself to have a symbol of my fight. Still, I’m struggling. My medications have not been the magical little white pill I was so naïve to expect. I’m hurting my husband, my family and my kids in my anger, my sadness and my inability to cope. A time that has always brought me so much joy is now tainted by the fog that clouds my brain.

While others are out Christmas shopping and making holiday plans, I’m hiding at home and making excuses. Others are calling family and friends, reveling in the joy of Christmas. I’m making calls to my doctor, sobbing at the slightest thing and wondering how I’ll survive another year. Friends are taking their kids to see Santa, and I’m putting on Christmas movies, hoping to have some time alone.

Instead of excitement and joy, I’ve got guilt and hurt. But let me tell you something. I’m trying. Even though I’m hurting, I still bugged my husband until we got a tree. I’m still buying presents, making holiday treats and putting on Christmas music. I’ve still decorated the house and made a wreath with friends. And when Christmas is here, I’ll smile and try my best to give my family the best day. I’ll even trick my husband into standing under some mistletoe. Christmas this year is hard. But I’m still here. I’m still trying and still pretending I’m okay. And that’s because I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be here when Christmas is over, and spending the new year trying to get better. I’m working on my resolutions for 2017 and if I succeed, maybe next Christmas will be better. Maybe I’ll be back to singing my heart out and I’ll be shelling out cookies instead of shedding tears. Because one thing that Christmas still is to me, is hope. And hope means maybe, just maybe, I’ll be okay.

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You can also find this story on theMighty.

If you or someone you know need help this time of year, or any time, please reach out.

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One thought on “Christmastime with Depression

  1. Keep going. You’re absolutely not alone. Why do you think I was deathly ill every important event and holidays? Except that one time on Thanksgiving, that was real. They took out a body part (gallbladder). I would wish sickness upon myself just to have a legitimate excuse to not participate because the phony act I had to put on made my issues worse. Insteadu of enjoying family time I would leave there feeling worse, because of what a failure I knew I was. Especially on Daddy’s side. Grama and him were always positive and never ever judged, or made me feel bad about my cycle of bad decisions in life. They were comforting and ready to listen. Although they were always willing to give the loving advice and support I craved, no matter what, it didn’t help. In turn, that contributed to even more guilt on my part for feeling like such a failure in everything. Which is why, I avoided holidays with my loved ones. For the kids, I over- compensated by turning our house into a winter wonderland and catering to their Christmas lists, the best I could, of course. I never even mentioned my feelings because all I would hear is, you’ll be okay. The kids need you, just do; (insert useless advice).
    I don’t know how to help other than tell you you’re not alone, never were, and never will be.
    Also, your struggle is going to be your success story one day, and I truly believe it’s going to start right here, in this outlet you’ve created, that is going to help you get through.
    You’re amazing
    Love always,
    You know who 😘😘

    Like

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