Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas

December is here, and Christmas is just a few days away. Christmas is supposed to be the time when friends and families come together as one and enjoy one another’s company, exchange presents, and maybe go to church if they are religious.

For a long time I’ve been ambivalent towards Christmas and other holidays. They have often been the times that I have felt most miserable and most alone. When I have felt the most lacking. And the yearly rituals are a reminder that another year has gone by in which I’ve failed to achieve anything substantial, while those around me seem to be speeding towards their goals.

This year, it doesn’t bother me so much. I’m still suffering from depression and anxiety, and probably always will be. Loneliness has not gone away. But I have made a lot of progress towards accepting myself as I am, and also in being able to try different approaches to dealing with my depression. There is no magic solution, but this year I worked extremely hard to keep myself going, and it seems to have paid off.

It has been a rough ride, but I’ve made it through 2010. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I am more capable than I have ever been of facing it. For a long time I wanted other people to reach out and save me, and that desire, while understandable, was not really helpful. I did receive help here and there, and I appreciate it greatly, but for the most part I have made it on my own. In the end, I think we all do this – or don’t, as the case may be. Despite what we might want, no one can be there for us all the time, this is the way life is.

I think embracing the way life is, the way the world really works, is the key to getting through. When it comes right down to it, I don’t think we have much choice in life at all. Most things are out of our control, and usually not the way we would like them to be. The holiday season is no different.

I won’t be having a wonderful Christmas, but I will get through it okay. Maybe next year will be different, maybe it will not. Time will tell I suppose. Until then, I’ll keep plodding along the best I can. I appreciate everyone’s visits and comments over the 6 months I have been writing this blog, and I plan to keep writing it.

Well, that is about all for this week. I’ll leave you with what I think is the best Christmas song of all time, Fairytale of New York by Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues. I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all!

9 comments:

  1. I very much hear you regarding the holidays... as I am full of anxiety - and have been the past few weeks... and it's only getting worse the closer Christmas day draws near... I'm trying to keep my anxiety under control because I know that I will feel much better after this week... it's just too bad I (we) can't enjoy the holidays... but if it makes you feel better (as it has for me) - the holidays are NEVER like the appear in the movies - everyone home with their loved ones all happy and blah blah blah ... that's not real life... granted there ARE some families like that... but for the most part - it's a stressful time of year...

    I'm very happy to read that you've grown throughout the year in regards to coping with your depression and anxiety - for me, each year is another year in which I learn more about my depression and anxiety and how to cope with it - and it seems you are at that point too... so although it's not always easy at times, we are at least learning new coping techniques...

    And like you - I have realized that although support from others is a blessing, we are the only ones who can truly help ourselves... and once I realized that it kind of empowered me in a way... knowing I have the power to change the way I think... I hope you have come to that conclusion also...

    I enjoy reading your blog and am happy to hear you intend to keep it up!!

    May you get through this holiday season and realize that a brand new New Year is right around the corner - filled with endless possibilities! :)

    ((Hugs))
    Christine

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  2. I certainly hope you keep writing in it because I totally enjoy reading it! I agree that many thing if not everything is not within our control and it would be better to accept that. I have and it makes things much easier for me. I do hope the Christmas Holiday brings you some joy. I love the claymation cartoons.

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  3. Hi!!!

    I can relate. This is a beautiful piece. I feel the same way about the holiday and my life right now, no control. The only thing I can count on is getting all those slips of paper next month to pay my annual income tax.

    I do hope you have a good Christmas, though. And a much better new year than this past year.

    I;ll be back later to read your back posts.

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  4. The holiday season has always depressed me as well. Of course that's normal, suicide rates are at their highest during the season. I also don't really get the act of gift-giving, I mean, you receive a present, you are obligated to return the favor. Since you know what you want better than another person, it seems logical for everyone just to save their dough and buy what they want. Especially when you get married, then you're just paying for your own presents...

    I really shouldn't be such a grinch though. I won't be working this Christmas for the first time in the past few years. Looking forward to seeing my son open his gifts even though he's too young to really comprehend what's going on, and just being able to forget about work and life's struggles for a few hours. Its not the holiday that's important, its the time-off.

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas Depressed Reader. Keep up the blog - its entertaining and gives me something to look forward to weekly in a small way.

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  5. It is good to hear that you feel OK about the holiday season. Today is Christmas, and I'm alone in my apartment. Yet, I'm surprisingly calm and enjoying writing this comment. I thought I had lost so much when I was first diagnosed as severely depressed, but I think I've learned so much from all the struggles it has caused.

    When I first started blogging, my blog served beautifully as an outlet for my difficult emotions. Then, one day I realized I had not changed at all in this one respect: Always trying to be nice when interacting with people. I think we all strive to be nice to others more or less, and I think it is good if we do that because we simply want to.

    Often, though, many of us tend to be nice to others because we want to be liked. I was a typical example of that for a long time. I think I was trying to be a nice guy by following numerous blogs of others and comment on them each time they were updated. I started to wonder eventually if I was doing all this because I wanted to or I had to. I wanted to figure that out somehow.

    That is why, I decided to spend less time online and that I would be honest on my blog without worrying if what I write might hurt or offend the feelings of my readers. Of course, I do not intentionally hurt or offend anyone, but I'm sure I sometimes end up doing so without even realizing it. I'm slowly learning to give up being perceived as a nice guy all the time because that is impossible.

    By giving up my unreasonable hope to be well liked, I think I can build a strong sense of autonomy and fight back my strong social anxiety. There is still a long way to go until I can confidently say that I'm fully functional, but I am making progress just like you. I don't have to be very nice, but I would like to be honest as much as possible. As always, I enjoyed reading your writing. Hope you're enjoying your day.

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  6. Hello all,
    Thank you for coming by and posting. I see a lot of similar sentiments from different people, so I hope you don't mind if I combine my responses together for this post.

    I got through Christmas okay, as I hope that all of you did. Christmas and other holidays are always far from what they are cracked up to be, but gradually that bothers me less as time goes by. The world is what it is.

    Whether you were alone, with family, in the depths of winter or the heat of summer, I hope that yesterday each of you found something of value in the day. More than that, I hope you all find something of value in each and every day.

    Life is a struggle for us all. We face different situations and challenges, but we all face challenges. We all face things that are beyond us, the frailties of flesh, our own bad habits, the financial demands of the world around us, and all the wounds we've accumulated to this point.

    But we all have strength and resilience. And no matter how alone we may be, there is always someone out there that we can reach out too. No gods, no angels, no tooth fairies. Delusion does not help. But we all have real people in our lives, either in the physical world around us or online who can be there for us. Not everyone can be there for you. But reach out enough times, and someone will be.

    My best wishes to you all - happy new year, and I will see you in 2010!

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  7. I only enjoyed Christmas as a child.As I grew up,I liked it each time less, until I came to loathe it now I'm over 60. Thank god this year we will not be together, but for the last, say, 25 years we would sprend Xmas eve at his house. He would invite a lot of people, his family or his friends with whom I was barely acquantites and/or those I was acquainted I didn't es├žecially like. The food would be OK, but when the time came to distribute the presents, I felt very very bad.I don't have the kind of money he has, so my gifs where only so-so, but the gifts he gave me and my child were worse than so-so, while the gifts que gave to his wife and children were spectacular: a fear coat, jewells, so forth. I gave expensive gifts to my daughter too, but not in public, not showing off. His nouveu-riche attitude has always made me extremely uncomfortable.
    Thank the gods this year we will be spared his show! My excuse was that my dog is getting blind and I don't wnat to leave him alone. Uau!

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  8. On the other hand, New Year is alright, I love it. We get a whole new year to botch.

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  9. Hello Anonymous,
    Christmas can be horrible for people, no doubt. People can act like real jerks at times, especially to those they shouldn't. I hope that you enjoy this Christmas with your dog and like you say, we have a whole other year to botch from January first!

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