Dec 19, 2021

Holidays and Depression: How do we cope?

 It's no secret that I've been struggling with depression for years. It was exacerbated by my Mom's passing. It still doesn't get any easier, especially since my Mom loved Christmas. I love(d) Christmas as well but, It becomes bittersweet to celebrate Christmas when it reminds me of my loss. The Advent Calendar unofficially started around 2017 and with the highs and lows  it has always been threatened to end as a tradition here. Now that I have to deal with greater responsibilities, it's getting a bit harder to do so.  Also, it doesn't help me that due to my depression, the spark of Christmas is being weakened.

How do others do it? By others I mean those dealing with depression and loss. How can they deal with the happiest season being the saddest season? I can put a "Happy face" be all "Christmassy" to the point that even Mariah Carey's infamous song can be tolerable, but what breaks me are the tears that involuntarily slip down my face as the Hoff is butchering Feliz Navidad. Tears that carve away the mask, cutting deep into my soul with surgical precision and burning brighter than a thousand suns. 

I know that I'm allowed to be sad, to feel sorrow, but why does it have to be on Christmas!? It's supposed to be the Most Wonderful time of the year!! Or at least that's what the song says. Why must I be plagued by emptiness,yearning, and guilt?  The one time of the year where I wish for some sort of normalcy, I cannot get, because my subconscious is actively trying to suck the joy out of Christmas. How do others with depression and dealing with the pain of losing someone extremely important do it?

I know I shouldn't be trying to put a brave face and pretend everything is going to be alright. Problem is that I have the rest of the year to feel pain and sorrow, why can't I just have Christmas to feel "almost normal"? How do you do it? Survive the Holidays without being a hysterical mess? How can you endure a time of happiness knowing that you can't achieve said happiness? 
I've done the self-help, seeked counseling both medical and spiritual to no avail... I feel as trapped as a Japanese Schoolgirl in a tentacle movie... so it won't end well. I don't know how y'all do it, because it's hard as hell. All I can think of is that I have no idea how I keep going on. Much less how do you do it, but it's amazing that you can pull it off. YOU'RE AMAZING!! Just keep at it. I don't know if it gets better, but there's only one way to find out since Time travel hasn't been invented yet.

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