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Topic: Christmas - with anxiety/depression

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    57 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
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    3324 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
    Valued Contributor
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    Ggrand avatar
    44 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
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    42 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
    6 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
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    3324 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
    57 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
    6 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
    6 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

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