Double Whammy

I’m a person who firmly believes that the Christmas season doesn’t officially start until the day after Thanksgiving, so it was altogether fitting and proper that my holiday funk would start that day, too.

Truth be told, I have been pretty bummed out since the election. Let me be clear that I remain firmly committed to my goal not to give Donald Trump the power of ruining my mental health. But it’s hard not to get angry about the fresh hell that comes every day with news of appointments to Trump’s team, and of all the hate-based activity that seems to have been encouraged by Trump’s election victory.

I guess the preparations, cooking, cleaning, and eating that come with Thanksgiving provided a temporary distraction from my full-time anger. I was still focusing on recounts and postcards and calls to representatives, but part of the time I was thinking about the timeline of thawing, brining, and cooking a turkey.

And then Friday came. Holed up in my house with freshly-vacuumed carpets and plastic containers of carb-laden leftovers, I looked out the window at the dreary day and just felt defeated. It was time to start focusing on all the Christmas-related tasks, but I just couldn’t. I just wanted to take a nap.

Our nation’s pain was back at the forefront of my mind. And now my election-related woes were compounded by the holiday season.

It’s hard to know how to feel about Christmas this year. Maybe the songs and lights and cookies are a much-needed balm for our souls. On the other hand, will the myriad tasks of Christmas distract us from focusing on our fight? And as a person who felt ambivalent about all the trappings and traditions of Christmas before, I feel extra challenged to muster up the enthusiasm for Christmas activities this year.

I have no words of wisdom or advice for you today. I just want you to know that, if you feel like you’re fighting for your mental health on two fronts this year, you’re not alone.

And make no mistake, I’m fighting. I’m going to the gym, and I’ve made more frequent therapy appointments. I’m taking deep breaths. I’m giving myself a break.

Give yourself a break, too. We’ll get through this together.

All my love,

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