Saturday, December 4, 2010

Is Christmas Over Yet?

On November 29, 2010 the 5th most searched term on Yahoo.com was "depression". Does anyone find this odd or strange? Why is it that we have entered the "HOLIDAY SEASON", or as some demand we say, Christmas, and yet depression is on the top of everyone's mind? Let's pause and think about this for a moment.

Everyone has this utopia picture of Thanksgiving being a time when family gets together and enjoy the love that they share for each other. Yet, this more often than not, is so far from the truth. In fact, one of the more recent articles I saw published the other day said that domestic violence cases rise during the holidays.

Why is it that we all subscribe to this concept in our society? Is it out of duty and upbringing that we put ourselves through this torment? Is it because we feel we cannot rock the boat if we do not go along with what our family expects of us? Could it be that in order to show our love that we profess to our God that we put ourselves through something which we clearly do not want to do?

If we are to survive as a society, we need to begin opening our eyes up to how we treat one another and to what we all try to sweep under the rug. Depression, domestic violence and suicide does not make for happy holidays. We all know that of course but yet so many of us do very little to change that in our own lives. We tend to view it as a problem in the lives of others while were oblivious to what is going on in our own life.

Maybe what I write here today sounds pretty harsh and preachy but it really bothers me that the fifth most searched word on Yahoo.com was depression. My hope is that those who are struggling to make it through the holiday period and are fighting to stay alive will realize that the happy pictures of the holidays are not the norm. In fact, it is probably more normal to have a messed up family situation, especially during the holidays.

I know for years, I struggled to even make it through the holidays. This year is no exception because even with those around me that I love and cherish, the holidays are still a difficult time for me. Friends that I know are saying some of the things I am like "how much longer until December 26th!" For those of us who have gone through the horrors of Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is not an easy time. Yes, we suffer through it and we put the happy face on but deep down inside, it is pure torment. I'm just hoping that this is the year that the holidays are not quite as rough. I hope for this to be true.

If you are struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide or anger that leads to domestic violence, please go get help. Let me repeat this important statement. Please, go get help! It is not a sign of weakness to seek help. It is a sign of strength! I've been there and I've walked in those shoes. There are far too many horror stories I could tell in this regards. Alcohol is not the answer. Drugs are not the answer. Suicide is not the answer.

I just want everyone to know that you do not have to suffer in silence and even though you may feel all alone, there are people that care. I realize how difficult that is to hear and understand because I struggle with it as well. Just know that you are not alone. Others have walked in these same shoes.

Resolve to find something different you can do this year during the holiday season to change the course of events for your life. It may be planning a trip somewhere during the difficult times or on Christmas Day. It may be spending some quality time out in nature just enjoying the connection that you share with the world around you.

What if there was something that you could just give yourself that would help you know this year did not need to be like all the years past. What can you do to change the course of events for your life this holiday season? How can you help yourself? Go ahead and plan it out and enjoy the process of connecting with yourself. You might just find the joy that you can create in your life during these difficult moments.

(c) Don Shetterly 11/30/10 - Use by permission only.

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