Happy holidays my beautiful followers! I hope you're all enjoying spending time with friends and family.
You know, I really love the holiday season. I love spending time with all my family when I don't see them all that often, I love Christmas shopping and making Christmas lists, and I just love the holiday spirit. Except when I don't.
It's not exactly a secret that I struggle with depression and anxiety, and I can't hit pause just because it's the holiday season. As much as I hate to admit it, I don't always love the holidays because I feel so much extra pressure to keep a positive attitude and to be happy and jolly and all those things people expect from you this time of year. It gets tiring forcing a smile and saying the same line over and over again at family functions - "I'm great, school is awesome, and I'm so happy to be here". A lot of the time that just feels like a bold face lie. If I felt like I could be honest, what I would really say is probably along the lines of - "I'm surviving but I'm not great, school is so stressful right now, and I wish I was alone and didn't have to be here with all these people right now".
Now, don't get me wrong, I really do love my family and I love the times I get to spend time with them because I don't have very many opportunities throughout the year. However, depression makes it really hard to feel genuine and really enjoy the time I have with them.
Like I said before, I can't just hit pause on my depression because it's the holidays - as much as I would like to - and it feels sometimes like that's what people expect from me. Then I feel like I'm letting them down when I can't do it, which just adds to my depressed state. It's a vicious cycle. I know people would tell me over and over until they're blue in the face that I'm not letting them down, but that annoying voice in my head has a way of overpowering anyone and everyone.
I haven't really figured out how to be okay with not being okay this time of year, which is kind of ironic, but I'm working on it. With Christmas and New Year's coming up I'm anxious to see if things turn around. This year I'm going to be out of the country for New Year's and I'm really hoping that I can find it in me to be genuinely happy with all the people around me.
I wish I had the answers for how to make this better, because I know that I'm not the only person who struggles with this. Since I don't have the answers for you, I'll leave you with a few things that have helped me make it through the holidays and maybe they'll help you too. I'm a very introverted person, so these tips are more solitary self help tips.
Depression can make you feel really numb, and feeling like that sucks. It's not healthy to keep that emotion bottled up inside of you, and you should work to get it out somehow. Whatever that looks like to you, make time to do it.
I'm thinking of you all during this holiday season and sending positive energy your way. I check my business email daily and if you need anything at all, send me a quick email here. If you're in an emergency situation, don't hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Until next time,