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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Holiday Blues

After a three month absence from writing due to my new job I felt the need to write and work through recent events and frustrations.  It will come to no surprise to most people that the holidays can be tough especially if you are dealing with anxiety and depression.  This is that time of the year that I can become overwhelmed by events and loneliness.  Did I also mention I am a manager of a clothing store? Mega stress!!!!

I have spent the last month or more wishing there was some way I could magically go to sleep and wake up around January 5th.  My job is extremely difficult this time of year and to add to my stress, this year I am with a new company.  I am working sixty to seventy hours weeks on little to no sleep in a crazy environment.  I'm trying to keep my staff happy and productive and I'm trying to keep customers happy, not an easy task this time of year.  I have to make people work when they should be at family events to please customers that sometimes are not the nicest.  My job is to make everyone happy while I try and hold together my own happiness.

In my quest to make as many people happy as possible I scheduled myself on Christmas Eve and as few employees as I could within reason.  The company I previously worked for was not traditionally that busy on Christmas Eve and even though I worked I could usually make it in time to spend an hour or two with my dad's family.  This year that did not happen and my exhausted defeated body and soul took it hard.  Instead of rushing out the door to Christmas I sat alone folding clothes and crying trying to put my store back together.

The thing about being alone is too much time to think.  I started to think about the fact I don't really have anyone to spend the holidays with other than my parents.  I even started to go into the self negative thinking, would anyone even care that I wasn't at Christmas.  This lead into a spiral of very negative thoughts and anger.  I was finally at my breaking point.  I felt as alone and helpless as the tiny puppies I could hear crying two stores down.  I was back to my dark place, the place I hate to admit is one where I don't want to be alive.

I decided that it was no longer healthy for me to stay at the store.  I could not physically or emotionally complete the store to the standard it needed to be.  I needed to suck up my pride and ask for help the following day.  I went home and poured myself a large glass of vodka and coke.  This isn't something I've done for a long time but I just wanted to feel numb and continue to feel sorry for myself.  The problem with alcohol is it only numbs the pain for a while, so unless you are going to drink it all the time it isn't a solution.

I woke up on Christmas day and continued my pity party.  I had breakfast with my parents but opted not to watch John Wayne movies all day with my dad.  I instead decided to read a book.  I grabbed the book "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey.  I was instantly intrigued because it is about his time in a famous rehab facility that is not far from where I live.  I spent the day reading about this man as well as other's struggles with their inner demons and addictions.  I started to realize yes I have issues but it could always be worse.  I'm glad at the time I hadn't read anything about this books, so I could just focus on the character's struggles and not the controversy surrounding the book.  A small disclaimer about the book, his descriptions of events at the facility where fabricated.  I know many people who have attended that facility and the stuff he wrote about could not have happened.

Yes I did spend Christmas alone in my room reading a depressing book about drug and alcohol addiction but it was my choice.  I need to remember that I could have put myself out there and found something to do that was more productive. This was the point where I realized I often do things that cause me pain because I am comfortable and familiar with the pain.

December 25th was technically Christmas and I chose to read all day and be sad but in all reality today was Christmas.  I should have treated the 25th like any other day I did not have work not glorify the fact that it was technically a holiday and I was alone.  In my heart I now know today was Christmas because I was with my family.  I also need to realize I am never alone, first I have my faith and second I have my family.  No they aren't my kids but I love them just as much as if they were my own.  My goal for this new year is to stop the pity party and make better choices!