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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas In Bipolarland

Thursday 11-15-2001.  Boy, today sure started off slow . . . yep, depression.  First, I didn't wake up until 11:00 even though I went to bed pretty early.  Woke up to knocking on the front door.  It was my handyman friend.  Turns out he was in the neighborhood and his car was acting up.  He needed a place to check out his car and I live nearby.  That's what got me out of bed.

I feel crappy.  Need coffee.  Take meds.  Feed dogs.  Go to the bathroom.

Next, my ex-coworker friend (still my friend, I lost my job) stops by on his way to work.  He's got a million ideas and things in his mind, many about Christmas and all the family crap that comes up this time of year.  I listened. He was thinking and talking so much I couldn't get a word in so I kept listening.  Just paying attention to him got my brain going.  More coffee.

So with a little help from my friends I finally got moving.  I'm just now getting the mojo on.  Better late than never.  It's almost 1 pm.  I'm on my fourth cup of coffee.

Christmas is overrated.  It's our annual race toward Christmas and the end of 2011.  Things are getting tense out there for the Christmas shoppers still buying stuff.

In my family we've started a recent tradition of either (a) only getting gifts for my two nieces or (b) get them gifts and do a white elephant for the adults.  This year we're doing option (a).

I supported option (a) for a couple of reasons.  First, I blame it on the economy.  The unemployment rate is at 9 percent so we better hold on to our money and hold off on gifts.  Next, I remind people I recently became unemployed (temporarily retired is a good way to see it).  I get a lot of miles out of that one.

But truth be told, I prefer moderate gift giving because I'm just not motivated to shop, shop, shop and spend, spend, spend so I can wrap, wrap, wrap.  It's exhausting just thinking about it.  

I attribute my bah humbug attitude to bipolar depression.  It's here and is muddying up everything as usual.  Things I like to do are distant, unappealing and so is Christmas.

I just don't see any fun in going through all the work to get some presents for people - presents they probably don't even need or want.  All of the presents just become more stuff for others.  Future items to donate to charity or toss.

Christmas spirit.  I was over at a friends house this last weekend.  They had gone out and bought a bunch of lights and decorated their front yard as you can see from this picture.  He got up in the tree and spent who knows how long getting all those lights up.  I commend them on their spirit and intiative, but darn if I'm going to do that.

I have a few strings of lights I might throw on the frontyard shrubbery, but that's about it for the outside.  I did it last year but not this year so far.

And for the inside of my house I have three fake Christmas trees.  They were easy to setup because I never took them down from last Christmas.  I'll probably leave them up for next year as well.  The trees don't even collect dust - low maintenance, yes.

These trees and their decorations are sentimental to me.  They are decorated with a few ornaments and Christmas balls.  My mom made every one of them.  They're hand painted and kiln fired.

My mom passed almost two years ago.  We didn't have a Christmas that year or I wasn't paying attention if we did.  She was an important part of my mental health team.  She was a good, patient listener and ALWAYS available for me.  Not having mom here makes me sad this time of year.

The experience of this season is best for me when I become mindful, Spirit-filled, and focused on Jesus.  I ask what would Jesus do?  It's simple but effective.  It helps me to know that this life is just temporary.  It's like a training ground for the next life.

Sunday 11-18-2011.  Okay I'm back.  I thought of one more thing before I post this.  I need to say what I'm grateful for.  I don't know if I'll post about Christmas again or not so I'll say it now.  I am grateful for:

  • a loving, supportive family
  • awesome friends
  • my health
  • meds that work
  • blogging 
  • the awesome people I meet online
I wish everyone peace, joy and a great Christmas and New Year!


  1. I'm glad you wrote about what you are grateful for. I just posted a quote on twitter about how unspoken gratitude not being as effective as gratitude that is shared.

    Sorry you had a bad day yesterday. I hope you have a better week..

  2. Thanks Wayne. I agree, sharing gratitude with others puts it "into existence" so to speak. Otherwise it's just in your head.