Sunday, January 2, 2011

'Tis the Season

Over the course of my random therascribblings, we’ll talk about triggers.  What sends you into a funk, into the downward spiral, etc.  I’m sure we all have our own.  I’m sure we have some unique ones.

One that I know lots of people share is this time of the year.  It seems entirely unreasonable that a time of year dedicated to love, joy, celebration, and giving, should cause so much pain for so many.

Certainly it’s not unreasonable that someone without all those things at this time of year might be triggered into an episode.  Someone far away from family, someone without family, someone of limited financial means.  It’s sure easy to see how Christmas might put undue stress on people that can’t experience what many do.

However, there`s a darker side.  What of those of us who are near family.  Who have friends.  Who aren’t rich but have enough money to give something to loved ones.  And still... this time of year can send such people into a depressive episode.  For me, it’s usually a Major one.  Full fledged despair, dark thoughts, doom, gloom, and some other appropriate adjectives.

I loathe this time of year.  I put on a brave front for all to see, but I am in constant mental pain until all sign of Christmas is gone around the second week of January.

But why?  It just doesn’t make any sense at all.  

Generally, for me, experiencing joy in social situations is a sure-fire way to trigger an episode.  Or at least, experiencing situations that SHOULD be joyful.  It’s like my brain doesn’t want me to be happy, so when I go out and enjoy myself, I pay dearly later that night or the next day.  The Christmas season amplifies that many times.  Social and family occasions are plentiful, and each one piles on the last to create a major depressive episode that defies description.  

It affects my life in a big way, as I try to attend the least number of Christmas social occasions possible, without looking suspicious.  Do people notice?

Some will say that I have made up my mind and decided I am going to be depressed over the holidays.  Certainly many things are a choice.  I agree that we are all responsible for our own lives.  But let me tell you this.  I don’t intend to take this ongoing major episode lying down.  I’m going to darn well fight back.  Some days I’m going to win.  Some days I might not.  I WILL see the other side of the holidays.  I’m probably going to have a few mental bruises.  I’m probably going to have a scratch or three on my psyche.  But I’m coming out of it.

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