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Forums / Anxiety / Christmas - with anxiety/depression

Topic: Christmas - with anxiety/depression

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    3101 posts
    8 November 2019
    8 November 2019
    Hi all...any old buddies on here will know I can't bear this "festive season", not the day itself, by which time it's quiet, with folks already doing what they planned and no more hype or pressure. I thought I was avoiding the dreaded "lead up" but it's started already. I am now overtaken by panic and anxiety flooding my whole being, after months of coping relatively well and healthy.
    my family and grand kids live in another city, and travelling there costs a lot. The parents don't get much time off at this time of year, they have a small home, so I try and find accommodation (which always goes up sky high in Peak Times). I don't get to see them often at all...and need to make contact with the kids before they get much older and I won't even know them.
    working out dates, times etc to travel, hopefully before the tourist rush starts....has me in a really bad way. The earlier you book plane trips in my regional town, the cheaper it is. If I leave it till just a few days before, the cost will be out of my reach. I have to watch my finances these days...and combined with Xmas presents for the kids my head is spinning and I am terrified.
    I can't think straight.....what stores to buy the presents from? will I just send money to contribute to the present if I can't get there in person? My son is not the best communicator and doesn't realise I need every little detail worked out (he doesn't know how bad my anxiety is) I need dates, times, which brands and size the presents have to be etc etc
    To finish up, (and I hope I haven't bored you to tears) I am terrified, can't make decisions, frozen until I hear the family's timetables and advice....and afraid to tell them I am scared of spending too much money. They are my grand kids....I can't disappoint them?
    I am scared of spending money on travel, as well as the presents, but this means I won't see them in person....I miss them, I love them so much....why does Christmas tear people with anxiety and/or depression apart like this? contrary to the happy happy movies and ghastly Carols....there is no peace, no joy, no celebration...at least for me...just stress, financial difficulties, endless choices, time wasting shopping, searching online for travel deals...it's going to destroy me this year.......and I have been doing so well...back to square one with my panic and anxiety...all due to Christmas!!
    1 person found this helpful
  2. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    12727 posts
    8 November 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello Moonstruck, and yes for so many people this time of the year is the most wonderful time, but for those who have suffered from an MI it opens up so many cracks, so many past memories that appear so quickly every year which we regret.

    What presents do we buy for our children, the grandkids that they will be thankful for, or will they deny the effort it's taken us to purchase.

    I know how you feel and understand what you are saying and feel so sorry, and can I get back to you tomorrow, as I'm logging off.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful
  3. Ggrand
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    5768 posts
    8 November 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello Moon, Geoff and all..

    Christmas is always bad time for me...

    It never existed..because my husband said it’s only a money spinner..my children missed out on any Christmas festivities..it’s a huge trigger for me..

    I have spent the last 3 alone..due to my anxiety..To many sad memories and guilt..I do not like Christmas and dread it every year....

    Im happy for those that enjoy the family get togethers..Food Gifts .etc..and I hope they make good memories..

    Grandy..

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Aaronsis
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    697 posts
    8 November 2019 in reply to Moonstruck
    Hi Moonstruck

    I am so glad that you have raised this issue as I am about to head into my first Christmas with some anxiety and some unknowns, this will be the first Christmas without my brother, so I can totally understand how the lead up to this event is impacting you, our worries are a little different but the whole event is causing us some grief.

    I have an idea for you though, I am thinking that to perhaps lessen one thing to worry about how about this for an idea for the grand kids, so instead of having the expense of multiple gifts, the not knowing and waiting to be told and then having to shop, how about and experience. You could take them out for the day to perhaps a zoo or a movie or and activity that you could all do together, you could make them up little cards and give them to them on the Christmas day so that would eliminate any extra baggage to carry and then you get the luxury of spending the day with your grand kids, they would love that so much more than a box of leggo etc...time is precious and seeing that you dont get to see them often this could be perfect. What do you think?

    I was thinking too that perhaps you could put together a timetable that suits you and present it to them, that would save you having to wait in a frozen state until they can let you know what to do. The good thing is at least you know when Christmas is and you could work around either side of the day to get some accommodation and some travel.

    I am not sure if I have helped at all but I can feel how much this is consuming you, it really should not be about the gifts anyway but about spending time together and enjoying each other, this sure does not sound like you are enjoying any of this...big hugs to you and I hope that you can find some comfort knowing that Christmas is so many things for so many of us and I think together we can get through these times if we talk and share the load.

    Hugs to you Moonstruck

    AS
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Helium
    Helium avatar
    460 posts
    8 November 2019

    Hi moonstruck

    I used to love xmas so much my decorations went up in oct and i was big time full on with them. The day my mum passed 2 weeks before xmas i lost the christmas spirit. This one will again be devoid of humans. I dont speak to aunty now so at least i wont have to hear about my pedo dad spending xmas with his girlfriends grandkids. If anyone reads this and remembers a warning at on gumtree last xmas day that was me😆

    Lynne

    1 person found this helpful
  6. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    12727 posts
    9 November 2019

    Living by myself I don't put up a Xmas tree and the last two years I have one of my sons live with but has moved out into a home he rents, and he's not too keen on a Xmas tree, although if one of us said we'd put one up, then we would.

    I used to drive two and half hours every Xmas to see my 2 little grandchildren but haven't for a while, just ring them on Skype, they, of course, love Father Xmas and have a wonderful time.

    They don't and see me because that son has OCD unfortunately.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    3101 posts
    9 November 2019 in reply to geoff

    Geoff, Grandy and others who replied...thank you for sharing and understanding. Grandy you said "I do not like Christmas and dread it every year"....it is a relief to know I am not the only one. Geoff you hit the nail on the head also...with it "opening up old wounds and memories"..

    .Helium ..it appears you've had awful things to deal with too regarding Xmas..."devoid of humans" sounds quite OK and acceptable to me....but....others can drive you crazy with their questions about "what are you doing? are you visiting family, or is family visiting you this year?"....why, oh why do people assume it is ANY of their business what the hell you or I are doing, or not doing....and what the reason is!!

    Aronsis.....lovely words and good advice too about the outing....it looks as though some pressure has been lifted with my family actually suggesting it maybe better, less stressful (for me as well as them ( they are under pressure too with work at this time of year) to visit after all the fuss has died down...in the new year some time to avoid most of the holidaymakers and just have family time together.....whew!!

    Yes, Yes that suits me fine!! I will send my son some money to buy what the kids really need and say it comes from me and this will save a lot for me on travel and accommodation...I feel relieved that it was his suggestion and not my own (perhaps he knows me better than I thought)

    I find it really intrusive when acquaintances/neighbours etc constantly ASK what I am doing for Xmas? "is the family coming up" "or are you going down to them?"...as if there is some unwritten law that we must 'DO" something "FOR" Christmas? I can see my friends and family in April, July or September if I wish....I don't have to comply with a date on the calendar!!

    When will the media, and TV understand that their overly strong emphasis on Christmas can be extremely damaging to those with a M.I. ?

  8. Helium
    Helium avatar
    460 posts
    9 November 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi moonstruck

    I end up lying to neighbours ect who ask cause they seem to not accept its ok to have xmas alone. Well technicaly im not lying when i say im having xmas with a friend, they just assume its a human friend not a dog friend😊

    Lynne

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Helium
    Helium avatar
    460 posts
    9 November 2019 in reply to Helium

    Hi

    I know this is not xmas related but birthdays are a bit the same too. Dont ask when someones bday is and then completely ignore them and not wish them happy birthday Thats just a huge insult. Imagine the double wammy of birthday on xmas day!

    Lynne

  10. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    3101 posts
    24 November 2019 in reply to Helium

    I read on another thread someone's question "what would be one thing to make Christmas easier for you"....and my chosen thing would probably be ...less crap from the media, especially TV hosts.

    i.e. special Xmas Day Dinners with celebrities around the table and a celebrity chef cooking gorgeous dishes we haven't a hope of replicating, with mega expensive ingredients....double page spreads in the papers and magazine with recipes for "that perfect lunch"...then a stupid "countdown".

    what to do 2 weeks before, then what to prepare a week before, etc etc...then your timetable for "the day"...it's absolute crap ..how can ordinary folk possibly live up to this blissful happiness because a calendar has a certain number on it?.......

    So my first chosen "thing" is less pressure from the MEDIA....

  11. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    3101 posts
    12 December 2019 in reply to Helium

    Hey Helium...nearly there. The madness is approaching the finish line for us again this year...I am surviving so far...just...how about you? I confess I too, like yourself...have told little white lies about "what I am "doing for Xmas"...just to shut people up!

    What do they mean exactly? "doing" for Xmas? Why should I do anything different, with anyone different, in any other place because my calendar flips over to December 25, than any other of the 364 days of the year? I don't understand!

    "Are your family travelling up to see you?...or are you going away to their place?" they ask expectantly, obviously requiring me to answer Yes to one of the above..heaven forbid if I am doing neither.....Well neither actually, is the answer (not that it's any of their business)....am I then obliged to explain why??? ....is it "compulsory" for us to be physically in the same location on this particular day that seems to hold such ludicrous power over everyone?

    They don't ask me these questions in July....or March...or February. Why do they get so inquisitive about my private life in December??

  12. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    5925 posts
    12 December 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Moon,

    i have just seen this thread.

    I don’t celebrate Christmas for cultural reasons and when people ask me about Christmas are just smile and changecthe topic. Everyone assumes everybody celebrates Christmas with their family.

    Quirky

  13. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    3101 posts
    13 December 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Dear Quirky....thank you for your reply. I can reply back in just one word: "Why?"

    Why does "everyone assume everyone spends Xmas with family?"

    I heard it said again for about the millionth time just now on a morning TV show...."Christmas is a time to be with family"......A plea to those on TV or in newspapers....Please please please stop repeating this over and over again!!!

    Have you any idea how much it hurts those who will not be (for whatever reason) with "family"?

    I don't have clinical depression but I can get extremely sad and feeling down too....this year the Xmas hype has just begun to hurt me terribly, just now. Its as if I heard that phrase repeated just one too many times re "family being together at Xmas" and my whole self cried out 'Enough!". I cry now every time it's rammed down my throat.

    It has never affected me to this degree all these years (some of which actually have been spent with family, which is lovely...but then any time spent with them is lovely). there is no family rift or anything bad happening.......it's the constant hype about Xmas and family over and over again...it's finally done its job...for the first time...it's left me feeling "lacking" as if there is "something missing" or perhaps my family "don't love me enough" to make sure we are all physically in the same location on a certain day...

    Please please stop with this over emphasis on "family being together at Xmas"....it's extremely damaging to some of us.....

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    3101 posts
    16 December 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    I am sinking lower and lower. Worst year it's ever been. I feel so tired when I wake up...I don't want to get out of bed and face another day of heavy traffic, unable to find a park in the city as so many people go Festive Season Crazy!!!

    I can't put Morning TV on, as presenters have decorations and trees on set behind them...talking about "tips, how to avoid Xmas stress etc." The latter always gets me....as for a start, I suggest SHUT UP about it...would be one way to lessen the distress on OTHERS.

    I am terrible at choosing presents. I am panicked now that the ones I posted to family are all wrong, and stupid. I can't think straight. A relative I know suffers from loneliness and depression I suspect...they live out of town so I will choose a nice gift for them and post it....but I can't think what to get...what store to go to?

    I will be faced with an array of expensive items, so many to choose from my head spins and all I want to do is lock myself at home and wait..wait for night to fall, the darkness, so Christmas and the intense pressure I feel on top of me....can't get at me.

    There's no escaping it during the daylight hours...relentless...on the radio....ancient Christmas songs about winter and snow and sleighs when we are in a fiery heatwave!!!! Totally irrelevant and unnecessary but still the radio plays them. WHY?

    I need to do "mundane" things un-Christmassy things like making Drs appointment etc..but if I venture out, am bombarded with questions about "Have you done all your shopping yet?" what do they Mean by this exactly? I'd love to do more "shopping" but don't have a lot of money. How can I answer that question? What are you "doing for" Xmas? Do they really want me to spell out my whole routine for December 25? morning, afternoon, evening..?

    I am in a bad way this year...worse than ever....please make it stop...but it won't. It never does. Right up until the last minute.....do others know how cruel they are being to me? How much it hurts?

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