December Darkness: Do we have to be giddy for Christmas?

Lately, it has been kind of a layered darkness. I am doing physio on my fractured wrist and getting the use of my hand back is an uphill climb. For the first ten days the constant throbbing was interfering with my peace of mind. Then the flu hit. Everybody, apparently, has this flu so there is nothing particularly dreadful about it other than it is generally dreadful.

Christmas itself is always very difficult for me. A long holiday with my parents shut up in the house with us was like a prison. The fact that it was “normal” for adults to have a rainbow bar full of various types of booze did not help the situation. Learning the skill of being a frozen faced actress helped me. The rage was volcanic and just under the surface. Who would be screamed at and then thrown against a wall next? The cheerful Christmas music in the background ran as a counterpoint to the reality we all were experiencing.

My spunky grand daughter decorating the tree

So the pressure I put on myself to “get over it” wrestles with the triggered depression. This year combined with inhibiting hand pain and the trembling in the bathroom flu experience has left me at odds with my ideal self.

Every single Christmas commercial causes an outbreak in tears. God help me if somebody shows a kitten with a tiny hat on its fuzzy head. When I was phoning Green Shield today, I could barely get through reading my number. What I was hearing in my head is “This is all too much. What if they misunderstand me? Why is the number so mixed up and complicated? Why do I have to repeatedly untangle issues with institutions? Why am I such a wimp?”

the desire to glow

So I put the fireplace on the TV set and listen to the Cinnamon Bear radio show that was a bright spot in my childhood Christmases. As my little brother and I lay on the carpet in front of the towering console radio, it was an anticipated shared pleasure. The series ran every night from Thanksgiving until Christmas. My mother sat in a chair doing something… mending or sewing. And I cannot remember one time when my father raged during the program. I found the show on You Tube and sent it to my brother.

Cinnamon Bear

His reply, “Good times.”

And I know full well I have a lot of work to do on my hand to get its use back. The flu will eventually be defeated. And best of all, Christmas will be over.

Maybe then, I can stop forcing myself to live some lie of cheerfulness. It is a difficult time for me and may never get easier. Learning to be at peace with the struggle is what I am hoping for.