People have asked …..
“Why aren’t you happy at Christmas?”
For those who are dealing with a loss, depression and other stresses, frustration at the holidays shopping and buying, sometimes finding ‘joy’ at Christmas seems impossible.
From the article by Ray Williams, Psychology Today.
“For some people, they get depressed at Christmas and even angry because of the excessive commercialization of Christmas, with the focus on gifts and the emphasis on “perfect” social activities. Other get depressed because Christmas appears to be a trigger to engage in excessive self-reflection and rumination about the inadequacies of life (and a “victim” mentality) in comparison with other people who seem to have more and do more. Still others become anxious at Christmas because of the pressure (both commercial and self-induced) to spend a lot of money on gifts and incur increasing debt. Other people report that they dread Christmas because of the expectations for social gatherings with family, friends and acquaintances that they’d rather not spend time with. And finally, many people feel very lonely at Christmas, because they have suffered the loss of loved ones or their jobs.”
Yes it is okay to not be ‘happy’. After years of workplace sexual harassment, and bullying, it had taken a toll on my physical and mental health. I can remember one December and as the holidays approached I was depressed and sad after the second miscarriage that year. From hopes and excitement of a baby, something we had wanted for years, to the sudden loss, and dealing with the emotions of grief. We suffered as a family, a couple, and in our own individual grieving process. Those feeling of sadness overwhelming. For the rest of the social gatherings people were expecting the happy, jolly Christmas loving Sherry. Yet there was no funny Sherry, no jolly Sherry only a shadow of my former Christmas self. Finding the way through that Christmas was part of self awareness giving me, us, the permission that is it okay to be sad, it is okay to set limits of social gatherings, it is okay to be alone, it is okay to be sad.
I found creative ways to see happiness in other events,
“However long the night…the dawn will break.” African Proverb from the book 365 Days of Wonder, R. J. Palacio