The holidays are supposed to be one of the “greatest and joyful” time of the year. However, for a lot of people it’s actually a very difficult time.
Personally, I have suffered with holiday depression many times and I’m actually struggling with it now.
Holidays are a reminder of the importance of family. For me, I have a large part of my family missing and I have lost many close family members. This time of year is always a reminder of the people that are no longer a part of my life. It’s also a reminder that I’m single and pretty much alone. There are never any holiday parties for me or at least not any that doesn’t require me to be the “third wheel”.
I do have my daughter but she also has her fathers family. (He and I have been divorced for over 10 years) So she splits her time between me and her dad. For Christmas Eve, she always spends the entire day with him. My mom always spends Christmas Eve with her husbands side. My siblings all have their significant other’s family that they are obligated to. This has always left me spending Christmas Eve home all alone. It has become my own personal tradition. I have been given “pity invites” to other Christmas Eve gatherings but I feel uncomfortable knowing that I was asked because I was felt sorry for and I always end up feeling left out when I’m with other families that I don’t know. I find that it’s much easier for me to just remain home alone.
Obviously, it all gets very difficult. I try to pretend like it’s not Christmas when things get really hard. For example, I don’t want any reminders of the holidays, no holiday movies etc. The less reminders that I have, the easier it is for me to get through it all.
A lot of people don’t understand this and they think I’m a Scrooge and some sort of awful person for not feeling the “Christmas Spirit”. It’s not about that, it’s about trying to survive through it all. I have spent many Christmas Eve’s literally on the floor crying in loneliness and pain, soemtime with suicidal thoughts, and feeling like I had absolutely no one.
The day after Christmas, I wake up and all those depressive feelings are just magically gone and I feel like I can breathe again. After New Years Eve, I then feel like myself again.
I know that I am not the only person that is stricken with this. There are thousands if not hundreds of thousands more. That’s why I wanted to address this so that anyone that suffers from it too, knows that they are not alone.
In addition to depression, there are also many people with no families at all and/or people that are grieving.
Society really needs to start looking at all these people who suffer this way with more kindness, understanding and compassion.
Depression, loneliness and grief are not things that you can just snap out of. Those of us afflicted are well aware that we are supposed to be “full of joy” and “spirit”. However, it’s not something that we are able to feel because of the overwhelming saddness. If we could change it, we would.
So please try to be more understanding of people that are going through this.If you know someone, let them know that you are there for them and that they are very much loved and valued. Ask them what you can do to make things better for them instead of getting angry and resentful at them because they are in “bad moods” during the holidays. Until you go through this, you just seriously have no idea of what it’s like.
I am very much Christain and what I do that helps is to try and focus on the real reason for Christmas, which is the birth of Christ. It’s not about the presents, parties etc. It’s about our Savior being born. Also, I try to do as much volunteer and charity work as I can. I find that the more that I give of myself in service, the more I get “out of self” and it eases the burdens greatly.
If you are someone that finds the holidays to be an emotionally difficult time, please don’t be afraid to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to. You can contact me filling out the contact form on the top right of this site. Please know that you are not alone and you will get through this, I promise!
I’m including some links for helpful articles for those that may need: