This is part two of a two-part series.
Part I | Part II
In the first post in this series, I covered a little bit about how to survive the holiday series when you’re manic. To recap: avoid alcohol, don’t take on too many projects, and try to relax. Now we’ll take a look at…
What to Do if You’re Depressed
Take care of yourself. That’s the core of all the advice I can give on this topic, but it’s the hardest to follow when you’re drowning. But amidst all this merriment, the temptation to give in to your loneliness and hide away from the world will be powerful indeed.
So if you’re invited to parties, prepare to go to at least one. Eat one of your favorite foods beforehand. Shower. Drink a glass of water. Once there, avoid alcohol, especially if you’re on medications. If you’re intimidated, play with your kids until they wear you out. Then talk to the adults.
They’ll probably ask you about mundane things, like your work or your kids or your hobbies. They might comment about how they haven’t seen you much, or even inquire about that project you were so passionate about before.
This kind of small talk is normal. It’s what we’re all trained to ask about. They’re not judging you for abandoning projects or even picking up on any guilt you may have about not being a “good enough” parent. They may not even realize that you’re forcing yourself to stand there.
So keep your answers brief and to the point:
“Yeah, I’ve been a bit out of it lately. How are you?”
“Sue turned five this year. They grow up so fast, don’t they? How are your kids doing?”
If you’re overwhelmed, bow out of these conversations. Or don’t; you can apologize later. Just get away. It’s okay to run. Find a corner of the house which you can designate as your own and hide there for ten minutes. Breathe. Then come out again, and have a glass of water before meeting anyone else.
If you’re spending this holiday season alone, I’m so sorry. Some options for you may include attending a local church service or atheistic/agnostic gathering. Cities frequently host free holiday events. If you have the time, volunteer at a food bank or animal shelter, or kick your feet up at home and play games. Eat comfort foods. And if you can afford a road trip, go!
Above all, do not let yourself remain isolated. Feeling alone in a crowd might be easier than being alone in a bedroom. Please keep in mind that while everyone may look joyous on the outside, it’s a seasonal thing. Like the flu. The New Year’s hangover will come soon enough.
How do stay afloat during the holidays?
6 thoughts on “Bipolar? You Can Survive This Holiday Season, part II”
My main trick, which I admit took me a year to master, is just be honest. It keeps people away that are allergic to mood disorders and it creates understanding and even interesting with those people that are open-minded.
That is a brilliant tactic–one I’m almost brave enough to try! I also love the term “allergic”; so perfect for this. Would you be interested in going into more detail re: putting yourself out there on a guest post? I hear you’re good at those. 😉
Haha, yeah sure. No problem.
I’ll be in touch.
Reblogged this on The Bipolar Parent and commented:
Here’s part two of how to survive the holidays when suffering from bipolar disorder! Many apologies for missing yesterday’s post; the holidays caught up with me.
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