Monday, January 7, 2008

And We're Back

photo by ☼ Sunshine

Even if you didn't celebrate Christmas, you probably had time off during the last couple weeks. Did you eat too much? See enough of your family? Wondered what to do with time on your hands and no work? OR Did you have an altogether different experience?

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we are inundated with commercialism in the guise of the perfect Christmas.
Dinner magically prepares itself with multiple courses, perfect ham, perfect
turkey, perfect dessert. All carefully crafted by ... who? Oh that's right. You don't
have to actually prepare any of this yourself. If you go to the right store,
wear the right clothes, and buy the best gifts, these things will magically appear.
The Cha-ching Fairy will bless your lovely multi-million dollar dream home with
magical happiness.
Some folks help others in need at Christmas and others gather the few friends they have around them to celebrate a much smaller sparer version. Some folks are not home and celebrate in other places with foreign customs feeling reassured while strangely out of kilter. For many others, the holidays are a hard cold time. A time of remembering, unwillingly, things you don't want to remember.

Media momentum prevents us from really skipping Christmas. For those who are depressed and saddened by the holidays, there is a double burden of their own demons and the expectations of the dominant culture. Probably you know someone for whom the holidays are a difficult time whether or not they are alone. Maybe you take care of someone who has difficulty around the holidays.
You are not alone.
Let me say that again.
You are not alone.
The holidays are the most difficult time of year for many. If the dark wolf of depression stalks your Christmas table or you take care of someone who refuses to "play nice" at Christmas, there is Hope. Now is as good as time as any to tap into the wonderful resources at NAMI - a.k.a. National Alliance for Mental Illness. There is an affiliate just about wherever you are in the U.S.
I am a child, great grandchild, and great niece to people who have major holiday blues. I am also a cousin and a daughter. I never realized growing up how different things were at my house. NAMI has helped me learn to cope with the legacy I inherit from my wonderful family, who could no more help being who they are than I can. Perhaps you are in a similar position. Perhaps you have a close friend who is. There is help in Middle Tennessee and it is a phone call away.


NAMI sponsors local support groups. People who have been through it and taken care of their beloved family members. They have designed and present workshops providing tons of useful information, coping strategies and most of all, the support of generous, loving people who know exactly what you're going through. In Cheatham County, the NAMI affiliate meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Ashland City Public Library from 7-9pm. If you need them, they are there.
How has the "holiday blues" affected your family? What has your experience been like?
Feel free to comment by clicking on the comment link above. I want to see what you have to say.