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Another pity party

Posted by Nancy N on 12/21/02 at 09:46 (103685)

OK, it's my turn. I'm sitting here this morning in my pajamas, even though I've been awake for about 3 hours.

I probably need more sleep but couldn't nod off again, which may be part of the problem. I haven't been able to sleep as much lately as I've needed to, sometimes because of my own tendency to stay up too late, and sometimes just because I wake up too early.

My family is in Florida and I am not (which was my decision but it's still weird to feel this alone at this time of year. I still would rather be here than be there, which I know sounds strange, but I guess there's a certain adjustment either way.

I feel even more alone now because my much-anticipated company arrived Thursday night and left yesterday around 3, and ever since I have had too much time to myself and therefore too much time alone in my head without adult supervision. (Doesn't seem to matter that we had a really good time, just that I'm by myself now, which doesn't make much sense.)

I just feel poopy, as my sister-in-law would say, and I'm not sure that I should (I'm not sure that I'm not feeling depressed just because I don't have anything else to do, in other words--more of that 'no adult supervision' thing).

I called my very best fashion consultant/retail therapist but he's delivering a new TV to his mother today for Christmas, so that's not an option either (and I keep forgetting that this is the Saturday before Christmas and not the one after, since my family exchanged gifts a week early).

I know this is only temporary, but I'm not enjoying it and need to get out of this funk, because I have two weeks to myself and if I keep this up, I'll only succeed in making myself miserable.

So.... I guess I sorta need to vent (or is it more like mope?) and am hoping that, in grand Heelspurs style, you guys will help me laugh a little (maybe even poke fun at myself, because I'm sure this message is just begging to be parodiied!), which is probably what I need more than anything else. Any takers?

Re: Another pity party

wendyn on 12/21/02 at 10:05 (103686)

Nancy - a couple suggestions that may make you feel better....

What if you bake some cookies and take them to the women's shelter?

How about offering to serve food at the soup kitchen?

What if you went out and bought some toys and donated them to charity?

I'd be almost willing to bet that if you did something completely selfless for a few days...you'd feel a whole lot better. At this time of year, charities are overwhelemed with work - and you could make a real difference to someone else.

Re: Another pity party

nancy s. on 12/21/02 at 10:17 (103687)

well nancy, YOU made ME laugh with your 'lack of adult supervision' comment! i could use that one on myself at least once a week. i think i will. thanks!

it's not a question of whether you 'should' be feeling this way, or whether the good time you had with your company 'should' keep you from feeling this way. you just feel this way; part of the cycle of life.

first, i think it's very natural to feel a letdown after a good time, especially if you're faced with what feels like nothingness immediately after. second, and probably more to the point, this time of year can be hard in many ways. we have the least amount of daylight of the year. it's cold and bitter. we think everyone who is off with people is having a better time than we are (often not true). difficult things can blow themselves right out of proportion. i think a lot of people actually cry more around this time of year than at any other. if you feel inundated with people, you feel really overwhelmed; if you feel alone, you feel really really alone: lonely. and over the holidays one's imagination can make these things seem permanent, or at least endless for the foreseeable future.

as antidotes, i suggest you:
* get on the phone and call distant friends you don't get to talk to much.
* use this time to write in a journal, 'talking' to yourself and sorting out whatever might need sorting out in your life but doesn't get enough attention during the busy routine times.
* read some books by bill bryson (i suggest 'I'm a Stranger Here Myself,' a very funny commentary on life in the u.s. after he returned here from 20 years in england).
* visit art galleries, museums, concerts, movies, etc., that normally you'd go to with other people. you can take in a whole lot more when you're by yourself.
* do you have a room you've wanted to paint, or some other project that keeps getting put on the back burner?
* make some fun collage-type cards, using words and pics from the newspaper or magazines. no one has to be an artist to do this, and more than once i've had a wild time all by myself doing this for days! (call me weird, i don't care -- as bill bryson might say.)

at least you haven't yet made a fool of yourself, it sounds. one christmas in my twenties, i left work on a friday evening and we weren't to return for two weeks. everyone i knew was doing something else, and i was on my own. it was dark out and i was walking to my apartment. but i made it only a block or so when my self-pity swelled into a tidal wave and i crawled under a big pine tree and cried and cried and cried. i kept on crying, and i couldn't stop. i mean, i really couldn't stop. so i walked, still crying uncontrollably, into an emergency room! the doctor who was awoken to take care of my medical emergency was not at all pleased! but the nurses were very sympathetic. i finally stopped crying, got myself home, took a hot bath, and went to bed for three days.

i tell you this to make you laugh. i don't recommend you try it, heh heh.

you'll be fine, nancy. and keep posting and tell us all about it!

nancy
.

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

Laurie R on 12/21/02 at 10:23 (103688)

Hi Nancy , First off , I think Wendy gave you the best advise .... I could not of said it better.... Toys for tots always needs help...And it is a great place to start.... I feel as Wendy does , if you reach out to others it will really make you feel good... I did a big party one year for homeless kids... I had my job do a big lunch for them , and I went to Toys R us and bought each child a gift or two ... It was the best Christmas ever. All I did was look in the phone book and got a few homeless places ..... It made me feel so good.

I have to share with you this . Their was one little girl . I had wrapped all the gifts. A little piece of the wrapping came off her gift. She came up to me and asked me for some tape. I asked why ? She told me she would like to re tape her gift , she wanted to save it for Christmas . That was the only gift she was getting . I had to talk her into opening it . Then I gave her a few more gifts to take with her ...

She bought tears to my eyes.... She was just so sweet .....

Their is much you can do to make a difference and it will make you feel better......

I have been very depressed , but I am trying with everything I have to keep it together . I always think , this is suppose to be the happy time of the year , not the saddest ......

I would think for you , it would be hard , with your family being gone... So you have every right to feel the way you do . Nancy , you did the right thing , you came here and wrote about it ....

I hope you take Wendy's advise , I just know it would make you feel better.

This year , we are not going to be with either of our families... I just can't take it this year...... But my youngest is going to be in our church Christmas play .... This will be on Christmas Eve . I am so excited about this and so is she ..... I have to take her in a little bit for practice... So this for us is what Christmas is all about ....

I wish you only the best Nancy ... Please let us know what you decide to do.....

Laurie R

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

Nancy N on 12/21/02 at 10:29 (103689)

Yes, Wendy's ideas are good--but I have to yank myself back to reality a little before I would go do that What good is it to go out and try to do something like that if I'm going to be Grinchly about it? Right now, it sounds like too much work, which is a signal to me that I am relatively well-entrenched in this state of mind, probably too much to do something productive just yet. I really hoped last night that I'd feel better after I slept, but... oh well.

I don't even know what I'm doing for Christmas Day--if I'll spend some time alone, or schlep to my sister-in-law's family's dinner, or to one of my colleagues who invited me over yesterday. I can't even get myself to think about it because I've done so much running around and driving lately that I am just utterly worn-down. I don't think the physical exhaustion is helping the brain much, either.

I dunno. We'll see....

Re: Another pity party

Nancy N on 12/21/02 at 10:41 (103690)

Can't take credit for 'alone in my head without adult supervision,' I got it from a wonderful woman named Iyanla Vanzant, who has been on Oprah and once had her own show, but even more importantly has written several fantastic books. I was lucky enough to see her in person last month and she used the phrase above and I loved it enough to keep it and use it. It's funny, it's much easier to see when I'm being ridiculous now that I have a good name for it. I'm in the middle of one of her books now and was thinking about reading some of it today. It might help.

I didn't know you were a fan of Bill Bryson, but I'm not surprised. I have a feeling he and I would get along. I may just dig out my copy of, well, any of his books and see what I can find therein.

I think maybe part of what's brought this sudden poopiness on is that I've been so busy all month, going here, going there, spending entirely too much time getting to know the inside of my car... and I swore last weekend, when I could barely get myself out the door and into my car to go have an early Christmas with my family (who are two hours' drive away) that I was not going ANYWHERE this weekend and was going to do 'a whole lot of nothing.' But now that everything has suddenly, abruptly, come to a screeching halt... Is this effect sort of like emotional whiplash? I don't know what to do with myself and am compelled to get out of the place where I was so looking forward to relaxing on my own. But I'm no use to anybody the way I'm feeling right now.

I just want to cry.

Maybe I will. Might get some of the crap out. (But then, when I decide I want to go ahead and cry, suddenly I can't! Oh, I tell ya, isn't being human wonderful?)

Re: Another pity party

Carole C in NOLA on 12/21/02 at 10:50 (103691)

Ideas... pick one!

1. Look in your phone book for a 'Bath and Body Works' that is not in a huge mall (so you don't wear out your feet!). Go there, and try out all the scents that they have put out to try. Buy something in your favorite scent and go home and use a lot of it. I recommend 'Night Blooming Jasmine'... see what you think of it!

2. Get the ingredients for your favorite Christmas treat, even if it is not terribly slenderizing. Christmas only comes once a year. Bake cookies, drink egg nog, make rum balls or that special salad. Wrap yourself in a comfy blanket and watch the TV show YOU want to watch, with your goodies.

3. Be a kid again. Buy a jigsaw puzzle, or if you are overburdened with bucks buy a Playstation II and a good game for it.

4. Music therapy... for me, that's Beethoven's 'Pastorale' symphony, at higher volume than usual. Watch out for Christmas music, unless you think that would cheer you up instead of depress you more.

5. Start an online journal. I did a few weeks ago, at http://www.stories.com . There are lots of websites that let you do this. Expound and elaborate!

6. Explore message boards, chatrooms, IRC, and all the other online venues you can think of. Look for people who you can help or who will at least commiserate with you. Vent! Oh! you already did that here. LOL But anyway, I find it helps me to vent when I'm down.

7. Nap if you can. If you can't, drink some strong coffee so that you are wide awake. Put a little chocolate and cinnamon in it to pamper yourself. If you get too wired, clean out your closet. :)

Hope this helps!

Carole C

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

Julie on 12/21/02 at 11:14 (103693)

Hang on, Nancy, you've got it back to front. Getting out there and doing things for lonely or homeless or distressed folks is exactly what will yank you back to reality. Don't sit around pooping and schlepping and hoping it will happen: you'll just get like the tse-tse bird.

You don't know about the tse-tse bird? You're probably too young. The tse-tse bird is a very, very rare bird who flies round and round in smaller and smaller concentric circles until it flies up its own asshole.

But seriously...

I'll add a couple of suggestions along Wendy's lines.

Go through your address book. Pick out someone, or two or three someones you know have been having a hard time lately - it shouldn't be difficult - or are, like you, missing their families. Give them a ring and tell them you're thinking of them. Have a conversation. (I don't mean 'try to cheer them up' by being cheery, which you don't feel. Just knowing you're thinking of them will do that.

Call your local hospital/hospice/old people's home and see if they'd like you to come and visit.

Please stop thinking you shouldn't be feeling as you feel. It's how you feel and it's all right. The thing is, it's making you unhappy, so you want to get out of it, and nothing will do that faster and better than being of some use to others. Don't wait till you feel better, just get on and do it. You don't have to cheer anyone up, just do something for them.

Also, try to remember that Christmas is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. There's a pressure to be happy and cheerful and sociable and whatever, and not everybody responds well to that pressure. If this were just a 'normal' time of year, you'd probably be revelling in the peace and solitude of your home, reading and writing and listening to music and resting and reflecting - whatever you thought you'd be doing when the blue funk hit you.

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

pala on 12/21/02 at 12:05 (103694)

well rather than give advice i'll just say that this is a pretty bleak holiday season for me as well. how do i deal with it. i try to focus on the moment. what can i do this minute, or these next few minutes to keep me going. the smallest thing is a victory. on the other hand aint nothing wrong with feeling what we are feeling. tis human. tis the season to be depressed, for many of us. this board is a help. just chatting with online buddies. being silly, being real...it is sometimes easier to speak our real feelings here in this supportive space.

Re: Another pity party

Pam B on 12/21/02 at 12:38 (103697)

First off, allow yourself to feel bad but dont let your feelings allow you to be depressed and take you over.......I really dont think Christmas is all it is meant to be in our day and time.......it is sad that we have all put so much pressure on ourselves to follow stride in how the 21rst century celebrates Christmas......I agree with every post on here as for suggestions on what to do to make you feel better....any of them will work, I am pretty sure of that.......

I myself and not in the spirit of Christmas this year either....but I am trying....although times are tough in my home this year and I cant do what I would like to do either physically or mentally due to sad memories that also make this season hard for me.....but, I have been listening to and admiring a very dear friend of mine that also posts here and I am trying to cope and get through the season.....I am not mentioning any names but I will tell you this much, she is an angel and has not a clue that she is such a mentor for so many of us that post in here....I am very fortunate to have the honor of calling her my friend...

I know that alot of us here cannot do alot because of our health and foot issues, but I do know this...last nite it came to me that there is only one person responsible for my happiness and that person is me.....do whatever makes you happiest and you will feel so much better.....give of yourself to others or do something special for yourself.....but always remember you have the right to feel bad just dont let the feelings run away with you......go buy yourself something, plan a party, or do any one of the things that have been suggested here, IF you think it will make you happy.....happiness is a state of mind that comes to us when we do things that we like to do or give of ourselves to others in need......so dont feel bad, know your not alone and maybe that in itself will be enough to make you feel better so you can push yourself to do what you love to do and that WILL make you happy...trust me when I tell you, I too am pushing me, but as of last nite, I am not going to let this holiday be spoiled because I have things in my head that I wish were not there.....so starting this morning, I have decided to enjoy the holiday and be thankful for the blessings I do have.....when you think about it, there are so many others out in the world in alot worse shape than we are and have so much less that it makes me feel better inside knowing that I have been blessed.......I hope some of the ideas here help you to feel somewhat better and know that you are not alone in your poopy feelings :) as you say.......so dig way down deep inside and find that happiness, it is there, you just have to look for it :) Merry Christmas

Re: Another pity party

Suzanne D on 12/21/02 at 13:05 (103699)

Dear Nancy,

You have been given such good advice in your replies here. First of all, I think we can all relate to how you feel. It is normal, as Pala said, and can stem from exhaustion as well as the season's expectations and your family being away. Don't be too hard on yourself.

And I totally agree with Wendy and Julie and Laurie! I've been there. Don't wait until you feel all cheery and able to help someone else. Just start doing it ~ no matter how you feel ~ and then the good feelings will come.

When my mother died on Christmas night years ago with my 7 year old daughter sleeping beside her, it was a hard time for me. My father had died the year before, and now this. Then my sister and I were faced with the daunting task of deciding what to do with everything in the house, etc. About a month after she died, someone's house burned not far away. We boxed up the entire kitchen and took it to them. That was the first time I began to feel better. I knew Mama would have been pleased. My sister and I then started giving away lots of things to those who would need or appreciate them. That really did help me feel better and not as depressed.

Yesterday ~ our last day in our little school building ~ threatened to depress me. I have taught 10 years in that building after 13 years in another system. But then I looked across the hall at my friend who has taught in this building 40 YEARS and saw how hard this was for her. I forgot about myself as I tried to help her get through the day. My husband took pictures which we are going to print out and make into a collage for her. That helped my sad feelings.

So, I agree with the others and took longer to say it as I always do! I don't mean in any way to not seem sympathetic - I am indeed. I just know that what will help is what we have all said to you.

Take care, and may you find happiness and joy!
Suzanne :-)

Re: WOW!

Suzanne D on 12/21/02 at 13:11 (103700)

In the time it took me to type my reply, three other people posted to you, Nancy! That very fact should cheer you; you have lots of friends who are taking the time to write to try to help. Isn't this board full of nice people?!

Suzanne :-)

Re: Another pity party

nancy s. on 12/21/02 at 14:23 (103704)

yes, i think it can be a sort of emotional whiplash. you sound exhausted, nancy. if you're really exhausted, and have been driving and running around like crazy, one or two good nights of sleep isn't necessarily going to do it for you. you may need a week or two of calm down time -- which is exactly what's available to you.

usually, though, when you come to a screeching halt, it does NOT feel good at first. it feels lousy, like decompressing; the winding down feels like sinking. let it be, keep resting, and one of these mornings you'll wake up and want to do something. stay tuned to yourself: rest while you know you still need to; and get up and moving as soon as you feel signs of life, or suspect they're there. then cultivate and nourish them.

and i believe in crying as a release. nothing wrong with it.

nancy
.

Re: Not a Piety,But a new kinda party!

Tammie on 12/21/02 at 21:59 (103719)

I dont often come here as I feel hard at keeping my own life even, so I lurk when possible.

I read all of the posts, and I kinda had a chuckle here and there and thought oh we have to find a new name of the post as I dont really find this a piety party! It is more like a lot of people here there and around the world are feeling! I could go on and on about those who are less forutunate and all the things that could be done to help them and each other.

But I think this, if we are to help others we must feel good about ourselves and that is OK to feel any way that we want! That alone gives us something to be happy about.I dont know if it is important or not if we are always happy, it seems a bit odd as I know some people dont always see are other sides as we tend to shield the people we love, and they forget that we to have those yucky(poopy)times.

I like that you shared with us about the very things that alot of others may feel and it also alowwed othes to share there ways and thoughts on how you can try to find peace in your heart or give you a way to bury your problems for a few weeks. But now really is it a problem to bury, or is it something that has been brewing for along time and it was just recently (You decided ) to have thease few weeks exactly how you wanted them? I ask because I to have had a few changes to our usual holiday festives.In any case I have finally after so many years, decided what I wanted to do and we are !

I want to share some fun I had tonight ! My mom ,my sons fiance, and I spent hours having fun and laughing and teasing and this was the best, We talked about how life changes and goes so fast and about how we were ever going to get done with our task.

We made about 50 bags of fun and great care to hopfully make some elderly people who have alot less then a billfold or money. I have been saving all kinds of things threw the hole year and keep a bit of money to get more ,I found the most interesting items that made me laugh or smile and enjoy the thoughts of how they would be surprised.

Any ways , I found this a lovely time and I am very tired as I have been doing this for a few days and it is all done and ready to go. I have been thinking of how to get it there and leave it with noone knowing it was from me!, I want it left from santa, and give him the credit as we ALL have a little santa in us and that is why it is so nice to share with everyone!

I consider this post you made as a gift to me , I got to read some wonderful replys, after you shared with us your feelings today.

I want to take time to say how I wish you happiness not just christmas, but today and tomorrow and every day that you need it ! Then if you feel sad or lonely look here you will find a friend, not one tho be prepared to find several, you see this is not only feet we realy care about our people here! this goes for ALL If I dont get back I wish every one a verry merry christmas and most of all a new year filled with safety and lots of hugs for all the dropped chins! Lets heel those feet!

Re: Not a Piety,But a new kinda party!

pala on 12/21/02 at 22:27 (103720)

what a lovely post tammie. thank you.

Re: Not a Piety,But a new kinda party!

Kathy G on 12/22/02 at 09:37 (103733)

Nancy,

You've gotten so much good advice here that there's nothing I can add. What I do want to say is that I have always thought, and I mean I thought this way back when I was a little girl, that people make way too big a deal out of Christmas. You know, it's a family time, chestnuts roasting, good cheer, blah, blah, blah. No one day could possibly live up to all those expectations! My mother would run herself ragged, get crabby and usually end up with a migraine the day after, and I used to ask myself, 'For what?'

I worked for a pschyiatric clinic for about six months, back when I was twenty-one, and the holidays were our busiest time. People set up unreasonable goals for themselves and then became extremely depressed when the holiday season didn't turn out as they had hoped. People who suffered from depression felt worse because they looked around them and thought everyone felt wonderful but them, and that made them all the more depressed.

I love Christmas lights. I love to get into the car and drive all around town, and the neighboring towns, to see the lights. Usually, my husband will indulge me and suggest we do this, despite the fact that he couldn't really care less, but some years I go by myself and I love it. Maybe you could get into that new car of yours and do the same!

Have you seen National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase? It's my favorite Christmas movie and we watch it at least twice a year. We don't decorate the outside of our house but I do the tree myself and my family claims that Logan Airport can shut down some of their lights when my tree is on! I like lots and lots of lights on my tree! Back when we first got married, we had the bigger bulbs and the living room would get so hot from all the lights that the thermostat wouldn't fire. So the living room would be hot and the rest of the house cold because of all my Christmas lights! And I don't even want to mention our electric bill back in those days! My husband was very happy to invest in the smaller lights!

It sounds to me like you're in a transitional stage right now and you need to set up some traditions of your own, if you're not going to go to your family's for the holidays. In time, you'll have your own traditions but this year, you don't have any concrete plans. Go over to your sister-in-law's family's house; it could be fun and at least it would be a change.

In the meantime, try some of the great suggestions that people on the boards have made. Most of all, don't feel that there's something 'wrong' with you for feeling this way. Remember, this too will pass!

Hope it all works out for you!

Re: Another pity party

Necee on 12/23/02 at 23:53 (103882)

Hi Nancy,
Everyone has said exactly what I would tell you, so there's no need in repeating it.

The only remarks I will echo are, don't wait around until you feel better emotionally before you do something. If you sit around waiting, you're only going to feel worse. Get out of that apartment, mix and mingle with folks, make phone calls, etc.

I know what you're feeling, I was having that same pity party myself just last week. It was only when I turned my inward thoughts outward, that I began to feel better, and could finally see that light at the end of the tunnel. Count those blessings Nancy, and just reach out to someone. You reached out to us here, and just look at the response you got.

Hang in there friend, and let us know what you decide to do.
Happy trails...

Necee

Re: Another pity party

wendyn on 12/21/02 at 10:05 (103686)

Nancy - a couple suggestions that may make you feel better....

What if you bake some cookies and take them to the women's shelter?

How about offering to serve food at the soup kitchen?

What if you went out and bought some toys and donated them to charity?

I'd be almost willing to bet that if you did something completely selfless for a few days...you'd feel a whole lot better. At this time of year, charities are overwhelemed with work - and you could make a real difference to someone else.

Re: Another pity party

nancy s. on 12/21/02 at 10:17 (103687)

well nancy, YOU made ME laugh with your 'lack of adult supervision' comment! i could use that one on myself at least once a week. i think i will. thanks!

it's not a question of whether you 'should' be feeling this way, or whether the good time you had with your company 'should' keep you from feeling this way. you just feel this way; part of the cycle of life.

first, i think it's very natural to feel a letdown after a good time, especially if you're faced with what feels like nothingness immediately after. second, and probably more to the point, this time of year can be hard in many ways. we have the least amount of daylight of the year. it's cold and bitter. we think everyone who is off with people is having a better time than we are (often not true). difficult things can blow themselves right out of proportion. i think a lot of people actually cry more around this time of year than at any other. if you feel inundated with people, you feel really overwhelmed; if you feel alone, you feel really really alone: lonely. and over the holidays one's imagination can make these things seem permanent, or at least endless for the foreseeable future.

as antidotes, i suggest you:
* get on the phone and call distant friends you don't get to talk to much.
* use this time to write in a journal, 'talking' to yourself and sorting out whatever might need sorting out in your life but doesn't get enough attention during the busy routine times.
* read some books by bill bryson (i suggest 'I'm a Stranger Here Myself,' a very funny commentary on life in the u.s. after he returned here from 20 years in england).
* visit art galleries, museums, concerts, movies, etc., that normally you'd go to with other people. you can take in a whole lot more when you're by yourself.
* do you have a room you've wanted to paint, or some other project that keeps getting put on the back burner?
* make some fun collage-type cards, using words and pics from the newspaper or magazines. no one has to be an artist to do this, and more than once i've had a wild time all by myself doing this for days! (call me weird, i don't care -- as bill bryson might say.)

at least you haven't yet made a fool of yourself, it sounds. one christmas in my twenties, i left work on a friday evening and we weren't to return for two weeks. everyone i knew was doing something else, and i was on my own. it was dark out and i was walking to my apartment. but i made it only a block or so when my self-pity swelled into a tidal wave and i crawled under a big pine tree and cried and cried and cried. i kept on crying, and i couldn't stop. i mean, i really couldn't stop. so i walked, still crying uncontrollably, into an emergency room! the doctor who was awoken to take care of my medical emergency was not at all pleased! but the nurses were very sympathetic. i finally stopped crying, got myself home, took a hot bath, and went to bed for three days.

i tell you this to make you laugh. i don't recommend you try it, heh heh.

you'll be fine, nancy. and keep posting and tell us all about it!

nancy
.

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

Laurie R on 12/21/02 at 10:23 (103688)

Hi Nancy , First off , I think Wendy gave you the best advise .... I could not of said it better.... Toys for tots always needs help...And it is a great place to start.... I feel as Wendy does , if you reach out to others it will really make you feel good... I did a big party one year for homeless kids... I had my job do a big lunch for them , and I went to Toys R us and bought each child a gift or two ... It was the best Christmas ever. All I did was look in the phone book and got a few homeless places ..... It made me feel so good.

I have to share with you this . Their was one little girl . I had wrapped all the gifts. A little piece of the wrapping came off her gift. She came up to me and asked me for some tape. I asked why ? She told me she would like to re tape her gift , she wanted to save it for Christmas . That was the only gift she was getting . I had to talk her into opening it . Then I gave her a few more gifts to take with her ...

She bought tears to my eyes.... She was just so sweet .....

Their is much you can do to make a difference and it will make you feel better......

I have been very depressed , but I am trying with everything I have to keep it together . I always think , this is suppose to be the happy time of the year , not the saddest ......

I would think for you , it would be hard , with your family being gone... So you have every right to feel the way you do . Nancy , you did the right thing , you came here and wrote about it ....

I hope you take Wendy's advise , I just know it would make you feel better.

This year , we are not going to be with either of our families... I just can't take it this year...... But my youngest is going to be in our church Christmas play .... This will be on Christmas Eve . I am so excited about this and so is she ..... I have to take her in a little bit for practice... So this for us is what Christmas is all about ....

I wish you only the best Nancy ... Please let us know what you decide to do.....

Laurie R

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

Nancy N on 12/21/02 at 10:29 (103689)

Yes, Wendy's ideas are good--but I have to yank myself back to reality a little before I would go do that What good is it to go out and try to do something like that if I'm going to be Grinchly about it? Right now, it sounds like too much work, which is a signal to me that I am relatively well-entrenched in this state of mind, probably too much to do something productive just yet. I really hoped last night that I'd feel better after I slept, but... oh well.

I don't even know what I'm doing for Christmas Day--if I'll spend some time alone, or schlep to my sister-in-law's family's dinner, or to one of my colleagues who invited me over yesterday. I can't even get myself to think about it because I've done so much running around and driving lately that I am just utterly worn-down. I don't think the physical exhaustion is helping the brain much, either.

I dunno. We'll see....

Re: Another pity party

Nancy N on 12/21/02 at 10:41 (103690)

Can't take credit for 'alone in my head without adult supervision,' I got it from a wonderful woman named Iyanla Vanzant, who has been on Oprah and once had her own show, but even more importantly has written several fantastic books. I was lucky enough to see her in person last month and she used the phrase above and I loved it enough to keep it and use it. It's funny, it's much easier to see when I'm being ridiculous now that I have a good name for it. I'm in the middle of one of her books now and was thinking about reading some of it today. It might help.

I didn't know you were a fan of Bill Bryson, but I'm not surprised. I have a feeling he and I would get along. I may just dig out my copy of, well, any of his books and see what I can find therein.

I think maybe part of what's brought this sudden poopiness on is that I've been so busy all month, going here, going there, spending entirely too much time getting to know the inside of my car... and I swore last weekend, when I could barely get myself out the door and into my car to go have an early Christmas with my family (who are two hours' drive away) that I was not going ANYWHERE this weekend and was going to do 'a whole lot of nothing.' But now that everything has suddenly, abruptly, come to a screeching halt... Is this effect sort of like emotional whiplash? I don't know what to do with myself and am compelled to get out of the place where I was so looking forward to relaxing on my own. But I'm no use to anybody the way I'm feeling right now.

I just want to cry.

Maybe I will. Might get some of the crap out. (But then, when I decide I want to go ahead and cry, suddenly I can't! Oh, I tell ya, isn't being human wonderful?)

Re: Another pity party

Carole C in NOLA on 12/21/02 at 10:50 (103691)

Ideas... pick one!

1. Look in your phone book for a 'Bath and Body Works' that is not in a huge mall (so you don't wear out your feet!). Go there, and try out all the scents that they have put out to try. Buy something in your favorite scent and go home and use a lot of it. I recommend 'Night Blooming Jasmine'... see what you think of it!

2. Get the ingredients for your favorite Christmas treat, even if it is not terribly slenderizing. Christmas only comes once a year. Bake cookies, drink egg nog, make rum balls or that special salad. Wrap yourself in a comfy blanket and watch the TV show YOU want to watch, with your goodies.

3. Be a kid again. Buy a jigsaw puzzle, or if you are overburdened with bucks buy a Playstation II and a good game for it.

4. Music therapy... for me, that's Beethoven's 'Pastorale' symphony, at higher volume than usual. Watch out for Christmas music, unless you think that would cheer you up instead of depress you more.

5. Start an online journal. I did a few weeks ago, at http://www.stories.com . There are lots of websites that let you do this. Expound and elaborate!

6. Explore message boards, chatrooms, IRC, and all the other online venues you can think of. Look for people who you can help or who will at least commiserate with you. Vent! Oh! you already did that here. LOL But anyway, I find it helps me to vent when I'm down.

7. Nap if you can. If you can't, drink some strong coffee so that you are wide awake. Put a little chocolate and cinnamon in it to pamper yourself. If you get too wired, clean out your closet. :)

Hope this helps!

Carole C

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

Julie on 12/21/02 at 11:14 (103693)

Hang on, Nancy, you've got it back to front. Getting out there and doing things for lonely or homeless or distressed folks is exactly what will yank you back to reality. Don't sit around pooping and schlepping and hoping it will happen: you'll just get like the tse-tse bird.

You don't know about the tse-tse bird? You're probably too young. The tse-tse bird is a very, very rare bird who flies round and round in smaller and smaller concentric circles until it flies up its own asshole.

But seriously...

I'll add a couple of suggestions along Wendy's lines.

Go through your address book. Pick out someone, or two or three someones you know have been having a hard time lately - it shouldn't be difficult - or are, like you, missing their families. Give them a ring and tell them you're thinking of them. Have a conversation. (I don't mean 'try to cheer them up' by being cheery, which you don't feel. Just knowing you're thinking of them will do that.

Call your local hospital/hospice/old people's home and see if they'd like you to come and visit.

Please stop thinking you shouldn't be feeling as you feel. It's how you feel and it's all right. The thing is, it's making you unhappy, so you want to get out of it, and nothing will do that faster and better than being of some use to others. Don't wait till you feel better, just get on and do it. You don't have to cheer anyone up, just do something for them.

Also, try to remember that Christmas is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. There's a pressure to be happy and cheerful and sociable and whatever, and not everybody responds well to that pressure. If this were just a 'normal' time of year, you'd probably be revelling in the peace and solitude of your home, reading and writing and listening to music and resting and reflecting - whatever you thought you'd be doing when the blue funk hit you.

Re: YOUR NOT ALONE

pala on 12/21/02 at 12:05 (103694)

well rather than give advice i'll just say that this is a pretty bleak holiday season for me as well. how do i deal with it. i try to focus on the moment. what can i do this minute, or these next few minutes to keep me going. the smallest thing is a victory. on the other hand aint nothing wrong with feeling what we are feeling. tis human. tis the season to be depressed, for many of us. this board is a help. just chatting with online buddies. being silly, being real...it is sometimes easier to speak our real feelings here in this supportive space.

Re: Another pity party

Pam B on 12/21/02 at 12:38 (103697)

First off, allow yourself to feel bad but dont let your feelings allow you to be depressed and take you over.......I really dont think Christmas is all it is meant to be in our day and time.......it is sad that we have all put so much pressure on ourselves to follow stride in how the 21rst century celebrates Christmas......I agree with every post on here as for suggestions on what to do to make you feel better....any of them will work, I am pretty sure of that.......

I myself and not in the spirit of Christmas this year either....but I am trying....although times are tough in my home this year and I cant do what I would like to do either physically or mentally due to sad memories that also make this season hard for me.....but, I have been listening to and admiring a very dear friend of mine that also posts here and I am trying to cope and get through the season.....I am not mentioning any names but I will tell you this much, she is an angel and has not a clue that she is such a mentor for so many of us that post in here....I am very fortunate to have the honor of calling her my friend...

I know that alot of us here cannot do alot because of our health and foot issues, but I do know this...last nite it came to me that there is only one person responsible for my happiness and that person is me.....do whatever makes you happiest and you will feel so much better.....give of yourself to others or do something special for yourself.....but always remember you have the right to feel bad just dont let the feelings run away with you......go buy yourself something, plan a party, or do any one of the things that have been suggested here, IF you think it will make you happy.....happiness is a state of mind that comes to us when we do things that we like to do or give of ourselves to others in need......so dont feel bad, know your not alone and maybe that in itself will be enough to make you feel better so you can push yourself to do what you love to do and that WILL make you happy...trust me when I tell you, I too am pushing me, but as of last nite, I am not going to let this holiday be spoiled because I have things in my head that I wish were not there.....so starting this morning, I have decided to enjoy the holiday and be thankful for the blessings I do have.....when you think about it, there are so many others out in the world in alot worse shape than we are and have so much less that it makes me feel better inside knowing that I have been blessed.......I hope some of the ideas here help you to feel somewhat better and know that you are not alone in your poopy feelings :) as you say.......so dig way down deep inside and find that happiness, it is there, you just have to look for it :) Merry Christmas

Re: Another pity party

Suzanne D on 12/21/02 at 13:05 (103699)

Dear Nancy,

You have been given such good advice in your replies here. First of all, I think we can all relate to how you feel. It is normal, as Pala said, and can stem from exhaustion as well as the season's expectations and your family being away. Don't be too hard on yourself.

And I totally agree with Wendy and Julie and Laurie! I've been there. Don't wait until you feel all cheery and able to help someone else. Just start doing it ~ no matter how you feel ~ and then the good feelings will come.

When my mother died on Christmas night years ago with my 7 year old daughter sleeping beside her, it was a hard time for me. My father had died the year before, and now this. Then my sister and I were faced with the daunting task of deciding what to do with everything in the house, etc. About a month after she died, someone's house burned not far away. We boxed up the entire kitchen and took it to them. That was the first time I began to feel better. I knew Mama would have been pleased. My sister and I then started giving away lots of things to those who would need or appreciate them. That really did help me feel better and not as depressed.

Yesterday ~ our last day in our little school building ~ threatened to depress me. I have taught 10 years in that building after 13 years in another system. But then I looked across the hall at my friend who has taught in this building 40 YEARS and saw how hard this was for her. I forgot about myself as I tried to help her get through the day. My husband took pictures which we are going to print out and make into a collage for her. That helped my sad feelings.

So, I agree with the others and took longer to say it as I always do! I don't mean in any way to not seem sympathetic - I am indeed. I just know that what will help is what we have all said to you.

Take care, and may you find happiness and joy!
Suzanne :-)

Re: WOW!

Suzanne D on 12/21/02 at 13:11 (103700)

In the time it took me to type my reply, three other people posted to you, Nancy! That very fact should cheer you; you have lots of friends who are taking the time to write to try to help. Isn't this board full of nice people?!

Suzanne :-)

Re: Another pity party

nancy s. on 12/21/02 at 14:23 (103704)

yes, i think it can be a sort of emotional whiplash. you sound exhausted, nancy. if you're really exhausted, and have been driving and running around like crazy, one or two good nights of sleep isn't necessarily going to do it for you. you may need a week or two of calm down time -- which is exactly what's available to you.

usually, though, when you come to a screeching halt, it does NOT feel good at first. it feels lousy, like decompressing; the winding down feels like sinking. let it be, keep resting, and one of these mornings you'll wake up and want to do something. stay tuned to yourself: rest while you know you still need to; and get up and moving as soon as you feel signs of life, or suspect they're there. then cultivate and nourish them.

and i believe in crying as a release. nothing wrong with it.

nancy
.

Re: Not a Piety,But a new kinda party!

Tammie on 12/21/02 at 21:59 (103719)

I dont often come here as I feel hard at keeping my own life even, so I lurk when possible.

I read all of the posts, and I kinda had a chuckle here and there and thought oh we have to find a new name of the post as I dont really find this a piety party! It is more like a lot of people here there and around the world are feeling! I could go on and on about those who are less forutunate and all the things that could be done to help them and each other.

But I think this, if we are to help others we must feel good about ourselves and that is OK to feel any way that we want! That alone gives us something to be happy about.I dont know if it is important or not if we are always happy, it seems a bit odd as I know some people dont always see are other sides as we tend to shield the people we love, and they forget that we to have those yucky(poopy)times.

I like that you shared with us about the very things that alot of others may feel and it also alowwed othes to share there ways and thoughts on how you can try to find peace in your heart or give you a way to bury your problems for a few weeks. But now really is it a problem to bury, or is it something that has been brewing for along time and it was just recently (You decided ) to have thease few weeks exactly how you wanted them? I ask because I to have had a few changes to our usual holiday festives.In any case I have finally after so many years, decided what I wanted to do and we are !

I want to share some fun I had tonight ! My mom ,my sons fiance, and I spent hours having fun and laughing and teasing and this was the best, We talked about how life changes and goes so fast and about how we were ever going to get done with our task.

We made about 50 bags of fun and great care to hopfully make some elderly people who have alot less then a billfold or money. I have been saving all kinds of things threw the hole year and keep a bit of money to get more ,I found the most interesting items that made me laugh or smile and enjoy the thoughts of how they would be surprised.

Any ways , I found this a lovely time and I am very tired as I have been doing this for a few days and it is all done and ready to go. I have been thinking of how to get it there and leave it with noone knowing it was from me!, I want it left from santa, and give him the credit as we ALL have a little santa in us and that is why it is so nice to share with everyone!

I consider this post you made as a gift to me , I got to read some wonderful replys, after you shared with us your feelings today.

I want to take time to say how I wish you happiness not just christmas, but today and tomorrow and every day that you need it ! Then if you feel sad or lonely look here you will find a friend, not one tho be prepared to find several, you see this is not only feet we realy care about our people here! this goes for ALL If I dont get back I wish every one a verry merry christmas and most of all a new year filled with safety and lots of hugs for all the dropped chins! Lets heel those feet!

Re: Not a Piety,But a new kinda party!

pala on 12/21/02 at 22:27 (103720)

what a lovely post tammie. thank you.

Re: Not a Piety,But a new kinda party!

Kathy G on 12/22/02 at 09:37 (103733)

Nancy,

You've gotten so much good advice here that there's nothing I can add. What I do want to say is that I have always thought, and I mean I thought this way back when I was a little girl, that people make way too big a deal out of Christmas. You know, it's a family time, chestnuts roasting, good cheer, blah, blah, blah. No one day could possibly live up to all those expectations! My mother would run herself ragged, get crabby and usually end up with a migraine the day after, and I used to ask myself, 'For what?'

I worked for a pschyiatric clinic for about six months, back when I was twenty-one, and the holidays were our busiest time. People set up unreasonable goals for themselves and then became extremely depressed when the holiday season didn't turn out as they had hoped. People who suffered from depression felt worse because they looked around them and thought everyone felt wonderful but them, and that made them all the more depressed.

I love Christmas lights. I love to get into the car and drive all around town, and the neighboring towns, to see the lights. Usually, my husband will indulge me and suggest we do this, despite the fact that he couldn't really care less, but some years I go by myself and I love it. Maybe you could get into that new car of yours and do the same!

Have you seen National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase? It's my favorite Christmas movie and we watch it at least twice a year. We don't decorate the outside of our house but I do the tree myself and my family claims that Logan Airport can shut down some of their lights when my tree is on! I like lots and lots of lights on my tree! Back when we first got married, we had the bigger bulbs and the living room would get so hot from all the lights that the thermostat wouldn't fire. So the living room would be hot and the rest of the house cold because of all my Christmas lights! And I don't even want to mention our electric bill back in those days! My husband was very happy to invest in the smaller lights!

It sounds to me like you're in a transitional stage right now and you need to set up some traditions of your own, if you're not going to go to your family's for the holidays. In time, you'll have your own traditions but this year, you don't have any concrete plans. Go over to your sister-in-law's family's house; it could be fun and at least it would be a change.

In the meantime, try some of the great suggestions that people on the boards have made. Most of all, don't feel that there's something 'wrong' with you for feeling this way. Remember, this too will pass!

Hope it all works out for you!

Re: Another pity party

Necee on 12/23/02 at 23:53 (103882)

Hi Nancy,
Everyone has said exactly what I would tell you, so there's no need in repeating it.

The only remarks I will echo are, don't wait around until you feel better emotionally before you do something. If you sit around waiting, you're only going to feel worse. Get out of that apartment, mix and mingle with folks, make phone calls, etc.

I know what you're feeling, I was having that same pity party myself just last week. It was only when I turned my inward thoughts outward, that I began to feel better, and could finally see that light at the end of the tunnel. Count those blessings Nancy, and just reach out to someone. You reached out to us here, and just look at the response you got.

Hang in there friend, and let us know what you decide to do.
Happy trails...

Necee