Show me someone who is perpetually happy, cheerful and full of the holiday spirit and I'll show you a liar. Or a good actor. Because I truly believe that EVERYONE gets the Christmas blues during the period between Thanksgiving (maybe even before) and the New Year. Or perhaps I should be more politically correct and say Holiday Blues. But it doesn't really matter what I call it, it seems to me that this time of year, no matter how filled it is with music, decorations and endless sentimental movies on the Hallmark channels fills us all with sadness, gloom, malaise, or whatever you want to call it at some point.
Yes, even this seemingly happy blogger finds herself depressed during the season. I can't tell you exactly why. Maybe it's the fact that money always seems to be so tight. Now, don't get me wrong; I have enough (although don't we all want/need more) and I know that there are MANY others who have it much harder than I do, but the lack of endless financial resources seems to rear its ugly and jealous filled head more during the season when I want to give (and receive) more and more, and yet my wallet seems to have less and less.
Or maybe it's the darkness that envelopes my portion of the globe. Sure there are twinkling lights on the tree, candles aglow on the Advent wreath and giant luminescent inflatables on every other lawn, but the sun rises later and sets earlier making. The days seem grayer. Snow may be fluffy and white in the first hours of its falling, but after that it's not quite so nice. The cold doesn't help much either and the need to put on layer after layer to head outdoors.
There is so much to do. Is it any wonder I feel so tired? Even those things that can bring joy can instead bring you down.
Or maybe it's just that we feel we SHOULD be happy. The pressure of smiling faces and an all perfect holiday. Perfection that we logically know cannot be achieved, but are hearts refuse to let go of.
What advice can I give to myself? All that comes to mind is: Buck up, sissy pants. (Straight from the mouth of Beverly Hofstadter, from "The Big Bang Theory.") Not great words of wisdom, but for me, a reminder that I AM strong. That this darkness I feel is only temporary. And if, for some reason, it continues on, that I AM strong enough to get help for myself.
This is NOT guidance I'd give to anyone else. I am not a medical professional or even a good advice giver. And if you are feeling depressed, during this holiday season or anytime at all, seeking help would be a wise thing to do. (And you are wise person if you are reading this...really!)
The point is this post is NOT to offer advice, but to point out that it is not abnormal to feel blue during the holidays. That you are NOT alone. The most wonderful time of the year is not wonderful for all of us...and that's ok. NOT being full of good cheer is actually pretty normal. You are not an outsider when you seek help for depression; in reality you are just like many of us.
For whatever reason you might feel blue this season. You are not alone. As the song goes: “Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow. So have yourself a merry little Christmas now." We will muddle along. We will have dark days, even when we think they "should" be light. Your feelings and mine are valid. But we can still have a merry little Christmas now.
(NOTE: If you are feeling more than just blue, PLEASE go to: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ orhttps://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/index.html You MATTER!)