'Tis the Seasonal Depression
Happy Holidays, Happy Winter Solstice, and Happy New Year. That's a lot of happy expected in a short amount of time. Though, how happy are we during the holidays?
Yeah, I kinda dove right in there... But, let's talk about it!
Are you happy? Really ask yourself that question. Am I happy? I'm... content. I'm here.
I'm working on it. The holidays are a hard time of year. That happens as you get older. The holidays are hard for everybody for one reason or another. For me- it's my family. I suppose that could be said for most...
My parents divorced almost 6 years ago. I was in a relationship with my college boyfriend (let's call him Luke), starting my new life in Los Angeles, and hard at work to get my Bachelor's. Luke's parents divorced when he was young, so he was a good person to turn to through it all. I won't get into specifics, but essentially, my parents weren't working out as a couple anymore. They both loved the heck out of me, but not so much each other. That happens. I understand logically that happens. But man, does it suck. I lived for 20 years knowing that my parents loved each other unconditionally. Our family friends would talk extensively about how great my parents were together and how happy they were. No one thought for one second that anything would split them apart. Especially not me.
Cut to: they split. Unfortunately, my mom moved out of the house in October. As you know, October is right when the holidays start. Coincidentally, October is now a month I dread. The moment Halloween is over- the holidays begin. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Year's. My birthday: a universal holiday, obviously. But dreading the holidays wasn't immediate. You see, I had Luke for 3 years after my parents' split. He was my everything. I turned to him for the holidays. His family took me in and made me one of their own. We had matching holiday pajamas for Pete's sake.
Another thing. Luke loves Christmas. Like, he loves Christmas the way Buddy the Elf loves Santa. I wasn't looking forward to Christmas until he started getting me excited about it. Plus, there would always be something to do with his family. We would have a big breakfast together, go see a movie, eat more treats throughout the day and listen to Frank Sinatra. See? That all sounds lovely, doesn't it? Right, well, then I broke up with him as you probably know.
And why did I break up with him? Essentially, we weren't working out as a couple anymore. Sound familiar? So now it's been almost 3 years since our breakup, and I am slowly realizing that I am now going through the divorce again- but also, for the first time. I didn't really go through it before... I didn't mourn the end of my parents' marriage. I didn't thoughtfully process my emotions. I had Luke! He was my distraction. A good distraction! But, all of those feelings were being pushed down and shoved into a box. So, the past few years I've been going through the divorce for the first time alone. And you know what- it's no walk in the park.
If it were a walk in the park, the path would be lined with leggings and "How I Met Your Mother" re-runs, chocolates and alcohol, CBD oil and meditation... cigarettes and more alcohol... drunken nights with co-workers, moments of weakness, kitchen knives and scissors... It would not be your average park. Sure, lounging around the house in leggings with a bottle- err, glass of wine and some CBD oil is fine every once in a while or after a night of hard work. But the other things... I'm not proud to admit these things, but these are things I need to admit loudly in order to not let them happen again. I admit that I've had dark thoughts and I've hurt myself. I admit that I've drank to forget. I admit that I've snuck a cigarette to ease my anxiety. I admit that I've been in therapy but sadly, we're in a world where therapy just ain't free. This. Writing in this public journal is my therapy. Giving myself space. Time to heal. Change my negative thoughts to positive thoughts. We've all read those facebook posts or Pinterest pins that tell us how to better ourselves, so I'm not gonna bore you with that.
I just want to hurry up and heal, but this journey is helping me learn about myself. For instance, I've learned when I try to keep to myself and hide from the world- that's when I need people the most. So, that's my only advice to you during this holiday season. Be around people who you care about and who care about you. Even going to work and being around not just my co-workers (who are my LA family and I seriously love you all) but also being around our customers. Some of them are truly special and kind human beings who bring back my faith in humanity. Plus, they remind me that everyone is going through something. I'm not alone. And neither are you.