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To the Person Stuck in Depression This Holiday Season

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Dear friend,

The holidays are upon us. Amidst the cheer, the smiles, the excitement, and the laughter, I want you to know, I haven’t forgotten you. I haven’t forgotten that a time most joyous and spectacular for some can turn most sour for you at any time. A time that should be filled with mini miracles, answered prayers, and gratified requests can also be a time when all these things and more fall flat at your doorstep, and like the tip of a snowflake brushing against a flame, your entitled happiness can disappear in a matter of milliseconds.

I know. I haven’t forgotten. I know no matter how much you want to be filled with glee this season and bursting with joy at the seams, no matter how hard you try to wholeheartedly celebrate your everlasting favorite time of year, your trepidation, your fear, your angst, and your memories are far from incapable of bursting their way back into your fluttering heart and bruise it, over and over again.

I know you feel it coming. Like a wild animal, awaiting its moment to pounce. And you feel the need to brace yourself as if you are preparing for nuclear war. A war, if enabled, would be the death of you… once… again. I know. Your bed and your covers are waiting.

I know this time has a track record of being the hardest time of the year for you. And as much as you’d long to forget the Christmases gone awry and the Thanksgivings fallen asunder, sometimes, they can burst through your fragile wall anyway. A wall it’s taken you years to rebuild. And every brick, you eye with wild eyes, silently praying not one will budge.

That year when what once was your favorite holiday soon turned your immortal enemy is one hard to forget. How could I forget? It was the time of year that started it all. I know. I was there.

There were the hissing, frantic whispers; the ceaseless, boisterous chatter; the endless, relentless taunting; and the cruel sideways glances that left you completely stuck. The unwelcoming stares, the sneers and the glares. Digesting everyone’s words as bizarre and so absurd. So convinced it was all a lie. You could just roll over and die. And even though it was your favorite time of year, I know it mattered not, my dear.

I know. I remember. I saw you cry.

This monster trounced upon your holiday. And it shoved you to the ground. It grabbed you by the hair. And made you spin around. It yanked you by your wrists and pulled you towards the blade. And even though you refused it, your depression didn’t fade.

Your entire world had fallen apart. At the hands of whom, you did not know. All you knew was misery, you could not let it go. Destruction had you by the hands. Despair, by the feet. You turned away Devil’s food cake! And all your other favorite sweets.

And all the Christmas songs. And all the Christmas magic. Were gravely torn asunder. No, you couldn’t wonder. For you, the race was done. And in your eyes, the mayhem won.

So I say again I’m sorry. I couldn’t help you more. Couldn’t reach out and tell you. Your life will reach light once more.

I haven’t forgotten what Christmas once meant to you. And I’ll try to protect its true meaning.

No, I will never forget.

So I will sing with extra cheer this season. I will smile with glee and be grateful and have a reason. I will tell the ones I love I love them a hundred times more than I will hug them. I will tell my man there’s no person above him. I will fall to my knees, thank God, and pray. Thank Him for giving me each new day.

I know what you went through and I know the fear still coursing through your veins. And I’ll try my darndest not to let you near the pain.

But I make no full-proof promises. I don’t have full control.

As much as I know, as long as it’s been, you’re still subject to falling again.

Yes, this letter is addressed to you.

But I’ve received the letter, too.

Why? Simply put.

I am you.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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Originally published: November 22, 2016
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