I used to love Christmas. I really did. It was wonderful. Throughout the season, my two brothers and I would stay up late, waiting for it to snow even though we knew it wouldn’t (growing up in Texas has that one disadvantage). The Christmas season laced the air with magic and you could feel it all around. Despite the fact that we weren’t a wealthy family, my parents somehow always found a way to give abundantly to all three of us. Christmas used to be a time when I felt hope and joy and lovely things. Now, as I’ve grown older, it barely means more than a slowed down pace and few days off from work. I guess that’s what happens as you grow older. As Vonnegut would say, “So it goes…”
It’s well documented that although Christmas is supposedly a good and wholesome time of year, more suicides are committed during the month of December than any other month. I can’t help but believe the explanation for such a shocking statistic is that some people feel more lonely now than they do any other time of the year. Maybe they don’t have family to be with during this time of the year; maybe they’re estranged from their loved ones, so Christmas is spent sitting alone and pondering the meaning of existence. Whatever the reason, cattycornered to the moments of family and love and sharing most of us will (thankfully) get to experience this Christmas, there are those who are doing all they can simply to survive. Today, I write for them.
In the past, I’ve chronicled my ongoing bout with depression, and though I can relate to the darkened feelings and perpetual grief that may be circling you this holiday season, the truth is that I have a family and friends to share my times with; I have the option to not be alone. Some of you do not have that option. And as easy as it would be for me to spout multiple clichés on what the Reason for the season is and so forth, it’s unlikely that such played-out phrasing will make you feel any better. So allow me to simply say this:
You are loved.
No matter what you’re going through or how down you feel, tomorrow is a new day, brimming with the potential for salvation; salvation from life and salvation from self. I’ve been there and I wish I could tell you there is a one-time fix for everything you wish you weren’t feeling—but there isn’t. Keep breathing, keep living, and keep marching on. Even though these times may be dark and you may feel as if tomorrow holds no hope, I argue that help is near if you choose to pursue it.
I realize things may not be ideal, and the loneliness of the holidays can weigh heavy on your soul, but there are options for you to consider. Most churches will have staff on-call to take your call should you need someone to talk to. There are programs in your community where those who don’t have anyone to share the season with can gather and experience Christmas together. I know these options aren’t the same as a loving and supportive family, but something is better than nothing, I suppose.
If all else fails, and at the very least, you have me. If you’re struggling this Christmas season—or anytime at all—and need someone to talk to, please feel free to give me a shout. My email address is Cory@CoryCopeland.net. I can’t physically be there with you and I’m sorry for that, but I will do my best to listen and understand what it is you’re going through. It’s why I’m here after all.
Lastly, I want to say a very hearty thank you to all those who have read and supported me this year. It’s a wonderful feeling to have your dream and calling supported the way you guys have done for me…so thank you. I love you guys.
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