A part of me wants to complain about how difficult it is to buy Christmas presents on a tight budget, to whine about how difficult
it was to toss the Christmas tree on top of the car by myself (with kids in tow), to bemoan how overwhelming it is trying to get everything done between Thanksgiving and Christmas without constant help, to explain how depressed I will be to not have my children by my side every minute of my time off.
But the whys are inconsequential. The fact is that I know many people stand upon the brink of depression at this time of year, with the daylight decreasing to nothingness on either side of a work day, with the onslaught of money-spending requirements and the crush of time-spending commitments, with the holidays to remind you of how happy everyone else is.
I am not standing on the brink. I have wonderful people in my life who are holding me back from it, far from it, and I am eternally
grateful for that. Without my family, my friends, my boyfriend, I would be so very much closer. But I can still see the brink. I know that it’s there. And from my distant view, I still feel the fear of it. Giving in to that fear means believing I failed at life, that it will never be fully satisfying, that I don’t deserve all that I want.
Which is why, on the days when I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to shower, I don’t want to put on nice clothes or force myself to eat, I do it anyway. It is why, on Thanksgiving, when I was alone for the night at 8 o’clock and wanted nothing more than to cry myself to sleep, I put on my favorite movie. It is why, on Black Friday when I woke up alone and lonely as could be, I went shopping, even though I hate shopping on Black Friday. It is why, when I see a mound of dirty
dishes and huge piles of laundry and wish I could ignore them forever, I drag myself off the couch. It’s why I run even though it’s cold out, it’s why I smile even though I’m hurting inside, it’s why I call or text people when I just want to hide.
Because when I accomplish something, I feel proud; when I exercise, I get a rush; when I smile, I am happier; when I talk, I feel better.
When I focus on the good in my life, it’s awesome. In a year’s time, my life has changed dramatically. I’m not used to it all yet. But once it all settles in, once I’ve accepted all the changes and cleaned up all the debris, it will be beyond wonderful. I just have to remember not to focus on the debris while I’m doing it.
I can’t presume to give advice to anyone who is standing at the edge of the precipice that is depression, or anyone who is truly alone for the holidays, or anyone going through a difficult time of life.
But I can tell you that you’re not alone. That we will all make it through this. That you can find people or places or things that will help. And that if we focus on the good, we will have much happier holidays.
This post was written by Penney Blakely. Contact Penney at email@example.com
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