Christmastime With Depression
This has always been my favorite time of year. 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 naive 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 OK. And that’s because I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be here when Christmas is over, and I’m 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 Christmas still is to me, is hope. And hope means maybe, just maybe, I’ll be OK.
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Thinkstock photo by glebchik