‘Tis The Season

Photo credit: Samuel Zeller and Splash.com

Photo credit: Samuel Zeller and Splash.com

First, I would like to apologize for not writing in a while. I just haven’t felt up to it lately.

I hate this time of year. A bold statement, I know. There is something about the holiday season that always brings me down. It usually starts in mid-November, when all the hullabaloo over holiday shopping begins. This year, the commercialization of the holidays began right around the beginning of September and has not let up. I am so sick of it. I am sick of Thanksgiving turning into the new Black Friday. I am sick of the media hyping who will be open when. I am sick of wondering if I will have enough money to buy decent gifts this year. I am just plain sick of it all. The closer Christmas gets, the less happy I become. I put on a happy face for my kids, but my husband knows that I am not in the mood. By the time Christmas day actually arrives, I am just so overwhelmed with all the commercialization that has been pushed in my face, that I usually just shut myself in my room for a little while after the little ones have opened their gifts.  Sometimes I wonder if I have ADHD or SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder).

Last year we didn’t decorate very much and decided not to even put the tree up; consequently, the entire family felt more relaxed, even the younger children. I think that part of the problem stems from the fact that my mother always went over-the-top with Christmas. It may have just seemed like a huge pile of gifts because I was small, but I think it actually was. I feel as though I cannot give my children the same amount of gifts, and therefore feel like I am not doing enough. We don’t have a huge feast. We don’t have family and friends over. We don’t even go anywhere. The younger children actually get 3 Christmases because they go from my house to their father’s house, then to their grandmother’s house. I guess this makes up for the fact that I can’t give them the number of gifts I got as a child, but it still doesn’t make me feel any better.

Oh well, it’s almost over for this year. Seventeen days and counting.

Maybe You Will Finally Have Found Peace

I was going to write about the first day of school and all of that nonsense, but there were too many thoughts running through my head. This was before the news that Robin Williams had died at age 63, most likely from suicide. I will write that post about school another day.

Right now I am so devastated by the loss of Robin Williams that I cannot think straight. I didn’t even know the man, but I grew up with him–his humor, his quick wit–watching him on TV and in movies and comedy specials. I knew he had depression, most comedians do, but I did not know that he had relapsed.

You may not believe this, but I suffer from depression as well. It is well under control now and has been for years, but sometimes I will have a down day here and there. Those days come along without warning and are difficult to explain to other people. If you’ve never been depressed then you won’t understand. When a person is depressed they are in a dark place that no one can pull them out of, but talking to them does help. Just knowing that there is someone there for you, someone who may not completely understand what you are going through but who cares enough to just sit next to you in silence, to hold your hand, or to listen. 

People who have never suffered from depression cannot understand why you can’t just snap out of it, and it is difficult to explain to them that you are not doing this for attention, that it is a physical ailment–just like having the flu–caused by chemicals that have gone awry in your brain, chemicals or hormones or whatever that gang up on you and create this behavior and that it is beyond your control. When I am depressed I cannot remember what it is like not be depressed. I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I feel helpless, and useless, and sometimes cannot make myself move. However, when I am not depressed I almost can’t remember what it was like when I was depressed. You see? It’s difficult to explain.

I will truly miss Robin Williams. The news of his death last night struck a chord with me and I was very sad, very quiet, very solemn. I cannot say that I know what he was feeling, because everyone’s depression is different, but I can say that I can relate. He was not a coward for taking his own life, if that is in fact what happened. He was not trying to hurt those that he left behind. He was trying to find a way out of a dark depression. Maybe, just maybe, he will finally have found peace. Rest in peace, Robin Williams. I will miss you.