Hey. It’s okay if you’re struggling right now. You are not alone. I’m not sure if that helps or not, but personally I struggle a bit over the holidays and it can be easy to compare yourself to the people who seemed to had their shit together and didn’t spend Christmas morning yelling “Hello?” to the Taco Cabano drive-thru speaker which was unmanned because it’s fucking Christmas, you heathen.
This Christmas I was dealing with a moderate bout of depression, which let me have glimmers of happy hopefulness while still dealing with numbness and exhaustion about half the time. I had enough energy to push through and enjoy my family but not enough to cook or clean or wrap presents and so I ended the day grateful for us being together while also feeling like a bit of a failure. And then you come out of the holidays and think it’ll be better but you realize you’ve overextended yourself doing the bare minimum and have no energy to do anything at all, in spite of the fact that you are behind on everything. You are not alone.
Maybe you are reading this and are feeling the same. Or maybe you’re dealing with grief, or illness or stress or feeling unappreciated because you were one of those people who had their shit together but no one else appreciated how much you worked to make it all happen. Maybe you feel like you’re alone and that no one else is feeling this way. You are not alone. You are so far from being alone, friend.
I literally had to put my head down to rest while writing this. I had to physically rest FROM TYPING. Jesus Christ, y’all.
Normally I don’t write during depressive states like this because I can’t find endings. I can’t end on happy notes of “BUT I AM BETTER RIGHT NOW SO THERE IS HOPE” because I’m still stuck in the mire. But this is me as I am and maybe you need to read this too. Because I’m not better right now. But there is hope. There is always hope.
We will struggle. We will fail. We will win. We will fight. We will come out stronger in some ways and more brittle in others. We will crawl our of the darkness again to see that these lies that depression tells are just that…lies. We will wonder at how far we have come and we will wish we could look back at our past selves and say, “Hey, sweeties. Keep going. It’s going to be okay. You’re okay. I promise.”
So today I look with hope at a future self I want to believe in as I imagine her saying what I’ve said to past me so many times before. “It’s okay. Put your head down and rest when you can. Ask for help if you need it. Give yourself the time that you need. This struggle maybe not be the part of life that shows up on instagram reels but it is just as valid and important and real. You are stronger than you think. You are magical, even if you feel so far from it. You are loved more than you know and the lies your brain are telling you are not to be believed. You are not alone.”
I’ll say it to you if you say it to me. I’ll keep saying it until it’s okay again. Because it will be. For you and for me. Because we are not alone.