As the years go by I’ve learned the Holiday trio (Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year) can be depressing. Stress, illness, addiction, financial woes and other challenges don’t go away because it’s the holiday season. Meanwhile the holidays heighten the expectation that we should be kind (if not oozing the Norman Rockwell painting-ish kinda love) to all around us. Well I call bull*ish and no, I don’t have to relent and grin. Happy freakin’ holidays.Psychology today reports:
For some people, they get depressed at Christmas and even angry because of the excessive commercialization of Christmas, with the focus on gifts and the emphasis on “perfect” social activities. Other get depressed because Christmas appears to be a trigger to engage in excessive self-reflection and rumination about the inadequacies of life (and a “victim” mentality) in comparison with other people who seem to have more and do more. Still others become anxious at Christmas because of the pressure (both commercial and self-induced) to spend a lot of money on gifts and incur increasing debt. Other people report that they dread Christmas because of the expectations for social gatherings with family, friends and acquaintances that they’d rather not spend time with. And finally, many people feel very lonely at Christmas, because they have suffered the loss of loved ones or their jobs.
One day I looked up and found my reason(s) to get out of bed – grown up, with their own schedules and living their own lives. I reminisce about family and friends who posted HAPPY NEW YEAR wishes on my Facebook timeline in January who have died and are no longer with us, magnifying an urgency in me as I am reminded of the shortness of life. Every holiday I struggle as I miss my Dad and experience post-holiday drain after expending time, anxiety & energy in a valiant effort to celebrate & create new family traditions. As I mask frustrations and empty feelings the New Year rounds the corner to pile on more. Here comes those stupid jewelry commercials triggering thoughts of my divorce and the ruined vow to marry once. This leads down the road of realization I’ve spent the past 10 years single. My image of sharing the rest of my days as part of a dynamic duo in the best-est mutually loving relationship does not match how I thought it would look.
It may sound like dread as the New Year rolls in but there are soooo many wonderful moments to celebrate from amazing growth of my children, traveling, loving my job, improving the brand ME by going to school even dating. I’ve have had moments that weren’t highlights to post or make me appear to be a wise wealth of inspirational quote memes on FacebookTwitterIntsagramSnapPinterist but who hasn’t?
As we prep our black-eyed peas in preparation for the New Year, reviewing unaccomplished resolutions, rewinding memories of missed loved ones remember the good. Don’t get stuck spiraling deep into the dark, bottomless gloom of sadness, depression and in some cases, suicide. Be mindful those who the Holiday Trio may trigger into depression and rally. Rally in prayer, contact & show love! As my Dad would advise – start the New Year (and all things) the way you can hold up. Things may not be how I thought they would but I (and you too) have a fresh start, vicious determination and a fresh page to write the next chapter of my life as I welcome 2017 as a survivor & not a victim under my brim.