Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday.
Each year, so much happens in the weeks leading up to it:
1. Finishing mall shopping before Black Friday (to avoid the stress from fighting for parking spots….New Jersey drivers are VICIOUS…I know I was once rammed by another car while I was patiently waiting for another spot, and they drove off….but not without my memorizing their plate #). I love giving gifts so much that I buy many presents throughout the year.
2. Decorating our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.
3. Creating my Snapfish Christmas card and the pictures and wording I want to include, creating my annual Leung Family newsletter to include for the friends I rarely get to see, addressing all the cards, and mailing them all out the 1st week of December.
4. Hosting my daughter’s birthday party and an annual Christmas party among friends, which entails major house cleaning and wrapping all my Christmas presents.
It’s smooth sailing after the 2nd weekend of December because I don’t normally host Christmas Eve or Christmas Day at our house, and all the presents are already wrapped and under the tree. 🙂 Every year, we celebrate Christmas Day at Uncle Joe’s with the 30+ relatives on my hubbie’s side of the family. And we celebrate with my side of the family at my parents’ place on Christmas Eve, followed by a get-together with my cousins around New Year’s Day.
I LOVE Christmas. Six years ago, I managed to celebrate Christmas after my daughter was born but I was too physically weak and deliriously tired to enjoy any of what makes that holiday so special to me. I hadn’t succumbed to postpartum depression (PPD) yet. That wouldn’t happen for another month. I can’t help but be reminded that six years ago, the road leading to PPD was just beginning. I would be a forever changed person–changed for the better– at the end of the PPD road I traveled for a year.
If you are currently struggling with a postpartum mood disorder, just know that even though you are unable to appreciate this holiday season as much as you would like to, you will be able to next year. And the year after that. And so on. This may be one holiday season that you are not yourself. But this is just one point in time. Now is the time to focus on what’s REALLY important, which is taking care of yourself and your baby. Are you being treated by a medical or mental health care practitioner? If not, make an appointment ASAP. Are you getting the emotional and practical help you need? If not, arrange to get both kinds of help ASAP!
Not sure how to get non-judgmental emotional support from someone trained/experienced to do so? Give the Postpartum Support International warmline a call at (800) 944-4PPD. You can always reach out to me by leaving me a comment.
So, my friend, I’d like to leave you with this message: You will get through this. Soon, your PPD days will be behind you. NEVER LOSE HOPE!!!
Wishing you all the best this holiday season and in 2011!