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For Those Depressed About the Holidays

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Old 12-19-2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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Default For Those Depressed About the Holidays

Those who still haven't finished their shopping, those not going home for Christmas or having financial problems, those who don't feel like they have a special person to share it with, those who feel like they can't deal with everything...

You ARE good enough. Really. No one is perfect, and you don't need to be either. You are not the presents you give others, or the perfect holiday family dinner.

You are here and well and regardless of circumstances, you're going to be fine.

Every year I see so many people (myself included) so stressed out about this time of year and having everything be perfect that they pile the emotions up. It's one of the worst positions most of us here can be in, feeling negative and guilty/sad/depressed/tired and surrounded by all of that food. We expect way too much from ourselves.

Well, you don't need the cookies or that extra serving, or the binges and emotional eating. Religious considerations aside, what we need is to remember what is important in all of this, namely that we have people who care about us, that we are good people, that we are trying to better ourselves and doing a darn good job.

This year I'm trying to maintain perspective and get through this holiday season strong and healthy. I'm not going to wait for New Years. I'm trying to remember how far I've come this year NOW, trying to make myself a priority now and bypass all of the negativity and unrealistic expectations. Basically, I'm trying to focus on what's important. Anyone else with me?
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:46 PM   #2
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Thank you for this! Excellent words!!
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:11 PM   #3
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I'm totally bummed out this year because we just don't have the money to buy the family gifts. My husband just graduated from getting his bachelor's in computer science. Yes, he could be and should be making a lot of money. But he isn't yet. It's been tougher finding a job than we expected. The student loan money (which we were living off of) is gone now. The only thing we're surviving on is his IRA from a previous job. Which adds to the depression because an account that was built up over years of hard work to thousands of dollars is just about depleted. Once that's gone, we're in big trouble. A retirement account - gone. I almost can't believe it. And just thinking about it makes me want to go punch a hole in the wall.

So we have no money to buy gifts like we usually do every year. Yes, I know, the spirit of Christmas isn't about buying people presents. But how do you think I'm going to feel when we all have our Christmas get-together and everyone else is passing out presents and we have none? I know I shouldn't feel this way, but it breaks my heart to be handed gifts and I can't give any in return.



The main person this year I focused my attention on is my 6-year-old son, Shane. I don't care if I get nothing, but I'm going to make sure he has a decent Christmas because that's really all that matters to me. I even told my husband, "Don't worry about getting anything for me, just concentrate on Shane."

I told everone else the same thing. But I know they'll ignore that and get me something anyway. They always do.

Anyway, I'm not really looking for advice or suggestions. I just felt like ranting about it. Instead of presents, I bought the stuff to make everyone a little Christmas tin full of candies. That's about the best I can do.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:42 PM   #4
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Jennifer, I love your note.

Linda....hang in there! Boy, I KNOW...so easy for me to say. Christmas is so emotionally loaded and all the expectations. Here's what everyone said to me when I couldn't afford gifts and it has taken me a while to realize that they MEANT it: your family and true friends UNDERSTAND. Enjoy whatever they might get you. If you enjoy giving gifts, you will be able to in the future, but live in the moment too.

I usually fight the ghosts at Christmas. My grandfather died a few days before Christmas (he truly was the only male constant in my life) and his funeral was on the 23rd. THAT was a sad, sad, SAD Christmas. Last year I was so ill, didn't know what was wrong, ended up in an ambulance 48 hours after Christmas (ah! big, giant exploding cyst!). This year I am home by myself (ok, with the kitties) and I'm just happy for my health. Really. I'm spending Christmas Eve with a girlfriend's family and on Christmas day I'll sleep in, WEIGH IN because it's not just Christmas, it's SUNday(ya gotta laugh), indulge a little in food, and meet some friends for a lite movie in the afternoon, then relax with a holiday movie back at home in the evening. I could feel sorry for myself, but....I choose to enjoy the peace, the bits with friends, and think of what I have.

Peace. Tracy
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:43 AM   #5
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Rant away Lisa. That's exactly why I started this thread, because I know a lot of us are going through situations like that right now and it can be hard to find places to vent.

I think the candy tins are a great idea, and Tracy is so right. Your family will love having you around and not stressed a lot more than any present.

And Tracy, I love that you're weighing in on the 25th! Good on you You have a wonderful outlook and I wish you a peaceful, stress-free and relaxing Christmas.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NowOrNever!

I usually fight the ghosts at Christmas. My grandfather died a few days before Christmas (he truly was the only male constant in my life) and his funeral was on the 23rd.
I know the feeling, hon. I lost my mother at Christmas time.
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLV

The main person this year I focused my attention on is my 6-year-old son, Shane. I don't care if I get nothing, but I'm going to make sure he has a decent Christmas because that's really all that matters to me. I even told my husband, "Don't worry about getting anything for me, just concentrate on Shane."

I told everone else the same thing. But I know they'll ignore that and get me something anyway. They always do.

Anyway, I'm not really looking for advice or suggestions. I just felt like ranting about it. Instead of presents, I bought the stuff to make everyone a little Christmas tin full of candies. That's about the best I can do.

Thanks for listening.
Those are good ideas. I am giving quite a few people homemade chocolates; I bought a giant bag of Belgian chocolate (Callebaut) really cheap ($2.83/pond) which I have been using to make various filled chocolates quite comparable to the ones selling for $1-2/chocolate at Jaques Torres or Maison du Chocolat.

I am also making some jewlery again this year. Here are some projects from a previous year:

Goldsmithing projects

I am doing some silver and enamel work for less expensive gifts. The above pieces were for my wife so I pulled out all the stops.
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:24 AM   #8
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Oh Linda....you must just be having a really challenging holiday. Losing loved ones--that feeling just never really goes away when big events happen. I've actually found more comfort and the ability (ok, not ALWAYS successful) to try and keep the cycle of life and death in perspective from my grandma. I had only vague memories of my great-grandparents, but grandpa's father died ON Christmas day. I was probably about 5 or 6 at the time and I have no memory of that so you know that the adults kept up a good front for the kids. My grandfather had cancer and I know he was trying so damn hard to die AFTER Christmas (the things we do!).

The candy? You know...it's interesting, but several of us in my family have really moved toward handmade gifts in recent years and THOSE are the things that really matter--the thought and all. Yes, it's wonderful to have big, fabulous store-bought presents, but the candy is so much closer to the heart of what Christmas is truly about. You should really feel GOOD about the candy :-) Shoot, if you feel like you need something else, attach a gift certificate for one free troubleshooting computer session from your new CS grad

Tracy
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:21 PM   #9
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Thanks, everyone, for the kind words

I'm sure we'll get through this, just like we get through everything else. It just has me a little down right now.
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Old 12-25-2005, 02:44 AM   #10
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Hi all.
I read and re-read what was written. Of course my problems are nothing in comparrison, but I sat here about an hour and cried and cried and cried.
Over the last few days, happy and outgoing me was feeling particularly sad. I was tired, upset, and in a bad mood in general. I rarely turn that way, and never I was that way around the holidays. I do not remember what I did last Chrismas. May be saw a small group of friends and we had dinner. May be something else? For New Years last year I was worried about how borring it will be and so I found a last minute deal for a house up in the mountains. The New Years eve was fun. As I sat at home today, I knew I did not want to go see friends (my fam is in another state), I did not want to do anything myself.
But regardless of my desires, my ex wanted to hang out, so him and another girl-friend convinced me to make simple dinner. It did not take much time to make and we generally had a nice conversation. But all the time there I could not help myself thinking that my friend has a bf (he was out of town), my ex is expecting his wife to be arrive next year..and what's going to be then?
Will I be alone, in apartment next go around? Or will I be alone at a friends' house and borred, and gealous to a certain extent of those happy gigling couples. I've written this multiple times, I am just very scared, because day by day I see that noone cares.
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Old 12-25-2005, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBETA
Hi all.
I read and re-read what was written. Of course my problems are nothing in comparrison
Problems, no matter how big or how small in the eyes of others are important to us, to ourselves. That's what matters.

I'm sorry you're feeling so lonely. I was like that for many years, watching my friends go off to see their families and I had nowhere to go. My father lived in another state (and wanted nothing to do with me), my sister lived in another state as well and had her husband and his family, and my mother, well....she spent her holidays drunk. I never invited friends to my house because I was ashamed of my mother and the way she acted.

I'll never forget the year I invited a friend for Thanksgiving dinner. My mother was cooking it. Big mistake. She got blasted halfway through cooking the meal and pulled the turkey out of the oven, saying it was done, and it was still raw on the inside. I said, "Mom, we can't eat this, it isn't even cooked yet." And she yells and says, "Yes it is! It's been in there for hours! It's done, I'm telling you!"

Yeah, it was in there for hours. But she had only set the oven temp to 200.

Needless to say, my friend and I left and found a restaurant that was open and ate out.

That's the crap I went through most of my life until I met my husband and got the **** out of there. Now my holidays are wonderful because I have my husband, my 6-year-old son, and his family. I love his family and they love me. They ARE my family now. My sister is still in another state and both of my parents are dead. Ironically, my mother died at Christmas time a couple of years ago.

So hon, don't give up. On yourself, especially. Things change. And they will.

Regardless of all that, Merry Christmas to you
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Old 12-25-2005, 02:50 PM   #12
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Happy Holidays to you as well.
But I think I shall set the record straight.
I am very sorry about your parents...But mine are ok, I simply chose not to travel and see them this holiday season, as I did come on Thanksgiving. I do like spending time with them, but what I was saying that I was lonely w/o a significant other. Once again, I am sorry you had such a bad situation, I am greatful that I have good parents...
I am also glad you have a new family now and is happy to be with them.
Happy Holidays to all of you.
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Old 12-25-2005, 06:19 PM   #13
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Jennifer-What a powerful post. I'm a WW Leader. Would it be ok if I share your note with my members?
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Old 12-25-2005, 08:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBETA
Happy Holidays to you as well.
But I think I shall set the record straight.
I am very sorry about your parents...
That's okay, you have nothing to be sorry for.

Life goes on
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:49 PM   #15
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Dianne, thank you. I don't mind sharing at all, and I hope it helps someone stay on track.

CBETA, so much can happen in a year. You might be alone next year, or you might be with people you care about. Your ex's wife might not arrive, your friend might not have their BF, you might have new friends or a special someone... there's just no telling what will happen. You sound lonely now. Are you happy with the way your life is? You say that no one cares and that you're scared... is your fear of this getting in the way of you seeing what you want? What's important to you? Where would you like to be next year? Regardless of what other people do you're the one who really has power of your life and where it'll be in a year.

I hope everyone got through the weekend ok! I had a nice, relaxing holiday. I got in my veggies and water and exercise. It felt great
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