Dealing with the Holidays: The Bipolar Question of the Week

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Eek! It’s the holiday season. Holidays and bipolar are not a good fit. Yesterday, I did the wise thing and took a holiday from the holiday by sitting out Thanksgiving. It was a “me” day. Me, myself, alone.

    Holidays are no treat for me. Take this last week - please! Instead of a Friday deadline to get important business stuff accomplished, I had Tuesday deadline, which meant I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the better part of two weeks.

    That’s not quite accurate - compared to me, the headless chicken (or turkey) was a model of keeping one’s head. Wait, that didn’t come out right.

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    Next week, our local NAMI has its annual meeting and holiday potluck. I serve on the board, so there’s no ducking out of this one. On Thursday, I’ll be arriving with a home-made lasagna, plus I’m running the entertainment portion of the evening. Trust me, I’ll have a good time, but being out amongst people, even when I’m enjoying myself, is always stressful.

    Fortunately, I have no friend-family obligations for Christmas or other holiday traditions. I am separated from my blood relatives by three thousand miles of continent on one side and nearly seven thousand miles of ocean on the other. But this raises its own problems, namely feelings of emptiness.

    It’s crazy: On one hand, we hate having to contend with the holidays. On the other, we don’t want to be left out.

    Last month, I indulged myself in yet another didgeridoo purchase. Hey, it was close enough to my birthday to rationalize it as a present to myself, and I further rationalized it by pretending to be fiscally responsible in deferring purchasing an iPad.

    But - you know what? - I might treat myself to an iPad for Christmas, after all.

    Okay, I can use your help. Question:

    How do you cope with the holidays? What are your plans for coping this season?

    Comments below ...

Published On: November 25, 2011