It’s the holiday season, and that means no problems and endless cheer, right?
Not so fast. For an awful lot of folks, the holiday season is not so jolly. While the t.v. commercials and holiday specials are showing an endless parade of happy perfect families, most of us have to deal with real life. Too much money spent on presents can cause financial stress. Families drive us crazy. We don’t get the presents we were hoping for. There’s too much to do and too little time to do it in. It all adds up, and before you know it you’re locking yourself in your room having a gloomfest instead of drinking eggnog.
This is a thread for folks dealing with holiday depression and stress. Need to get it off your chest? We’ll listen. Have some suggestions for dealing? Great!
To get things started, here are a couple of sites I found describing some of the causes and effects of holiday depression and stress and suggesting methods of coping:
Im *REALLY* looking forward to this Christmas! I just got an apartment with my bestfriend, and he's not able to go home for X-mas, along with some of our other close friends - so we're going to have our own X-mas No crazy relatives, No pretending that you just LOVE that awful present infront of 20 family members ---- Just a buncha friends, hanging out and starting some of our own holiday traditions
The holidays just plain suck if you're me. Mid-December is final exam time. That's a super-huge load of stress. Then this year I have GRE (graduate school exams) right before Xmas.
Then there's the matter of going home. While it's nice to go home, I have to readjust to living under the rule of my parents (tough when for the past 4 years you've been off doing your own thing).
Then there the sibling rivalry. Some sibs bicker and fight. Mine hates me. Do you have any idea how it feels to be hated by your sister? it's terrible. She's jealous and completely resentful of my existence because I'm the one who got into a better university and managed to stay there. She's jealous because I've got a pretty clear plan for what I want to do with my life. But it's not like she's been held back at all. My parents gave her all the same chances they gave me. And I worked for this goddammit.
Then there's the matter of holiday seasons past. They've been notorious for putting my parents in the hospital. One year, it was cancer. another it was a stroke. after the stroke, some family secrets were divulged to me out of fear of losing the memories contained in that part of the brain.
So, can you blame me for not always looking forward to being "home for the holidays?"
------------------ I bust my arse so that I can get somewhere in life, so why am I not there yet?
Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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I don't know which GRE's you have to take, but if it's just the general GRE, don't stress too hard. I took it about 10 years ago, but unless it's changed drastically, it really wasn't all that bad. I even did well on the logic part, and I'm absolutely awful at those kinds of questions. (You know the type: "If Mary is sitting next to Tim and Andrew is wearing a blue hat and Suzy is eating chocolate ice cream, which one of them put sugar in his or her tea?") Once I figured out that I didn't have to solve them, I just had to eliminate the wrong answers, I did fine.
As for dealing with your family, good luck. I'm fortunate enough to get along with almost all of my family members, and even then it's not always easy being back home. Is your sister older or younger? These days, when I encounter folks who dislike me just for being successful, I find myself just feeling sorry for them. It's just a waste of emotional energy to hate them back, and if you think about it, it's really pathetic that they're so unsuccessful that they're reduced to focusing on hating me instead of improving their own lives.
So good luck, and I hope your holidays go better this year.
I find the holiday's to be a highly stressful time. Waiting for grades to show up is nearly enough to make me throw up from being so nervous. And while I love my family, I've discovered that it's not terribly healthy for me to live with them for extended periods of time. My sister will be having surgery, and that'll put even more stress on everyone. While my immediate family is reletively tolerable, some of the other relatives have already put plans into play that are stressing everybody out and furthering the family rifts. It's just not pretty when it comes to the extended family.
And beyond that, I don't get to be with my partner, which automatically makes me antsy. Especially since he'll have to spend Christmas by himself basically...well, two of his friends will be there too, but they're planning to go bowling all day, so I'm not entirely sure that counts. I just wish he didn't have to be by himself.
Ah... the holidays. Just the notion of family togetherness is enough to make me vomit (excuse me... *gag*). The truth is, being with your family is sort of ... required when it comes to the holidays.
Coming from a split family makes the notion all-the-more fun. For starters, I was "forced" to call my step-father dad (another story that I won't get into right now) and we get to go spend time with their family. It's like a smaller version of the Republican National Convention (complete with Grandpa Thurmond heading the "anti-race mixing campaing from the kitchen) and to be truthful... it's... disgusting.
Really, it's kind of sad -- a time that is supposed to be filled with joy is actually depressing for most of us because of the forced family-togetherness. Uggh...
------------------ Tim (a.k.a. the dude) ------------------------- "I am man who has grown from a son Been crucified by enraged women I am son who was raised by such men I'm often reminded of the fools I'm among... I am a man who still does what he can to dispel our archaic reputation I am a man who has heard all he can Cause I don't fare well with endless punishment..." -- Alanis Morissette ("A Man")
I can totally relate to your situation, Dude. Only this year there's an added twist, just to make things more interesting.
I live w/ Dad. Mom lives 2 hrs away w/ my sis and her soon to be fiance. My bfs parents have made it clear that they want us there for christmas eve and christmas morning. So that's fine, i figured "sure, why not, sounds like fun". So then i talked to mom about it and she said that she wants me to come there by myself, b/c she doesn't get to see me alone that often and i get to see my bf all the time, so i should come alone. That got me all defensive ... Not a very nice convo to be having on the phone. I just don't understand why his family is so welcoming to me and my family just can't seem to be able to do the same for him. Makes me ... pissy.
As for dad ... I don't know. I don't think he really cares. I'm here all year long, and holidays don't really mean a lot to him and his family anyway. He'll probably get new years eve until school starts again.
I finally got a job, so i'll have some extra cash to spend on other people this year, w/o depending on my parents to chip in to my xmas fund ... I haven't even started shopping tho. Oy.
I find that once the stressful christmassy part is over, New Years is a lot of fun. That's usually what i look forward to. We just have to get through Christmas first.
when my people get along, christmas can be great. but they don't.
i have the split family thing going too. but my mom's all pissy cause i'm going ot see my dad, with my sister. actually i got forced into it cause i haven't seen the guy in 4 years. and no, we couldn't just stay in toronto, no we have to drive to toronto (6 hours in a mini) then stay tehre for 2 days in my grandmother's apartment (made for 1 person, we're trying to cram in 6) and then driving to &*^*ing sarnia, which is another couple of hours, all becasue i'm supposed to see naother elative i'd rather not spend time with.
AND now i'm getting (*&^%ed at cause i'm choosing to fly home early instead of spending another lONG 2 weeks with them. and everybody fights. tehy always do.
Well X-mas IS my fave time of the year... sadly NOT this year... Actually I haven't felt worse in my life! nice huh?
Anyway... I have many friends that stand by me etc etc and all that stuff but you know I feel like I have ice between my chest... feel so cold inside...
Anyway I will get over her (surprise surprise... I'm blue for a girl... how uncommon) So don't mind me I'll be fine...
Anyway the thing that bugs me a lot is that even when I see my friends happy I get so mad at myself cause I can't share their joy... They're so happy and I'm like ok... good for them but I can't be really happy. And that's so selfish.
Anyway merry X-mas!
(Question: I used to be a "bad" guy... girls were cool with me. I met a girl. I became a "good guy". I liked myself better than a good guy. Why the fuck did she became a bad girl!??!? )
This has been, without a doubt, my worst Christmas ever (and my worst year ever, but that's a whole different story). Even though my family doesn't celebrate Christmas (Jehovah's Witnesses), it's normally a special time of year, because everyone's around, and everyone's relaxed.
This year, my nan went into hospital December 21st. She lives at the other end of thecountry, so my dad drove down straight away. She seemed to be getting better, so he came home on Sunday night(23rd). We were kind of ready for a normal Christmas-we even went out on Monday morning to buy a load of DIY stuff for our traditional Christmas home improvements session.
Then Monday afternoon there was a message from the hospital saying she had got worse. My dad wanted to go down straight away, as a family this time. But because I'm still not well, she said I could stay at home. And I decided I would, mainly because I'm not good for anyone in times of crisis and emotion.
So Christmas day, I woke up to no presents (as normal), but also no family to make up for the lack of presents. This is the first time i've ever been 'home alone', and it's over the time that our home is normally most full.
Then at lunchtime a family friend came round to tell me that my nan had died this morning. What timing.
Thing is, me and my nan were never very fond of each other, and that makes it almost more difficult to deal with. Not being able to feel the same emotion as the people around me makes it difficult to deal with. I'm upset, yes, but emotional retard that I am, I'm not in floods of tears. I just feel so sorry for my dad and uncle (their dad died when they were very young), and a sorry that I couldn't have got on with her better. Now it's too late.
So, that was my Christmas 2001. First time ever I lost a close relative, and it happened on Christmas day. First time ever I have been home on my own, and it was over Christmas day. What a jolly time.
I just have to be thankful for having an amazing friend who immediately invited me over to her house to have Christmas dinner with her family, who, despite barely knowing me, fed me and let me join in heir family celebration. There are some very nice people in the world. But altogether, it's been a pretty crappy holiday.
------------------ You wanna save humanity, it's just the people you can't stand-John Lennon
Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death whilst waiting to be killed.
I completely understand what you mean about the not feeling what your families feeling ... But you don't have to. And that doesn't make you an 'emotional retard'. I promise. People deal w/ crisis' differently, and maybe this is your way of coping. And that's totally okay. There isn't really a rule book on how to deal w/ a relatives death. At least not any good one that i've found.
Just try to be supportive for your dad and uncle. Offer to talk, but don't push and prod and get them all upset if they don't want to talk. They'll talk when and if they're ready to.
Keep your chin up, hun. It's still 364 (and counting) days left until we all have to do it again ...
[This message has been edited by LilBlueSmurf (edited 12-26-2001).]
not so bad this year. i survived final exams -- grades come in three weeks. the GRE wasn't so bad. finished in less than three and a half hours. came out with a 620 verbal, 660 math 700 analytical. not bad (especially since i took the test cold), but not stellar. family didn't drive me too batty. good food (when aunt sarah cooks, she cooks) and good drink. got a box of chocolates from my friend. got her a bottle of wine (we're both of legal drinking age) and a Jimmy Eat World cd.
Gotta take my dad to the hospital tomorrow as a result of xmas 3 years ago. but we expect him to come up with a clean bill of health.
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