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When Depression Makes You Struggle With New Year's Festivities

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New Year’s Eve is a confusing time for me. A time of joy and happiness, of celebration and forgiveness; but also a time of heartache for many. New Year’s is often known as a time for new beginnings with loved ones. But what happens when you want to escape the thought of beginning all over again? What happens when those loved ones aren’t so loving?

You may brave the night, go to a party, be uncomfortable all night and then spend the countdown alone in the bathroom to avoid the screams and cheers and constant reminders of another year to come. You may opt out of the whole party atmosphere and spend the night at home with your dog, junk food and a cheesy romcom or as many disney movies you can cram into one night. Or you may go to the party and let your thoughts get the most of you, worried you’ll be thought of as a “bore,” so you try to be the life of the party and you probably end up making questionable choices you regret.

Whatever scenario sounds most like you, please know; it doesn’t have to be this way. If you struggle with the festivities and the thoughts of the year to come, know that you are not alone. Lots of people feel this way. Remember that you and many other people also felt this way 365 days ago, yet here you are; you survived the year. You made it. You did this. No one else.

It’s OK to fear or even dread the unknown. It’s OK to spend this night (and every other night, in fact) how you want to. Don’t give in to the pressures of the evening if that’s not what you want. After all, it’s your life, your emotions and no one else has to feel them with you.

Just please do yourself a favor: No matter how you choose to spend the night — party hat and champagne, or dressing gown and hot chocolate — just be kind to yourself.

As that clock strikes midnight, I wish you all a new year of change, a year of improvement and a year you will appreciate at the next countdown. Who knows, you may even say it was a fairly “happy” new year.

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Getty image via KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Originally published: December 22, 2017
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