It was the most wonderful time of the year for most of us. We spent hours in the store searching for the perfect gifts for our loved ones, decorated a tree hand picked by the family, and wrapped gifts tightly to put underneath the Christmas Tree. Everyone always talks about how happy this time of the year should make us, but in reality some real shit happens.
I know I went missing for some time. Not only on this blog, but in my own mind. The entire month of December I didn’t know who I was. It was all a blur. Every year, I hate Christmas. It seems like something major with my family happens. Every. Year. I call these moments a “Tyler Perry moment” because at some point during his movies, all of the secrets and lies come out at the dinner table. Instead of this happening at the dinner table, our plot twist happens on Christmas. Never fails. Last year, we had an amazing holiday. We all came together to celebrate, made a huge breakfast, and had little surprises along the way. I feel like this happens as often as the Solar Eclipse.
I go through deep depression during the last months of the year. This started around my freshmen year in high school. The first sign of it was when I broke up with my boyfriend for absolutely no reason (there were small reasons but none valid enough to actually end the relationship). This actually happens every time I’m in a relationship over the holidays. I contemplated it a few times this year, but I’m happy that my heart made the decision rather than my mind this time. The closer it gets to Christmas, I usually snap out of it. Someone always pulls me out of the hole. This year was not the case. I felt as if I was falling deeper into that hole. No matter how many people tried to pull me out, I couldn’t. It was so hard to get up for work some days, other days I would wake up and just cry. I even stopped doing yoga. Why? I have no idea. My mind came up with numerous reasons for me to ball my eyes out and then walk into work with puffy eyes like nothing ever happened. I was hoping that people would think that I was high rather than crying (I don’t smoke, but anything was better than the “are you ok?” question).
Every year I plan something for my son. We go out and see Christmas lights, hayrides, Santa, etc. My best friend wanted to tag along with us because she knew what was going on and knew that I needed that person to wind me up while we were out. The first date we planned, couldn’t get out of bed. Everything that could get in the way, did. So we changed the date and made sure it happened. Money became an issue, shut off notices began to appear, health insurance almost got cancelled for my son, student loans defaulting, etc. Anything that could happen, happened.
I was ready to walk out of my job and never return. There were so many signs that I should do just that. My horoscope, that I never read, told me to do the one thing that I’ve been wanting to do. If I didn’t the opportunity will pass and I will regret it. I thought about taking that leap of faith every day. I trust in God, believe me I do, but it just didn’t make sense to me. Why would I quit my job of 7 years after I just got an apartment, I’m a single parent with little financial help from the other party. Why would I do that to myself, but more importantly, to my son? Why would I ruin his Christmas like that? Honestly, I was hoping that it would just be made easy for me and I would get fired. I needed that push, but it never came. So, I assumed that I was misreading the signs given to me.
One day, I woke up crying. I didn’t feel loved, I felt ugly, and was dying for affection. The one time I really needed it, it wasn’t there. It was time to put my son on the bus and usually I leave right after to head to work. Not this day. I pulled myself together after he was on his way to school. I was now running about 15 minutes late. Surprisingly, I made it to work on time. Within the first half hour that I was there, I was cursed out and threatened by a man. There is more to that story, but it can’t be explained for many reasons. The cops were called as well as the detectives on his case. I spent 3 hours giving statements, times, descriptions, and more crying. I quit that day. I told them that my life is not worth this job. I am all that my son has. He will go places in life and I know that I am the only parent that can make that happen. So I have to do what is best for us. My general manager begged me not to go and I told him that I would think about it. In that moment, all I wanted to do was speak to my mom. Honestly, she’s the reason why I even came back to this place. She was right. Who the hell was going to support us? So I came back. Ugh. Then came time for a solution to keep us safe from people like him. Yea, that was a priority for like a day. After that, nothing.
At this point, I still didn’t have a tree, bought decorations but didn’t decorate, didn’t have money to buy gifts, and didn’t have the drive to change any of that. I was just stressed out. My hair began to fall out (and for those who know me know that this is a big deal). Looking for a job was more trouble than just staying where I was, but I didn’t stop applying.
One morning, while getting ready for school, my son asked me if I was ok. “I’m fine,” I lied. He then asked me why we didn’t have a tree and followed up with when we were going to get one. He was worried that no tree meant no gifts. It was then that I realized that he was seeing everything that I was going through. He may not know what exactly was happening (hell I didn’t even know what was happening),but he knew something was up. So now that I officially felt like a shit mother, I went out and picked out a tree after work. I then felt bad picking it out without him and robbing him of that annual experience. Once I showed up with the tree, he was beyond excited. He didn’t even care that he wasn’t there to help. We let it sit for a day and decorated the next. Just me and him. I started to feel the spirit.
Work became really hectic and frustrating. We were in the middle of a small renovation (that was sloppily executed) that I needed to put back on track. Schedules were made early, orders were in, and it was time to begin closing things out for the year and preparing for the new year transition. This is a lot of work believe it or not. Especially for the hotel. So my brain was going 100 miles per hour. There was so much to do and only two weeks left until the new year. One thing that I had to do to make it up to my son was throw a little Christmas Eve party. This included junk food, classic movies, hot chocolate, and a big breakfast in the morning. Finally, I was excited about something. I told everyone my plans. I had work that morning, but when I went home it was party time. I wanted my nieces, nephew, and sister to come over to enjoy all of the fun. Of course, the ultimate bomb on my parade. A call out from work while all other employees were unavailable. this meant my shift quickly became a double. This meant no party, no movies, no anything. And the way that all of this happened was just…wrong. So here I am. I had to choose work over my son AGAIN. Mind you, at this point, I barely saw him throughout the week because he had off from school. Off from school for multiple days means a sleepover at grandma’s. The entire shift I just got more and more angry because this was the time and the only time I had to make it up to him for the holidays and was robbed from it. Just like that. I got home super late, still had to wrap gifts and put my son to bed.
The next day, Christmas Day, was full of family drama, emergencies, tears, and more call outs. Everyone had come down on me for things that were absolutely out of my hands. I wanted to drink so that I could pass out and make the day end faster. Then again, I wasn’t feeling well. I felt light headed, headache, chest pains. You name it. I didn’t want to eat or anything. Just sleep. Close my door and sleep.
The next week, preparing for the new year, I decided to end this. I had to become bigger and better than this depression. I was tired of crying and feeling the way I felt every single day. Every day, I said that I was going to have a good day. Every day, something changed that mind set. I didn’t plan anything for New Year’s Eve because of the fear of something happening at work and ruining my plans again. So I decided to do something simple. Something that I wouldn’t mind doing every day of 2018. That was chilling in bed, waiting for 12am, watching videos, and movies with my man (even though he pissed me off that night).
I woke up with a new attitude. No, this isn’t a new year new me type of thing. I just plan on upgrading myself. Instead of putting me last, I come first (besides my child). I finished my book before the new year began, one goal complete. I think that pretty much set the bar for me. It set my mood for this year. I’m going to get shit done.