This holiday season I have fought a constant battle against depression. I am rapidly approaching the anniversary of my full hysterectomy and the symbolic end of my fertility. Every day I see children and feel an ache in my arms. I used to hold babies, rock them, carry them, feed them, now my babies are big. My arms feel the loss exquisitely.
It is also my first holiday without Lee in ten years. I miss him in everything I do.
When my head is not trying to destroy me, I feel pretty upbeat. I get so much love and support from my children, my parents, and my friends that my spirits lift in spite of myself.
When my headaches return, so does the darkness. I find myself crawling deep into my body, unaware of the world outside, unable to feel the warm rays of love and affections those around me send my way.
So I am trying to throw myself into the glittering spirit of the holidays, to feel my children’s excitement as my own. I am trying to make lovely and useful gifts for my family, or buy pretty things with my small store. I am trying.
I am trying because my son is so excited to make things with me, bake cookies, decorate the tree, snuggle down before the fire and sing carols. I am trying because my daughter is watching me, taking her cues from me, trying to see it’s okay to be happy this Christmas, despite of the heartbreaking year behind us.
I am trying because I am so tired of being the unhealthy and unhappy friend. I am tired of being sad. I am tired of being sick. I want to be the one helping someone else.
This Christmas I want health and love. I want smiles and laughter and more hugs than anyone can imagine. I don’t want presents, I want time. I want time walking with you, seeing movies with you, talking with you. I want time reconnecting. I want to be out of the house and doing things with people. If my head hurts too much for that, then I want people here with me.
I love you all, and I am trying.