My Experience with Holiday Depression
Yesterday, I had plans to attend a Christmas party that one of my best friends was hosting. I had every intention to attend. I had RSVP'd, yes. I had picked out a nice outfit that I could wear. I had bought the bottle of wine to give to her. I was in full Christmas-party mode.
Even so, starting about two weeks ago, knowing the event was coming, I was growing more and more anxious and surprisingly sad.
The last time I had attended one of her Christmas parties, I was with my ex. We had attended together and had a great time. This was a time in our lives when we were still best friends and still in love. This was before everything happened.
I was sitting in the car, ready to drive to the party, and I froze. I couldn't move. The memories started to creep into my mind; of all the other holiday memories, and so many of the other memories I have of our years together. Of everything we shared. I spent the next 30 minutes crying. Tears of mourning, for the loss of everything we had.
Sometimes I wish life could be like that movie, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Many days I would just love to forget all of the happy memories. I would love to forget that we were in love. I would love to just forget him. It would make the pain and grief easier.
The holidays, though, are particularly hard. During this time of light, celebration, family, peace, joy and hope, I am reminded that I have lost so much and that I am on my own.
I am reminded that I have lost a husband, a marriage, family, friends, a house, and a whole chapter in my life. I am reminded that I have to start over. For my situation, this separation and divorce has been like a death. The grieving process has been hard.
There is a reason that Joni Mitchell wrote the song, "The River." Christmas is my favorite holiday and is an unbelievably magical time. But, for us who have experienced loss, Christmas isn't just merry, it is also a holiday that reminds us of what we have lost.
Be kind to yourself this holiday season. Even though you may feel alone, you aren't. You've got me, another soul, over here struggling with my own grief. I'm hoping with time, the loss and the grief is less. For now, I'll listen to Joni, have a glass of wine, and think about the promise 2018 holds.