This year, getting in the holiday spirit is not automatic.
Traditionally, I have been all over the holidays. The traditions, getting together with family, getting out decorations has been enjoyable. When the kids were smaller, they helped fuel the excitement of the season.
Christmas is on autopilot, and I am going through the motions.
There have been several life-changing events this past year. The biggest event was me seeking professional medical attention for what turned out to be Major Depressive Disorder. This has colored my thinking ever since the end of April.
As I learn how to have depression, without depression being my boss, self-care comes into play.
The holidays come and go, but the depression is still here. And I recognize the road to recovery is not a straight line. I have leapt forward, only to slide back. I have enjoyed good days and been haunted by bad days which have me worried I am relapsing and heading for the abyss.
On top of my own efforts to understand and live with depression, several other life changing events have occurred.
These have had a significant impact on my life and view of what is important. Quality of life is a key aspect of these challenges. And they are challenges for how I look at them, because most of these I have had no control over. Getting my thoughts together and controlling my attitude towards the events has been a skill I am using more and more.
As we approach the holidays and the new year, there is one other issue I am facing.
It is hard to write about because it Is a work in progress and the feelings and emotions are still raw and exposed. As the parties involved meet to discuss options, the good news is we all have the same goal. The tough part is we all have different ideas of how to achieve this. And because it involves a family member, the stakes seem higher.
Back to the holiday, we did get the tree up and within a week got the lights on it and spent an evening decorating. The box of stockings has yet to come up from the basement to be hung by the chimney with care.
I did get the Christmas cards written and mailed last week.
I was proud of myself for making the time to do this, to stay in touch with people. At one point, I was sending out close to 80 Christmas cards, but life being life, some people have died. The list has shrunk over the years but is now expanding again as I add new friends to the list. Outside of a few stocking stuffers I have bought through out the year, I have not done any Christmas Shopping.
Shopping for presents may not happen this year, even though there are 7 more shopping days.
Self-care is more top of mind this year. I want to be the best I can, keep my recovery on track and be in the moment as much as possible. Visiting and seeing people will be the goal, not giving and getting presents.