I literally counted down the hours until Christmas was finally over because I was on the verge of a complete breakdown. Like full on Dionne in Clueless type breakdown!
Now That Christmas Is Over, Can I Please Have My Mental Breakdown?
I did have a meltdown the day after Christmas and it was pretty ugly. I woke up extremely depressed and laid around all day on the couch being an absolute slob watching endless hours of sitcoms. I did not leave the house at all, I had enough provisions to tide me over (leftovers from Christmas dinner and baking). So I did the logical thing and hibernated because I had dealt with enough stress this holiday season that I cried more in the last few days than I have this entire year. I hate crying because I always thought of crying as something you do alone, not even in front of loved ones, but sometimes its all too much.
This year, my husband and I split Christmas between his family and mine and we had a great time, but we had to drive two hours each way to get to the second destination. Not to mention the fact that we were separated from our dogs for about 28 hours, which absolutely killed us!!! My general anxiety coupled with the stress of worrying if you bought the best gift and the time management needed to pull it all off came crashing down on Monday. I didn’t run a brush through my hair, I laid under a blanket for the entire day (except to eat of course), and I watched more TV than I had for the last few days. I woke up happy that I was able to wake up in my own house, in my own bed, and when I wanted to finally climb out of bed.
Later on in the day, my mood changed and I became distraught over the thought of not being able to perfectly balance the time spent with both of our families. The drive down took longer than it should because people in Arizona are scared to drive in the rain so they pull over to the shoulder to avoid the puddles instead of just I don’t know slow down. When we finally got to my mother-in-law’s house, I was so happy that I could take a break from driving and because I had to pee so bad I thought I would leak. The time actually spent with our families was worth all the traffic and the traveling, but at the end of the day I felt SO TIRED. More good times were had and I got a few surprise gifts that brightened my mood enough to get me through the night.
My mood seemed to worsen throughout the day until it ended in tears being swiped away before they can be seen by anyone else. I pushed myself to the breaking point to please everyone and try not to be a disappointment, but in the end I drove myself insane. What could I have done differently? I’m not sure. Maybe be okay with someone being disappointed. Maybe spend a little time with one family on Christmas, and a little time with the other family on New Year. I’m not sure. All I know is that huddled on the couch watching sitcoms is NOT a viable plan for long-term survival.
It’s okay, though. The holidays are a force of their own and accepting that things are definitely going to go wrong is the only way you can begin to learn how to survive Christmas. Did things really go wrong for me? Not truly. But I also didn’t listen to myself when it came to slowing down and doing what I needed to make it through. Next year? All I can hope is that next year I’ll remember and maybe give myself a break…