Is there anything normal about this time of year? Work at many offices grinds to a halt (the company I work for employs hundreds of contractors, and most will be furloughed the last two weeks of this month), stores are absurdly crowded, resting on weekends and evenings isn’t a consideration, talentless pop singers release painful renditions of tired songs, we eat and drink too much — then we cover merchandise we can’t afford in overpriced tissue paper that’s swiftly torn apart to reveal a gift to a person who doesn’t need what’s inside. Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la, la, la.
Filled with stress and anxiety, this season can be a difficult time for people who suffer from depression. I’m doing pretty well so far this year, but lilypup is clearly struggling. As always, her blog is a disarmingly honest journal of her bipolar disorder; my own condition is not nearly as severe, but I’ve encountered many of the reactions she so vividly describes, from the manic sense of freedom and relief (“I’m up at 6:30 writing away. I had a great adventure last night! We went to an auction!”) to the dark moments of despair and weakness (“Really rough time last night. Got to crying and couldn’t stop. Don’t like to cry in front of my kids but I did.”). lily’s writing could easily descend into pity or self-importance, but she manages to avoid those traps by sticking to a very simple desire — to be happy, healthful, and, for lack of a better term, normal:
I wonder what it would be like to feel steady basically every day. Go off to work, come home, get some dinner together, and have a little social life.
Some might consider this desire trite and mundane, but as someone who can empathize with people who suffer from bipolar disorder, I think her sentiment is beautiful.