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How Depression and Anxiety Take the Warmth Out of Christmas

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Isn’t it?

December means presents, red and green decorations and hot chocolate after playing for hours in the snow.

December represents Christmas. Not only that, it also represents New Year’s. Everyone loves this time of the year.

So why it is that instead of the excitement about presents and decorations, I’m debilitated by anxiety holding me prisoner because of all of the expectations? The time of year when those closest to you visit and reminisce — except I’m not close with these people who call me family, and it’s not that I don’t care or don’t want to be, it’s just anxiety is overwhelming and I don’t have it in me to connect. However, I also can’t pretend my constant loneliness and isolation isn’t killing me moment by moment, day by day.

Why instead of taking in how the snow sparkles from the sun, I see nothing but the dull gray skies. I feel nothing but the stabbing cold wind and it’s almost a relief when its bite finally numbs me. For them, it’s family and happiness and new beginnings, but I can’t ever get past the chilling bite of that December wind or the near-constant gray skies… or the anniversaries of everything gone wrong in my life.

When everyone curls up with a hot drink and their loved ones, I’m curled up in the dark and shelter of my bed, willing a panic attack away (and failing).

The time of year where everyone is happy and together, I couldn’t feel more alone. For me, it’s anxiety and unbearable loneliness.

This time of the year drains me.

Because you see 00 the ending of one year brings the start of another. For anyone else, that means hope and resolutions… but I know better.

So show me a sign when you’re ready to understand — understand the hand I’ve been dealt in this life and why I feel this way. Why whenever you approach, I’m quiet or cold and why I’m never really there.

I never was good at weathering the storm.

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Getty Images photo via gpointstudio

Originally published: December 5, 2017
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