I’ve spent much of this month trying to decide whether or not to spend Christmas with my family. It’s a subject that has caused a lot of torment and a lot of tears.
I used to love Christmas. It was always a small, cozy, stress-free family affair. When I’m depressed, though, Christmas just doesn’t matter. I didn’t go home for Christmas last year because of my illness, so I thought maybe I should push myself to go this year.
When I told my mom I was planning on going there for Christmas, her response felt lukewarm, which made me think that my parents didn’t actually want me there. I began thinking maybe I wouldn’t go after all. I asked if my parents would pay for me to fly home, since the highway there passes through the mountains and can be pretty treacherous in winter. Mom responded that they would pay, since they had already paid for tickets for my brother and his fiancee. My mind twisted that into evidence that what mattered most to them was having my brother come home.
Yesterday in a fleeting moment of thinking I’d probably just feel shittier spending Christmas alone, I booked a flight. I emailed the flight itinerary to my mom, and again I got a response that felt lukewarm. After much crying, I cancelled my airline tickets even though I knew I was probably being unreasonable. This morning I got a voicemail from my mom sounding quite concerned, so I decided to rebook the tickets.
Depression twists my thoughts, and even though I sometimes realize that these thoughts are probably coming from my depression, it’s hard not to get swept up in them. It’s like a constant teeter totter, with depression as the chubby kid and my healthy self as the runty little kid whose feet can’t reach the ground. I guess that recognizing this is the first step, and I just need to keep working on finding healthy bits and pieces to help bolster my scrawny little self and turn the balance in my favour.
My new book, Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic, everything up to and including the kitchen sink look at how to put together the pieces of your unique depression puzzle. It’s available on Amazon and other online retailers, as well as the MH@H Store.