Dreading December - page 2

Today, as I was looking at my half-decorated tree, mountains of laundry, and sink full of dirty dishes, I began to sob. My sweet dad passed away 2 weeks ago, and January 2 will be the twelfth... Read More

  1. by   nurseprnRN
    I knew a therapist once who made a recommendation for days like that. It's rarely convenient to pull off the road, literally or figuratively, for tears. So what you do is pull out your calendar and earmark a few hours to do that. Really.

    It makes a lot of difference in your ability to cope when you can remind yourself that you have an appointment with yourself for Thursday at 2pm to have a good cry. When the time arrives, you are in your car at a beach, sitting on a log in the state forest, having a thermos of hot chocolate at the park, in your bedroom while nobody else is home. You put on a weepy movie, reread your diary, listen to Christmas music, start thinking of things that make you feel like crying, whatever, and the kicker is: you don't stop yourself from doing that.

    It sounds silly, I know, but when you sit there and pull out all of the bad thoughts and fears and agonies out of that mental closet where you've had them packed away, they become much less powerful. And it's enormously helpful to just have a good cry. It releases a lot of psychic pressure.
  2. by   Spidey's mom
    I can't make myself cry.
  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Me neither. But then again, I avoid the sappy holiday movies on Lifetime for a reason.
  4. by   nurseprnRN
    The therapist told me, "Don't say can't, say won't." Made all the difference in many contexts.
  5. by   TopazLover
    I have not been visiting AN much lately. So I apologize for my late response. I hate this time of year also. It never was my favorite holiday, and I realized that so I did less than many and enjoyed my level of participation. Five years ago my DH had his first stroke Christmass eve. He had his second, and ultimately fatal stroke Christmas night. He was declared brain dead the day after Christmas. The rest of that season is still a blur. Now I really do not like the season. I find the buying frenzy disgusting and the fake war on Christmas one of the most disingenuous campaigns possible. I do have SAD and take care of my depression. All that said:

    Your situation is a common and probably a normal response to your losses. I recognize that my dislike of the season is in part because it is so fake. Real time with loved ones is different than opening present after present that show no understanding of the person for whom it was purchased. If your depression is situational, indulge yourself in a limited time of mourning during this season. Think about those good times with your parents. Challenge yourself to find joy in at least one of those good time activities. In my case it was that my DH loved giving toys to Toys for Tots. We would spend an entire day shopping for lots of gifts for children who would not have those things. I follow that tradition that in my own way. I learned how to crochet stuffed animals and gave those to local homeless shelters for the children, so they could have a stuffed animal while they were in the shelter where I volunteered.

    I wish I had gotten here to offer something before the holiday. If you have true depression get it treated. Expect a let down after every event, especially the first few years. Talk with others. Recognize the fact that you have the right to participate as much or as little as you want. If other demand appearances and have difficulty understanding your situation, forgive them and do your own thing anyway.

    I hope you were able to work your way through the holidays and the one to come in a couple of days. It took time for me to look at the new year in a positive manner. Having a loving family certainly helped. You might want to think about starting a new tradition in honor of your parents. I talk to the stars and hope that my DH is sitting near one and will hear about my year.

    Regardless of what you decide, put yourself first and know that you deserve this time to mourn because you loved. If we did not love, we would not mourn.

    Come NYE I will ring a bell in your honor and in hopes you will be comforted in what ever way is best for you.
  6. by   Barmherzigkeit
    I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Dad near Christmastime. I just saw your post and wanted to let you know you are not alone. I understand "Dreading December". My Mom died December 15th 3 years ago. That first Christmas, I just felt numb. Going through the motions just like you. You are grieving and hurting which is normal. Grief counseling can help. Three years later, December is becoming bearable again for me. I hope time helps you to heal as well. You are in my prayers. Sending you gentle hugs.