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Offline Pack93z  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, January 2, 2013 3:16:03 PM(UTC)

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For most of the holiday seasons.. I have been just the opposite of this, not depressed or reserved. Last season was one of struggle and having to deal with changes in my family in terms of health issues with different members. So I can understand the dynamic in general, albeit most years I choose to look at the "bright" side of life.

And maybe it isn't as impacting as I generally am taking stock of where I stand in life on a weekly and sometimes a daily basis. Almost overbearingly so that is becomes distracting. But I think it helps when it comes to the holidays as I don't pile that on top of the holiday stress.

Sorry for the ramble, but anyway it brings me to the point of the thread. And possible understanding of our fellow posters and friends. Mr. O'Connell wrote it fairly well so I will just utilize it as a reference point for the statements being made.

When our fellow posters or friends seem like a complete ball of stress and seem oh so close to the edge of snapping, remember to keep it in perspective of the overload many of us put on ourselves in terms of stress and thought at the holiday season. Maybe, just maybe there are underlying issues that cause people to become quiet, withdrawn or maybe even angry and outspoken. Even though they may or may not have a reason to be either with any of us, it may be just a needed release of the moment.

It may be the season of giving.. but sometimes it has to be a season of taking it, understanding it and forgetting it.

There.. probably two worthless pennies of thought.. but it has been on my mind in reference to this site and some friends in the "Real" world.


The Holidays Are Depressing

I hate the holidays. Yup, it’s true. I really don’t want to be That Guy who complains about them but I can’t help it. The holidays make me sad and think about the future when my parents are gone and what if I don’t have my own family already and where will I go and blah, blah, blah.

To me, the holidays are a reminder of how much things have changed. We all know that Christmas can lose its magic when you get older. You stop believing in Santa Claus and stop caring so much about gifts. Instead of being an exciting time, it becomes one that’s met with dread, excess calories, and financial strain. You run away from your family problems for 364 days a year and for one (or two if you’re going home for Thanksgiving) you have to face them. You have to see all of your family members and take note of what’s been happening to them. In some cases this can be good. You can be reunited with your favorite cousin, hang out with your awesome grandma. But more often than not, it feels like a bummer.

The holidays remind me of what’s gone missing. Rather than being a celebration of what we have, it almost feels like a memoriam. This has a lot to do with the way I view things obviously. I’m sure most of my family members would disagree with this statement, which is fair, but I’m at an age of transition. My cousins are building their own family, my grandmother—the matriarch—is getting older and the future is uncertain. It all begs the question, “Who do you want to include in your family?” People are already getting left behind. I’m getting left behind.

The holidays stand as a marker for where you are in life. Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a great job? Are you happy? These questions are in your face constantly and you can’t avoid them. If you’re having a great year then, yay, the holidays will be the time for you to show everyone how well you’re doing. If not, then get ready to drink. Heavily.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

thanks Post received 2 applause.
Porforis on 1/2/2013(UTC), Wade on 1/2/2013(UTC)
Offline rabidgopher04  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, January 2, 2013 6:11:35 PM(UTC)

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Holidays and family gatherings are what you make of them. If you want it to be a dismal comparison on your life to others' then that's what it is. But it doesn't have to be this. Change or die.
Do you like bacon?
Offline Cheesey  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, January 2, 2013 6:42:09 PM(UTC)

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In some ways, it's VERY difficult to change. It seems that holidays are treated by you as they were given to you as a child.
Love of Christmas, you probably have good Christmas memories as a child.
I have fought with this my whole life. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness, and Christmas for me was horrible.
Going back to school, having kids yelling me what they got, and me having to say "It's agianst my religion, so i got nothing." Then being abused by the other kids because of it.
I got out of that cult in my late teens, but it put a mark on my brain that's very hard to get rid of. And believe me, i have tried.

Plus now, being broke and not being able to get my wife anything but a card for Christmas. It's hard times for many now adays, i know that. Plus my family doesn't seem to care if i'm dead or alive. Haven't heard from any of them in over a year. I was always the one to reach out, and it wasn't returned. I got tired.
Anyway.....not much anyone can do, it is what it is. Some things you are helpless to change.

I used to think pretty positive. Now, it's alot harder. There doesn't seem to be much of a light at the end of the LOOOOONG tunnel.
My crummy health (which once again is getting worse) makes it more difficult. I'm more of a burden to my wife then anything it seems.
Such is life though.
Offline Wade  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, January 2, 2013 10:05:44 PM(UTC)

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Not worthless at all, Shawn. A great post.

Sorry, rabidgopher04, but the holiday depression, and often outright despair, can go far beyond matters of envy and comparison to others.

Depression tends to be far more individualized in its experience than most people realize, and so I'm only speaking for myself. But for me, the "holiday" is usually as close to torture as I ever want to get. I'd rather sit in a classroom as people ran their fingernails down the blackboard.

I've never been suicidal. And as my faith has grown in recent years, I expect that is less likely now than ever. (Because, to me committing suicide was a sin far greater for Judas than the betrayal itself, for it is the only sin that is forever damning.) But that doesn't make the holidays any easier. Indeed, it may have made things worse, since now I'm always frustrated at how the modern world has bastardized the second most important event in Christian history. Add in that pressures in the weeks leading up to this season are especially heavy at the job I really don't want to be in right now.

I tend to be envious of others far too much and far too often. But Christmas is not a time when I feel envy. Christmas is a time when I just want to crawl into a dark corner and not be bothered by anything of the world. It's a time when I need to be most careful that I do not go off the meds.

I've long since stopped going to "Christmas parties" and the like. And this year I had just two family-related "obligations," both of which in years past have been more positive than negative. One gathering, with my sister and her grown daughters at a brew pub, would at just about any time have been a good deal of fun. Yet, despite having a three hour drive home afterwards, it was all I could do to limit myself to one Bloody Maria and one pint of beer. Heck, I even went through Christmas morning church in a fog. People here know how serious I am about food, but the most advanced cooking I was able to do in December was making boxed mac-n-cheese or making popcorn on top of the stove. Mostly I ate lunchmeat and cheese and bought McNuggets and pizzas.

The thing that finally got me out of the worst of this year's funk was a PM from Foster, I forget what day (Thanks, Marine!). But I'm lucky that I'm in a job that doesn't require any people work between Christmas and New Years, because my productivity wouldn't have just been low. It would have been zero or negative.

I'm probably in the worst financial situation I've ever been, coming off a semester when I did the worst job of teaching I've ever done. And, yes, I'm still permanently single, yadda yadda yadda. But this hasn't been close to the worst of holidays I've had. It was actually one of the better ones I can remember in recent years -- I've got a new hobby, and I've got Thuji the Crazy Puppy.

Trust me, though, O'Connell barely touches the surface of what a lot of people can and do go through this time of year.

Fortunately, the season is always followed by the turn of the calendar to a new year. Screw all that Auld Lang Syne sh*t. January 1st means you can tell an entire year of crap, in this case 2012, to go f*ck itself.

And that, my friends, is an amazingly liberating feeling. It and Foster's PM, my friends, were the two best things about the holiday season for me.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
thanks Post received 1 applause.
Pack93z on 1/2/2013(UTC)
Offline gbguy20  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, January 2, 2013 10:24:20 PM(UTC)

Rank: 1st Round Draft Pick

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Nailed it.
call me Dan
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