Depression doesn’t take a day off for weekends, holidays or birthdays.
Whether it’s a festive time of year or maybe it’s your birthday or even just a long weekend where work and other commitments feel far less overwhelming for a moment doesn’t mean that a person who is battling an illness like Depression should or can just suddenly feel happy.
In fact many of these occasions which most people choose to honour or can’t wait to celebrate can become an even lonelier and more triggering time of the week or year for many others.
We all remember the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, right? I bet you even started singing a few lines in your head as you read this. Ya it’s got quite a catchy tune doesn’t it? If only it was that easy for everyone to just “be” happy then everything would always be okay.
A person’s feeling of happiness unfortunately though can’t be dictated to someone battling Depression just because well, it’s Christmas or their birthday or a long weekend and so telling them they should”be” happy or to cheer up or have some fun because it’s Christmas afterall, it’s a long weekend afterall, it’s your birthday afterall can feel very dismissive to their struggles and their personal mental health journey. It is far more complex than being sad.
Many individuals battling Depression may also look to the outside world like they have it all; a successful career, a beautiful home or a loving family so it often begs the question: Why aren’t you happy? Why can’t you just choose to be happy?
That I can tell you firsthand will only escalate the level of guilt even more for the individual who is battling Depression and just trying to do their best to get through another holiday, another birthday or another weekend.
The simple answer here is that one does not equate to the other.
It just weighs you down further.
Wishing everyone peace, love and light this holiday season. Choose kindness and empathy.
*If you are having a tough time getting through today or this long weekend or maybe you are feeling triggered or alone or isolated please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need someone to talk to* Stay Safe everyone.
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