An Anxious Christmas

I’ve been filled with anxiety lately. There are so many reasons I could be, and even should be, anxious. Finances, children, new diagnosis, Christmas, friendships, family, Christmas, weather …. I don’t like having anxiety. It annoys me. As my anxiety rises, I feel like I’m failing at everything: housekeeping, parenting, personal goals, finances, friendships.

I feel guilty because I’m not enjoying Christmas.

I feel guilty because I’m not on top of my finances.

I feel guilty because my personal goals are not being accomplished quickly enough.

Guilt and anxiety go hand in hand. It’s fed by the judgments of others, and believe me, there has been enough judgment by others that I don’t even need the others to be there… the voices are in my head. Frequently, the voices in my head are affirmed by people in my life, friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, even Facebook posts. Sometimes it’s affirmed inadvertently or accidentally, and other times it’s deliberate and purposeful (though they probably don’t realize that). This, sadly, is a result from emotional abuse. It digs deep into your soul and corrodes you from the inside out.

I don’t feel good enough. I can logically think through that and understand my feelings are not reality, but it doesn’t change that I am constantly battling a personal lack of value. This means I am constantly battling both anxiety and depression, sometime more than others.

Battling anxiety and depression is exhausting. At Christmastime, it’s amplified for most who struggle with seeing their personal value. Christmas highlights good relationships, love, hope, faith, trust… and shows the areas we are missing these things in our lives. So many things at Christmas time make it seem that if you are missing desired romance, family, hope, miracles, love, etc., you aren’t wishing, praying, or working hard enough for them. It isn’t done on purpose. It’s an effort to make everyone believe, hope and dream again.

It’s failing this year. I have lost my Christmas spirit. I have struggled for 12 years with regaining it and instead of getting better, it’s getting worse. If it weren’t for my children, I would be tempted to give up on Christmas.

I won’t give up on Christmas, or life, but remember that there are many out there fighting the battle with hope, and some are losing. Be there for them. Reach out. Do something special, something random. Look for the person who looks overwhelmed in the store, the one crying in the car, the friend who isn’t responding as usual. Don’t give up on the friend who’s always saying no, or is constantly tired.

and… Merry Christmas. May this season be full of peace and hope for you and your family. Choose to never give up on life or yourself.

 

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