Yup, They Know It’s Christmas Time

photo-on-2011-10-12-at-15-38-3.jpgSo we had a little bit of a good time about online dating last post, but it’s time to get more serious, just for a minute.

As I write this, it’s Christmas Eve (even though you are not reading it until Christmas day or later). The importance of this fact is that I will wake up tomorrow morning, Christmas morning, alone for the first time in about two decades.

You may be confused by this, given I mentioned my ex and I have been apart over 3 and a half years, so a little history. When we split, we remained living under the same roof until January of this year, when the ex moved in with her boyfriend and my daughter and I got a place while renovations were being done on the house. As of mid-November, daughter and ex moved back in, hence my first Christmas alone.

All through our lives, we encounter signposts, landmarks, milestones. People are married, children are born, life events happen, people die, relationships end. In amongst those highlights, lesser events fill out our lives–habits, traditions, and ways of being are created. Some of them you don’t even notice until they are there no more.

For years, we exchanged a gift on Christmas Eve–which evolved into specifically a book

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Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

exchange–and then gathered together in the morning to open stockings and gifts as a family, even in those years when we no longer were. Things that, for the first time in a long time, will not be present in my Christmas.

By no means has this been the first such milestone. Birthdays, Thanksgiving, parties, friends…the list is long. But there’s something about Christmas.

They say that, for people who suffer from depression and other such mental illnesses, Christmas is one of the most difficult times to deal with. I have suffered from depression for…I can’t even say how long. Identifiably, for probably about 7 years, but I’m sure for many years before that, but I was too depressed to notice my depression or too proud to admit to it. Now, I have realized it’s more important to be upfront about it.

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

I have people, things, and activities in my life that keep me balanced despite the challenges. Some days are harder than others, but I get through. Not everyone does. If any of you reading this are having a tough time, please reach out. Call a parent, a friend, an acquaintance. If that’s not comfortable, reach out to me through Facebook…sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger.

No one needs to suffer by themselves, so please don’t. Don’t let signposts and memories get to you. Make new traditions, create new habits, new ways of being. But most of all remember: you are not alone.

 

3 thoughts on “Yup, They Know It’s Christmas Time

  1. Thanks for sharing so honestly, Bruce. What touched my heart the most was how much compassion you have for those who struggle with depression during this time and a higher calling to helps others. I struggle with bipolar illness and usually though I see more the manias (and thank you to the medications that tone those down to just excitable days where I know I’d best make no important decisions), the depressions are awful, especially those times where I feel alone no matter how many people are around me. Like you, I cope, though only through reaching out and not feeding the illness. I hope 2019 brings you new growth in your life, and new traditions, and here’s to next Christmas being one of looking back with fondness and joy — you deserve it!

    1. Thanks, John,
      Any mental illness is challenging enough on its own, even more so when having to deal with an overall societal attitude that it is something to be ashamed of and hidden. I so much appreciate that you shared a bit of your own experience…the more people who do, the easier it is for all.
      Happy holidays.

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