Caroline Moss is an author and host of the podcast "Gee Thanks, Just Bought It," which helps people find the products they need to make life easier, better and more productive. Now with this column, "Asking for a Friend," she's helping people get the advice they need to make life easier, better and more productive. To submit a question for Caroline, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s almost Christmas and I am depressed. Like a lot of people, I can’t go home to be with family as always, and I don’t have a partner or “pod” where I am to spend the holiday with. I already find the holidays hard to get through in normal years (something about high expectations, low reality, etc.) but this year is blowing it out of the water.
I have a therapist, I am on antidepressants and I know I am “lucky,” but I still feel horrible. I don’t want to eat, shower, work out, get fresh air, all of the above and more. I am just simply depressed. And I don’t even know if I am looking for advice or if I am looking for you to tell me it’s OK. I feel guilty for how mopey I am being, but I can’t snap out of it.
O Christmas Tears
Hi Christmas Tears,
I am sorry you are feeling so depressed. I am also happy you are going through the motions we have to go through when we’re feeling the way you’re feeling. Talking to someone, taking our meds, etc. Even if you aren’t hungry or in the mood to shower or even get out of bed, keep taking the medication, keep talking to your therapist.
The holidays are hard! It sounds like you know this. Christmas in a pandemic? Miserable. Just flat out miserable. You know you are lucky but you don’t feel lucky. I get it! You don’t have to paste on a smile just because someone has it worse than you. Guess what? Someone will always have it worse than you do. And someone will always have it better than you. Such is life.
You have a choice to make this holiday: You can mope or you can try to get out of your head and see if there’s anything you can do for those who have it worse than you do. The thing is, there is no wrong answer. You can choose moping. You can choose to stay in bed. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
Sometimes we have to experience our depression full throttle in order to have a chance of grabbing onto the upswing when it comes back around. And it will come back around, I promise. Maybe not before the year is over, but eventually, it will come back around.
Or you could try to do the things that you would do to help you feel better in the past, because it sounds like you know your depression well enough to have some tricks up your sleeve. But if they don’t work or if you don’t have the energy to try to make them work then that’s just how this is going to go. It’s fine! It doesn’t make you weak or ungrateful or lazy or too far gone. You’re just sad. You don’t have to snap out of it. Maybe allowing yourself to stew will help you swim up to the surface faster. Either way, take it easy and be easy on yourself.
Do you have a question for Caroline? Email us at email@example.com.