Christmas is closing in. I have done absolutely zero Christmas shopping and there isn’t a Christmas tree up in my house. Mental illness is tough sometimes.
It’s easy to feel worthless
It’s so easy to feel worthless this time of year. Sometimes it can seem like everyone has their act together. It can seem like everyone is fully embracing the holiday spirit while we are stuck on the outside looking in.
We get on social networks and we see photos of houses covered in lovely holiday decorations. We see photos of happy families around flawless Christmas trees. We read stories of Christmas shopping and memories being made. We hear people talk about finding the “perfect gift” for a friend.
I’m glad people are embracing the holiday spirit, please don’t get me wrong. I’m delighted when I see other people experiencing Christmas joy. I just can’t. Not right now. I don’t have the energy.
We think “I’m not enough”
Thoughts of “I’m not good enough” and “I haven’t done enough” can become so strong. I have these thoughts. They make me feel worthless. I find myself thinking of everyone who deserves a Christmas gift; my friends, my family, the people who help me… Then I remember that I don’t have the energy to go shopping. I don’t even have the energy to select gifts. I know what you might be thinking right now — “just order gifts online.” But, nope, I don’t even have the energy for that.
I sit here, devoid of energy. I think about my friends. I think about my family. I think of the considerate gifts they will probably give me. I feel worthless when I realize I haven’t gotten them anything. Not a single gift. Not a single card. I know they don’t expect anything. I know “that’s not what Christmas is about”. I know all of this. But it still feels absolutely horrible.
You are not the only one
I’m not sharing this to receive affirmation from you. I don’t need a pep talk. I don’t want a pep talk. I’m sharing this in case you are also having a tough time. I’m sharing because I want you to know that you aren’t alone.
This is very important to me. You are very important to me. You are why I’m writing this. You are why I’m summoning all the energy I have. You are why I’m sharing. I want you to know that you are not the only one.
You are absolutely not alone. I’m right there with you.
You are worthy
Often we feel worthy after we’ve accomplished something. Our idea of self-worth is tightly tethered to productivity. We feel worthy when we’ve been productive. That thought process can make this time of year excruciatingly though. That isn’t fair. Your worth shouldn’t be measured by your productivity. You are always worthy.
Your worth isn’t based on how much you accomplish. Your worth isn’t measured by your Christmas shopping or your decorations. You are worthy no matter what. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of kindness. You are worthy of life. You are worthy of happiness. You matter. Today you are worthy.
Whatever you do, it is enough
If you get a lot done this winter, go you. If your Christmas shopping is done, go you. If you have a glorious tree, go you. It might have been easy. It might have been hard. But you did it — so go you!
If you don’t get much done this winter, that’s absolutely okay. If you’re behind on shopping. If you don’t have a tree. If you can’t get into the holiday spirit. That’s absolutely okay. You are not alone. I am right there with you.
If all you do today is breathe, that’s enough. If a voice inside your head tells you otherwise, push them out. If the voice of someone else tells you otherwise, know they are wrong.
Today and everyday please remember that you are enough.
You are worthy.
You are not alone.
Winter can be tough but you are tough as well.
If you are struggling, reach out and ask for help. Call a helpline. Go to the doctor. Talk to a friend. There is strength in asking for help. There is strength in support. You are worth it. You are spectacular.
Please, continue reading for a short list of mental health resources and crisis hotlines.
Mental Health Resources and Crisis Hotlines
Crisis Text Line
The Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis.
United States: Text HOME to 741741
United Kingdom: Text HOME to 85258
Canada: Text HOME to 686868
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you or someone you know is in crisis, whether they are considering suicide or not, please call the toll-free Lifeline to speak with a trained Crisis Counselor 24/7.
The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
Trevor Text: Text START to 678678
The Trans Lifeline is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers. If you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to, call.
United States: 1-877-565-8860
National Domestic Abuse Hotline
Trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking resources and information.
Veterans Crisis Line
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are caring, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24/7. The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, anonymous, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline
The world of mental health is complicated and can be difficult to navigate. HelpLine staff and volunteers are prepared to answer your questions about mental health symptoms, treatments, support groups, education programs, and more. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10am – 6pm ET.
Substance Abuse Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
Call: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Find Treatment: www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov
For a list of mental health support systems and online communities, visit my blog post; Uncustomary Housewife – Mental Health Support Systems and Communities.
Emergency – Call 911
If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, call 911. It is important to notify the operator that it is a psychiatric emergency and ask for an officer trained to assist people experiencing a psychiatric emergency.
You matter. Keep breathing. You are spectacular.