So here we are at that time of year when everyone is supposed to be happy and glowing with Christmas spirit. As for me? This time of year really fucks with me.
This has traditionally been a time of year when bad things have happened to me. The suicide of a friend at the start of one holiday season. The death of sibling at the end of another. Several childhood hospitalizations in between. An emotional meltdown during the 2004 season.
For the definitive story on why the Christmas season throws me for a loop, read one of my first posts on this blog, “An OCD Christmas.”
The holidays have been far kinder to me in more recent years, though not without its occasional bumps. There’s the seasonal depression that throws me off balance every year and the struggle that comes with being a recovering binge eater at a time of year when my drug of choice is all around me.
My story isn’t special. It’s pretty typical, actually. I’ve talked to many people who struggle at the holidays for a variety of similar reasons.
All is not bleak, however. Over the years, I’ve worked hard on changing my Christmas attitude for the better. Some examples:
- I work to keep my eye on the big picture, specifically the fact that this season is truly about celebrating the birth of Christ. Since I’m a believer, that one has kept me increasingly grounded.
- Prozac and Wellbutrin go a long way in keeping my brain out of the dark, ice-encrusted gutter.
- Family and friends have always been a crucial ingredient in seeing the joy of the season. It just took a long time for me to appreciate that.
- If more bad things happen during the holidays, I know that family and friends are always there to soften the blow.
- I have a thicker skin than I did back when holiday pressure was beating me into rubble.
And with that, I enter the 2013 holiday season full of hope that this year will be better than previous years.