Monday, December 26, 2016

The old holiday blues

There's something that happens to me this time of year that I can't control, don't want, and often don't even realize is happening until it starts to lift. I can't remember how many decades it's been happening, but it certainly was  happening as far back as Atlanta, which was 1986-96. A long time.

What is it? Hard to find the right words, but I think a funk describes it pretty well. I used to call it the holiday blues at times, too. Whatever word or words might try to describe it, let's just say that I go into some kind of withdrawn, numb holding pattern that miraculously lifts once Christmas is over. I'm sure it's rightly a depression, but since I live on the edge of depression every day of my life, I don't really notice the subtle beginnings or subtle changes as the season progresses.

It's not as bad as it used to be, or maybe it's just more subtle than it used to be. Maybe I just don't notice it as much. Maybe I just accept it as the norm and don't even think about it. There's a reason I hate the holiday season, and this is it. I eat too much, have an almost uncontrollable appetite. Have little interest in doing anything at all, and tend towards grouchiness.

Then comes the day -- and this morning is that day this year -- when my mind and heart start to lift once again and I see a stirring of interest in life, in the future, a lifting of the funk or blues or whatever it is. It's subtle -- doesn't hit with a bang but instead, creeps in slowly and the funk is generally gone by New Year's Day. I don't look for those subtle stirrings, don't even think about them until they arise, but I certainly recognize them for what they are and let me tell you, they are very welcome indeed.

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