This year, I am in control of how I view Christmas.
When depression is in charge, I have given over to it my ability to choose how I feel. During these times, I have let depression tell me how I should feel. And then I go along with that very obediently. I do not want to upset depression and it makes sure that I know that.
Depression wants me to be secretive and not share with anyone.
It allows me to stew on how inadequate I feel, and how unhappy it demands that I be. But depression can get angry if I attempt to share this with anyone. After all, it contends that it has done so much for me and has stood beside me when everyone else has abandoned me.
Now it forgets to mention that it has caused me to view everyone as a potential enemy.
Depression doesn’t let on that it is the reason some years I find the holidays intolerable. By throwing different unhelpful thinking styles at me, depression can keep me wondering why I even bother. And it can single-handedly make me suspicious of anyone who attempts to get close to me. Depression hates me having friends, especially during the holidays.
When depression is at its best, I am at my worst.
And major holidays, combined with decreased daylight, can put a strain on my ability to see what depression is up to. Often, all I can see is the energy I put out to make it through the day. And this becomes so draining that I find any excuse to go to bed early. This year, Christmas is coming, and I am excited.
Sharing the planning and preparations with my wife, instead of with depression, is wonderful.
We are experimenting with a live Christmas tree. After the holidays, we will plant it on the property. Next year, we will dig it up, put it in a larger pot, and bring it in as our Christmas tree. After five or so years of this, we may need to start over with a small tree again.
And we have family coming to visit.
There are so many positive parts to this holiday season. And I am grateful and thankful that I am here to celebrate them. I have every right to be angry at depression for depriving me of these experiences over the years. Yet I know I gain nothing from coulda, woulda shoulda. Instead, I am putting that energy into enjoying the day and being in the moment.
I am not sad that depression will be sad this Christmas.
I’m sure that I have more than paid the price and deserve the family and fellowship that the holidays can bring. I can honestly say that the tools I have learned in the past 2 1/2 years have made a difference. Using my own mind to decide how I will feel about the holidays is wonderful. Depression will be depressed about this, but I am grateful to be spending the holidays leading a balanced life with depression.