Depression and the Holiday Orphans
I live in Florida. I know only one person who was actually born here – my daughter. Florida is a state of transplanted northerners (and we are constantly reminded of this by the snowbirds from the New York who incessantly tell us about how things are done in New York. Enough already!)
Many of any us are holiday orphans. Our families are far away in a winter wonderland. Snow flakes. Snowmen. Snow angels. Snowball fights. As close to as we get to snow in the sunshine state is a snow cone. Christmas in Florida is about as natural as the ridiculously plump lips of women in Boca Raton. It just ain’t right. Then there are the elderly. Widows and widowers. Nursing homes. ACLFs. We have plenty.
True, we don’t have to endure months of seasonal-affective disorder. Still, being alone in Florida during the holidays is depressing. Actually, being alone anywhere during the holidays is depressing. Christmas Eve and Christmas morning are the worst. I know. I used to volunteer to work Christmas Eve just so I wasn’t alone.
Being alone is hard enough during the rest of the but during the holidays our loneliness is shoved into our faces. Could the FCC please impose some kind of quota on those freakin’ diamond commercials? Please? Ditto on the Lexus ads with happy couples giving each other a shiny new car with hint of Lexus jingle on their cell phone? Seriously. Enough already.
These days it’s just my daughter, me and the two dogs. We used to get all dressed up, pull out the family China and crystal and have ourselves a merry little Christmas dinner. The single-mom’s valiant attempt to stage a Norman Rockwell meal. This year her boyfriend’s family has invited us for dinner. God bless them.
Here is my suggestion. Today think of someone in your life who will be alone on Christmas or during Hanukkah and invite her to have holiday dinner with you. Those of us with depression love to wallow in our isolation throughout the year and Christmas Eve is the Super Bowl of our pity and isolation.
Naturally, that lonely soul will likely say “no.” That used to be me. Then it was explained to me that when you say “no” you are depriving your host the opportunity to feel as good as you do when you help someone. Do you really want to take away that gift?
Stapleton, C. (2011). Depression and the Holiday Orphans. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/depression/2011/12/depression-and-the-holiday-orphans/