This time last year, my life was going in all directions, feeling lost, abandoned, grieving, overwhelmed and well, you get the picture.
There was an excitement just months prior of me enrolling in a medical class, which was a big step for this old girl. I finally felt empowered enough to move forward after many years of feeling hopeless. Counseling for years was helping me cope and understand myself plus my faith knowing I could do this and my dreams and desires were coming alive. Wonderful. Life was good.
It was in September though as classes started and my counselor of almost four years decided to close her office due to medical issues, of course, unexpectedly. While I understood and was concerned, I could not help but feel abandoned by her. My heart was hurting and my emotions were everywhere.
I would work full-time, go to class in the evenings and when I left, I sat in my car and cried, the grief was too much. This class was too much. My life was too much. How can I do this? Overwhelmed was an understatement.
Through all of this turmoil within, I also knew I had to put a Thanksgiving dinner together for my husband’s family and our own, although my oldest son, now married would be with his wife’s family several states away. The month of November was one with my nose in the medical book, studying for finals the week before Thanksgiving, my house not ready and no desire to go forward, just managing the best I could. My surprise was to get a 94 on my final, which shocked me completely. The joy of the results disappeared soon after, as I was still falling apart within and now no counselor to counsel me, left totally in the dark. Now the anger was more prevalent due to it all.
Being so overwhelmed and grieving, I cancelled Thanksgiving. I did. I was done.
Thanksgiving Day was lonely in my home, just like any other day. My youngest son, living an hour away, decided to stay at his home. I offered for him, me and his father to go out and eat but he had no interest. Loneliness all around with depression raining down on each of us.
Finally, it was late that night when I spoke to my son, instead of texting. In the voice, a lot can be heard and discerned. I knew he was sad over no Thanksgiving. He probably thought that since his older brother was not present, he was not worth it. Still, that thought brings sadness all over me. I will NEVER cancel Thanksgiving or a family gathering again. He did not know my circumstance and the struggle I was dealing with but I was wrong.
In our telephone call, with my motherly instinct, thank God, I told him to get ready as I am coming down to his house. It was dark and late but off I went to be with him, I apologized and told him I will never do that again. We went to eat, get groceries, do all of his laundry and went bowling at midnight. We both had fun and I put a pot of chili in his crock pot to enjoy the next few days. In the end, he received my undivided attention and his mother’s love. He needed me and I needed him.
This year we will have the family in for Thanksgiving and if I get the house clean, fine and if not, fine. I learned my lesson.
“Thanksgiving is the holiday where people come together. At least, that’s what most of us are conditioned to believe. While Thanksgiving has the potential to be the most inclusive and unifying holiday on the calendar — particularly for families — it also has the potential to generate the most loneliness.”
Holiday Depression, it happens!
Self-Care During the Holidays, it’s needed!