First I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Hug yourself, love yourself, and love the people around you as much and as best you can. Life is short, and life is very often harder than it is easy, but it is sweet.
And it is worth it.
When I got sick, I was feeling guilty for taking time off work, and not being able to cope and the list sort of just went on and on and on...A friend said to me "Stop talking like that and tell me what you would be saying if it were cancer or something else."
It was dead simple, and he was 100% right. So I leave you with this. Know that this year seems to be tougher for a lot of us struggling with depression and anxiety than it seems other years have been. So, if you're hurting, know you're absolutely not alone.
Also know that I think we're finally hitting a precipice where we're going to learn that the stats of 1 in 5 people struggling with the things we struggle with is largely understated. That number is more like 25%-33% of all people are dealing with depression and other mental illnesses that are debilitating, crippling, and life altering.
Know that there is help and there is a reason to live and there's a damn good reason to not let this beat you. You are loved. If by no one else. You are loved by me. I wish I could reach out and hold your hand for real, but I am always here to listen too. If you need someone right this moment, please call your local distress hotline. They care about you too.
And at Christmas remember that giving to someone else, anything at all, whether it is time, a smile (even one that is forced through your very own tears) can make the difference between someone hurting themselves and living another day. One smile, handshake or even holding the door open, can set off a chain reaction of love and kindness that can truly save lives and make the world a brighter place. Paying a kindness to someone else, can save you too. Try, please. For me and for yourself. See firsthand how it can fill your heart and replace your pain.
With love in my heart, I wish you all a safe and joy filled holiday.