Working Through Mental Health Setbacks During the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This image is courtesy of Temple University Active Minds

Preface: Mental health is really hard to understand. That is, until it stumbles upon you or a loved one. Please don’t be afraid to read this post. You never know who may be struggling internally in your life.

As I sit here in my bedroom at 9:45pm on a Saturday night (which isn’t uncommon for me in case you were wondering) I’m thinking to myself “Why are you even writing this post? Snap out of it. It’s Christmas. Tis’ the season to be jolly.” The season of Christmas movies, baking, spending time with family, buying Christmas gifts that I can’t wait to watch my littles open. Yet, here I am. Writing this post. I know the Holiday season can be hard for a lot of people. But, honestly, they aren’t hard for me. I’m so grateful and thankful to have parents who are still here, a great husband, three awesome kids, 3 sisters and a brother and loads of nieces and nephews. I am blessed. So why do I feel empty inside? Why am I feeling lost? Why am I feeling like I’m just coasting through the days?

I’ve been on my journey with anxiety and depression since December of 2018, but honestly, I’ve had anxiety since I was at least 12 years old. I would stay awake until 4 or 5am worried about that the school day would bring me. This happened, and I am not exaggerating, every single Sunday (and sometimes other weeknights, as well) all three years I was in Junior High School and also often when I was in High School, though it did seem to subside a bit. When I started college, it got better or maybe I was just able to handle it better because if I didn’t go to sleep until 4am it wasn’t a big deal because I could always skip my morning class.

After I had two of my three kids, I dealt with some sort of anxiety/depression. One day I promise I will get into all of that. It was such a long and drawn out process that took so much trial and error. I got to a place where I was able to feel like myself again. But like I said in the beginning, that wasn’t until December 2018.

So here we go again. 2 years after starting to feel like myself again. I’m feeling very similar to what I felt like after bringing my last babe home from the hospital. This is a funk that I really try to pull myself out of quickly. I try to find things that bring me joy (baking, decorating, etc.), so that others around me don’t feel that I am weighing them down. However, that doesn’t always work. Sometimes I don’t even want to put the effort into anything, even if it will bring me joy.

Unfortunately, I’m starting to think this won’t subside for a while. COVID is playing a big part in the way I am feeling emotionally, physically and mentally. I’m not an extrovert by any means, but I need normalcy. The kids went back to school and we got a routine down and then that changed. There have been so many changes my brain feels like a never-ending ride on a broken ferris wheel (and guys, I hate heights).

This is a season I love and that I am so excited for. I’d love to just be able to brush this under the rug. And honestly…if it worked that way, I would. But I know how important it is to talk about this stuff. If you’re feeling stuck or are in a weird place in life like I am, I’m here for you. For a reason I can’t understand, mental health is such a taboo topic. No one wants to talk about it. But everyone wants to tell you about their carpal tunnel and their constipation. IT’S SO FRUSTRAING! This year is even worse. 2020 is bringing on more mental health issues. And mental health issues do not discriminate. Strong, confident people also struggle with anxiety and depression.

I can tell you now openly, that I was so naïve to mental health back in the day.  I wish I would have listened and understood my sister (Audriana) when she was going through it.  It’s so very, very real. And it hits everyone in very different ways.

If you’re feeling in a funk, talk to someone. Support is the foundation of good mental health. I know that feeling of first opening up. It’s terrifying, but do it. It’s the only thing that will make you feel like yourself again. It’s the only way the world begins to turn again, and life becomes enjoyable.  And this year, everyone deserves nothing more than to have a wonderful Holiday season and a great end to this insane year.

xoxo, Allyson

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  1. You are beyond brave for sharing something so real that many are afraid to talk about and honestly this blog post brought me to tears knowing your struggle right now during holiday season and feeling that same struggle myself during this what is suppose to be the most wonderful to.e of the year. Sometimes no matter how grateful we feel the funk hits harder and that is ok we just ride the waves and breathe until we feel better. Thank you for sharing. Happy holidays.

  2. I feel this on such a huge level. I had my first panic attack my junior year of high school. I likely had ppa after Evelyn but refused to admit it.
    This holiday season is one I’ve been looking forward to and now I just want it to hurry by because all of our plans are up in flames.

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