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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Truth About Holiday Depression/Anxiety, And What To Do About It

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Last night was a rough night for me, depression-wise. Probably due to my Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and day two of no Mountain Dew, so some withdrawal symptoms.

Lying in bed, co-sleeping with my two daughters, my oldest asked me if I was crying, because I was sniffling. I actually was crying, but I lied and said that I had a cold and was stuffed up, which is partly true too.

  What hit me was the realization that when depression hits us, one of the factors is to feel as if no one sees us. That no one empathizes for us and is seeing our pain.

We all live in our heads.    

What it means to live in our own heads is that when we have so much overwhelming us in our own body and section of our life (job for example), it is so easy to not realize how we take advantage of others and how that makes them feel.

          As women, in particular, we are expected to do all the cleaning (I really suck at housework), we are expected to take care of the kids (“what are you making for the kids for dinner?” the “you” is the key word there), and we are expected to take care of everyone else. But as someone who suffers from depression, it is very hard to do that when you feel as if your cup is empty.

          When we take care of other people, we are trying to make them feel loved and cared for, filling up their cup. But over time, this can take from our cup when it isn’t returned, hence “running on empty” phrase. The holidays, in particular are rough for this and I know that I personally always feel down during the holidays due to past trauma’s that occurred during Christmas and because I am expected to put up the tree, I am expected to celebrate a holiday that I am not invested in. It is exhausting and a completely thankless job.

          So last night, when I realized that my oldest daughter, who is very sensitive, was so attuned to me that she knew enough to ask if I was crying, it jolted me out a little. I do have two of the sweetest, most cuddly daughters in the world who give me as many hugs and kisses as I have given them. They know how to love and be empathetic, so I must be doing something right.

          Instead of fighting our depression or anxiety, relax into it.
Try it, because it is absolutely amazing.
 Don’t clutch it to yourself, until you are curled up in a fetal position, just relax into it, close your eyes and breathe.
Let yourself accept that part of yourself.
Hug whatever self that is hurting and breathe.