So it’s the day after Christmas and boy am I glad. Yesterday was just a cluster of sadness for me so I am very happy to have this holiday over with.
You may be saying, “A cluster of sadness?! That doesn’t sound good! You must have something super sad in your life right now to make you that sad on Christmas!”
That should be the case shouldn’t it. I should be sad for a really good reason to have holed myself up in my room all day crying uncontrollably… but the fact is that I don’t know why I was/am so sad.
It wasn’t that it was Christmas, it wasn’t that I couldn’t get my daughter everything she wanted, it wasn’t any of the normal “oh well of course that would make you sad” reasons I can think of off the top of my head. I was sad because I was sad.
I have a beautiful family who loves me and supports me even though I’m crazy enough to want to find a true passion in my life. I have a roof over my head, I have food to eat and I even had some money this year to get my daughter some fun presents that I think she really loves.
I tried to make myself happy all day thinking about the happy things in my life and the more I tried and failed the sadder I got until I just balled up and weeped like my heart had just been broken. Then I started thinking about all those “depression hurts” commercials and I got even sadder because I was totally “that sad woman” and it made me even sadder. (Did I mention I was sad?)
I have dealt with depression for many years even though I feel like I have been doing much better the past few years. That is, I was doing better until this year when I decided to switch all of my gears at once and then set myself into a tailspin of emotions. Nothing like switching up your business and your life goals and turning 30 all at the same time to get your brain all freaked out again.
The people around me haven’t always understood though that I couldn’t just “turn off the sadness” just because it was a holiday. One year I had a particularly hard Christmas and someone in my family yelled at me to “Be happy! It’s Christmas!” and then when that bit of holiday cheer didn’t work they proceeded to tell me “You are ruining Christmas!”
You are ruining Christmas.
That last bit has always stuck with me and it burns just as much now to think about it as it did back then. I ruined Christmas. What kind of a horrible person am I to have ruined Christmas for my whole family?
I didn’t have the knowledge or the support then that I do now to get over the sadness and back into the Christmas spirit so I just cried for what seemed like forever. Eventually I got over it and moved on but I always remember that as the Christmas I ruined for my whole family.
This year, I have my husband. He is perfect and wonderful and really helped me yesterday in ways he totally doesn’t understand.
He didn’t make me feel happy or take away the sadness, he just told me it was ok to be sad and that Christmas wasn’t ruined just because I was having a hard time. My daughter was still having a great day playing with toys and being ridiculous and he was just so happy that he could be home with us and help me through whatever it was that I was going through.
Once I embraced the fact that I was sad and me being sad wasn’t going to ruin Christmas I actually started feeling better. Being the strong one in the family all the time is exhausting especially around this time of year when all I wanted to do was make everything perfect for everyone all the time. (I know, totally doable goal huh…) This year was extra tough because of our family budget cut backs and not being able to do everything I really wanted to do for my daughter and for my family.
If you are having a hard time with sadness and depression please remember that you don’t have to be the strong one 24/7, 365 days a year.
Don’t feel like a bad person just because you aren’t holly jolly every Christmas and you just want to sit and watch British comedies all day instead of sentimental Christmas movies. (I suggest That Mitchell and Webb Look because that show is freaking hilarious!) There will be other times when you are the happy one and can give your all to your family so take some time for yourself when you need it right now.
For me this year the best present I got was having a husband who loved me enough to say I wasn’t ruining Christmas and let’s go eat some Chinese food.
Oh true love. ♥