The Christmas Dispirit

Yesterday was a day for vicious mood swings. It started on a high note at work. I got a lot done and I’m loving this new newsy focus we’re transitioning to. But by the drive home, my mood grew as dark as the sky.

Mood music:

Things got progressively worse at home. Sean and Duncan were high maintenance and I let it get to me much more than I usually do. I started thinking in absolutes, which is especially bad when it’s focused on all the negatives.

I was looking around at all the Christmas decorations with a scowl. I wrote the other day that Christmas doesn’t suck like it used to. But there are still days where I hate the holidays.

I love what it stands for.

I despise the capitalistic shit fest American culture has turned it into. And yesterday was a lot about all the things we HAVE to buy. I also get pissed off at all the Christmas shows that suggest this time of year be perfect, that we all be nicer to each other and be generous with our time and money so the less fortunate can have hope. The translation when I think in absolutes goes something like this: Be nice this month and we can all go back to being fucktards next month.

Public school systems do nothing to help matters and make the next generation kinder and gentler. Unless you’re in a parochial school Christmas is a secular affair. Keeping the Christ in Christmas might offend someone. So we focus on the decorations and the holiday spending. Hell, some schools don’t even allow the decorations anymore.

If you’re reading this and rolling your eyes because I’m suggesting the holidays should be more about Faith and that we should be nice to each other year-round instead of each December — and if you’re looking down at me because you think only the weak believe in God, I got two words for you, and it’s not “Merry Christmas.”

To be fair, those of my Faith can be assholes of a different sort this time of year. My favorite example is “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas.” We Catholics get all pissy when someone says Happy Holidays, because there’s no Christ in there. So what if the saying is based on the fact that there are several holidays this time of year, covering multiple beliefs. “Happy Holiday” covers all the bases —Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, etc.

I still say “Merry Christmas” to people though.

Sounds hypocritical of me, doesn’t it? Getting on my high horse a few paragraphs above and lamenting at the lack of Christ in Christmas? But like I’ve said before, I can be a self-absorbed hypocrite with the best of ’em.

And that’s what I’ve been for the last 24 hours: Self absorbed. 

And there was no good reason for it, because in the final analysis my life is going fine. I’m blessed beyond anything I deserve.

I had a slip of the OCD. I let the dark weather and the holiday runaround get the better of me. That led to me obsessing about everything that’s wrong with the holidays instead of everything that’s right with it.

Classic OCD behavior. I guess you could call it a day in my life on the OC-D List.

Thank God I have a wife who knows the signs and moves in to help. Last night her and the kids did a bunch of my chores while I was at an OA meeting. She instinctively knew my load needed to be lightened.

It amazes me that she catches on the way she does, because I really suck at talking about it. I can write about it and the world sees in. But when it’s just the two of us, I have trouble opening up. I start channeling my father without meaning to. My Dad is a great man and I love him wholeheartedly. But he’s always had trouble opening up emotionally, and that characteristic seeped into my pores while I was swimming in the gene pool.

But I’m trying to be better. I’ll keep trying.

And now I’ll stop bitching, because I hate it when other people go on Facebook and bitch about the hard day they’re having.

Did I mention that I can be a hypocrite?

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4 thoughts on “The Christmas Dispirit

  1. Pingback: Let He Who Is Without Sin Stone Charlie Sheen « THE OCD DIARIES

  2. Bill, I was just thinking the other day about how we Christians get “super” spiritual at this time of year. It’s like we confuse God with Santa Clause; as if he’s watching extra close in November and December so we better be gooder.

    I heard a cool song Pandora that helped me. I don’t remember the name of it, but Johnny Mathis sang it. The last line was was something like “It’s not the things you do at Christmas that matter, but it’s the Christmas things you do all year.”. Hang in there, my friend. Keep giving thanks for your blessings. That always gives perspective.

  3. “…that characteristic seeped into my pores while I was swimming in the gene pool.”
    I love this line!

    Great post — I have one comment from our youth- More Lights on that Tree!

  4. Hey Bill, thanks again for another rigorously honest post. You express what I’m often feeling during the Christmas holidays as well. I’ve never been diagnosed with OCD, but have been with Bi-polar depression plus I’ve been sober in AA almost 20 years, so I seem to have the same mood swings and obsessive thoughts that you describe. I just found out yesterday that one of my best friends from high school passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday. Since we live in different cities, I hadn’t visited him in several years, though we had reconnected on FB a little over a year ago. I feel like shit that I hadn’t seen him or his family in so long. They were like family to me my junior and senior years. It’s so hard not to take for granted that people will always be there. Well, that’s enough.
    Take care, God bless, and Merry Christmas!

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