Just like the relatives that you see once or twice a year, the old holiday depression demons showed up for Thanksgiving and this is what they had to say as they pushed their way through the door:
“Nobody reads this blog.” But its been a year of frustration, hopelessness, and fear and you’ve had enough of Uncle Gerry and his racist and ignorant rants. So you scream right in that demon’s disgusting, long nose haired, bald headed face and say, “Who cares, you are writing for yourself and for those that can relate!” Your nosey ass aunt who nobody likes comes back with, “You’re self centered, writing about what you’re going through. You should be writing about what brings people up, not what brings them down.” So you hand your spouse your Rock Star and vodka, take a deep breath, and calmly state, “This is reality. I am making a path to happiness and getting through the hard is how I will find it.”
You’ve cut a lot family and friends out of your life because you feel you have been treated poorly. Then you think about how it has been a fair amount of people you have let go. The nasty voices of bratty cousins taunt you with, “Can they ALL be wrong?” Kind of like The Beatles. They are beloved by gajillions of people all over the world. How can that many people be wrong? So you force yourself out of your own head and say, “You are who you are, good and bad. Maybe some of those people are a loss, maybe some of them aren’t. All you can do is move forward and learn from your experiences.”
Social media shows that all your favorites (Etst, We Rate Dogs, Busy Phillips) make you laugh and bring you joy. Why can’t you be more positive and happy? But just like the warm blanket your favorite grandma made you, you are able to relax by saying that you will keep going, knowing you will get there eventually.
As much as you want to tackle and work through all of it quickly, you know that’s not how it works. You are not a cold turkey kind of gal and know that anxieties need to be dealt with head on and honestly.
You decide to try a new habit. Every day you are going to have a grateful thought for every negative one. For example: You woke up with pain in your arms and hands. Your legs still work fine so you get up, eat breakfast, and go for a run. The endorphins kick in, your hands and arms feel better, and all of the thoughts you had while exercising find their way to paper. It doesn’t fix everything but it’s a start. There are plenty of people in the world who love you and are there for you. Those who aren’t and the vile demons are insignificant. Whether it’s the holidays or not, you are important and can achieve your dreams. It can be hard to remember that with depression. But that doesn’t make it any less true.