WARNING: This was written while in the darkness of depression and in no way represents how I generally feel. I considered deleting it to protect you from reading such unpleasantness, but I’ve left it here to show that even the most jovial, outgoing, friendly people in the world can wrestle with – and lose to – depression that alters perception dramatically. It’s embarrassing to put this out there for anyone to read.
The month-long festivities of Christmastime have come to a sad and bitter end. All that’s left is tomorrow, Christmas Day, and I’ll likely spend that as I usually do – taking down and putting away the decorations.
I tried everything I could think of this year to recapture the excitement of the holiday but I failed. I just feel numb to it all. Perhaps it’s just a part of growing older. Every year it’s a little worse…a little more all-encompassing. What’s the point?
I do not mean any disrespect to Jesus when I ask about the point to the holiday festivities. This is when we Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ child, who sacrificed His life to save ours.
When I was younger, I was all about Christmas. Loved it so much I couldn’t wait to have a house of my own so I could decorate the entire place for Christmas and leave it that way year ‘round. My love of the holiday and the excitement carried well into my thirties and maybe even my early forties; through a marriage, the births of three beautiful children, and a divorce.
After the divorce, when the special occasions had to be carved up to accommodate parental visitation rights as agreed to by the parental parties and sealed with the appropriate legal documents, Christmas Day wasn’t Christmas anymore. Christmas Eve afternoon became Christmas Day. After I remarried and we relocated, the Sunday before Christmas became Christmas. “A holiday doesn’t have to be on a certain day,” I’ve often quipped in my sagely way. “A holiday is whenever we are all together.”
I am so wise. So damned smart. Now stand back while I projectile vomit over my disgust with this annual attempt to deal with the stinking lousy situation that has killed the joy for me.
Oh what I wouldn’t give to go back to Christmas mornings and those six sweet little feet running through the house; three little voices squealing and so excited about the gifts that appeared overnight under the tree! It was the Christmas of dreams, when the families gathered together on Christmas Eve and my children awoke to **Christmas**!! Yay!! Christmas Day was a blessing! A beautiful, wonderful day of renewal and love, and appreciation!
Forcing it onto another day has killed it? The kids growing up into adults with no children of their own has killed it? My mortal illness has killed it? The stinking depression has killed it?
I don’t know what killed it, but the joy is gone. May it rest in the peace that I no longer know.
And right on cue, there is the pain. Deep in my heart, I know another little bit of me just died.