Mental Health

Holidays, Anxiety, Depression and a Quo Vadis

Yes, the holidays were uneventful.

Indeed, when depression and anxieties strike, days become uneventful, or at the least, neurotic. Ever since December dawned on me, I had been feeling as though I am constantly being plummeted into a sea of desperation that my anxieties go away—or at the least, be diminished even for a while. Mostly, I try to shrug off all such sensation, just to keep my on my toes and not dance my nights away with vodka or Bacardi (as if I would even choose to drink hard beverages until my mind would sink ever deeper into downer’s depression). Nonetheless, it takes a bit more hard work than it really is that I be pacified thus these days prove themselves entirely chaotic to say the least.

My depression and anxieties started bubbling up ever since our school held a variety show comprised of teachers who dared, with all mettle, to present song-and-dance numbers for students to enjoy. For who would not want  a dose of novelty, and at the same time entertainment coming from none else than one’s academic mentors acting like full-fledged thespians of sorts? Of course, being one of those scant members of the senior high school faculty, I was tapped to sing along with three others, which was fine by me actually. We rehearsed, devoted time to learn all the songs by heart (which turned out futile by the way as we ended up holding cellphones with song lyrics saved on each of those), and tried to blend and meld voices together so as one might not overpower each other. All’s well was planned to end well. And the night of said performance turned out more stupendous than it would have and everyone was happy. I was happy, too.

But not for long.

As soon as I saw the flickering rave lights, hollering students, fellow teachers in gorgeous garbs I became such a little child who wanted to pine for somebody to carry me through the halls and comfort my anxious mind-prattling. Hence, I rushed upstairs and remained there till the culmination of the whole programme, with thought-of reasons such as epileptic triggers due to the lights as my go-to in order to appease fellow teachers from questioning me further (although this served not as an alibi but truth set in stone as I could throw up when surrounded with glare). Yet I found myself deteriorating emotionally and quickly as it could be, eventually lasting for days until the senior high school Christmas party where I had a similar episode of anxiety and depression overpowering my will to enjoy revelry by both faculty and students alike. And it was that Christmas party that toppled all that was left of my sanity: the day after saw me posting Facebook status messages that fused an air of depression with that of angst and anxiety. My cousin messaged me, a friend messaged me, and some Facebook friends began commenting and proferring sympathy of sorts until I began to break down even further such that resolving to deactivating that main Facebook account became inevitable.

Now, people might ask: why such a rapid decline of emotional stability especially during times when everyone is supposed to feel the bliss of togetherness during holiday celebrations?

Well, basically, because it’s the holidays.

A lot of literature has been published on the issue, and experts have expounded on the prevalence of said phenomenon due to a number of reasons. Many have also detailed tips on how to prevent the holidays blues. Nonetheless, the depression and anxiety I had been feeling was mainly due to skipping medications and….

Now I could not say more. I am stumped as to further reasons. A plethora more perhaps, I daresay, but I could not pinpoint that much on what they really are. But the following are surefire (and the more obvious) means for my depression and anxiety to shoot up:

1. The fear of aloneness and loneliness
2. Being ostracized
3. Being confused
4. Feelings of inadequacy
5. Failure in a task
6. Unabated forgetfulness
7. Cheerful dispositions on the part of others
8. Not being talked to
9. Being pressured to adhere to a belief system I am at odds with
10. Reminiscences of past friendships I want to keep but with sheer impossibility of such looming overhead
11. Familial closeness on the part of others
12. Holiday celebrations or any festivities for that matter

How to resolve? I am not so sure as I have not gone back to therapy and that I need to get my medications adjusted (again). Indeed: living with my condition is not a walk in the park; nor that of remedying it, rocket science. The least I would want in myself is that I may blow up or dismantle myself (figuratively, of course) in public via Facebook or Twitter posts, those two being my recourse or distraction, or parts of my persona if you will. Still, I have to proceed forth and wear layers of masks to hide my smugness, grimness, melancholia. This may not end so soon but I do believe it shall not take forever for me to endure. I may be stripped of a stable disposition nowadays but eventually I shall be lifted up and be more resilient. After all, I have survived more than I could bear and this time is not at all disparate with what I have been used to, even throughout times where everyone ought to exchange well-wishes and congenial felicitations.

So—even in the midst of a wilted and tilted temperament on my part nowadays—my “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas”, and “Season’s Greetings” do I extend to one and all. I will be alright.

Choleric-melancholic, blogger, teacher, mental health advocate, book lover.

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