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Living With Depression At Christmas

The pain is indescribable. It consumes every inch of my body until I’m left feeling breathless and numb. Emotions prick my soul like needles. They rush into my head, unwanted, undesired and ready to stop me in my tracks. The embarrassment of being an easy target, prey to the predator that consumes me, feeling like a substandard version of what I feel a person should be.

The inability to experience enjoyment. The fear of feeling happiness because it’s so unfamiliar. The feeling of being lost in a place where I should belong. Not knowing how long I can live like this, how long I can keep doing it for, how long I can keep feeling this way. How is it possible to feel all this and still feel anything at all?

Aching, waiting, straining, synonymous with living my life, every moment spent knowing this has to be the end. As my eyes blink open, a painful noise escapes my lips, long and tiresome, aware of my existence. Internally bruised as I carry out everyday life. Then Christmas shows up, the festive holiday season where everyone around you appears to be filled with warmth and a joy for life that’s so unlike other seasons. Unique.

Bright lights are hanging from cheerful decorations, and I remember what it was like to experience the season with that feeling of excitement. It’s painful to hear those Christmas songs again, the ones I used to sing with my Mom. I have such cherished memories with my family growing up of putting all the decorations together, the tree, the manger, the village, the mantle, the stockings. My brother would always moan and complain but secretly I knew he loved it as much as I did. However, Christmas magic ended in my house when my Mom passed away almost thirteen years ago. Not one decoration to speak of.

Now everything I see provokes hurt inside, reminding me too distinctly of the times I didn’t hurt at all. Being with a family I know that I’m blessed to have, the fortune of my predicament seems to inflict a sharp stomach pain. Good or bad, everything feels like it is slowly killing me.

The smiles, the laughs, they show the same person I’ve been to everybody over the years. Then, at night, my body is shaken, rigid, heart beating fast, yet labored. Fatigue by its attempt to keep me going off such little desire for life.

Suffering with depression through Christmas and New Year’s will never be easy but I wish, for me and everybody else, that we make it through another year.

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