Finding Christmas Spirit

Overcome Depression with Christmas Spirit

Finding our way through Holiday Cheer!

Is there really such a thing as Christmas spirit and do wishes really come true? Sometimes I wonder as I try to make sense of things. Life is a gift but sometimes I find myself in despair as I try to keep up with the normal everyday demands of life and try to hold on and find comfort, happiness and peace. It seems finding these qualities in my life of security and peace of mind is not so easy given the difficult times we live in today. I am very aware now how it is to feel down. I sometimes feel it is something we all experience at times in our life. Realistically speaking it is impossible to be happy every day. If we were happy all of the time then I would say that we were from another dimension because we all experience sad moments in our life which seems to be a part of growing up. The important thing is to realize we have to find an inner strength and a spirit of hope that will help us get through the hard and difficult times we encounter. I feel very blessed for all I have been given and for having such wonderful parents. I am also very lucky to have family of my own. In life there are so many who have very little and have a daily struggle for survival. Life for them is very uncertain and it really touches all of us when we see someone shine knowing all the heartaches they had to live with and how they beat the odds to achieve a dream, a hope and a vision. You will see this captured in the final video I have selected for this hub and I promise you that you will shed some tears and will be very touched by this young man's courage as the judges were. It is extraordinary.

I have learned from my parents that we should always be grateful for what we have and we should always look on the bright side. We have to also believe in our family, in ourselves and most importantly in God so we can find the support system and the trust we need, that we hope for and that we cling to. I have experienced some really sad moments in my life and sometimes I wonder how I was able to get through them. To this day I still feel like I am experiencing feelings of guilt, sorrow and a hope for better days ahead that sometimes seem to elude me. I have at times felt I was losing my way and succumbing to my own personal depression. It is hard to find peace and happiness when you feel depressed. It seems depression is a state of mind and a feeling that evolves from the struggles and difficulties we encounter. I believe we have been living in difficult times for the past decade now and it seems that life is getting more difficult and now as I age I find my feelings of insecurity are directly attributed to these difficult economic times that seem to never end. The reality though is that depression is not a state of mind. It is an illness that affects a lot of people and sadly many people ignore it or try to deal with it without the medical attention they need. I have seen what depression does to people and it is a very cruel and difficult thing to experience.

I lost both my parents to depression and it has made me very angry and has also made me feel a bit despondent at times. I know that I have to think positive and be strong because I have a son who struggles emotionally and has his daily struggles with autism. He is the shining beacon in our lives but sometimes that beacon loses its glow and it is our job to keep that beacon light operating at full capacity. In order to do that we have to be very supportive for our son and we have to be strong in our lives and very hopeful and we have to teach that sense of hope to our son. Life is not perfect and we will not always feel happy but we have to know how to live each day and learn to deal with all the struggles we encounter so we can face each day as we are meant to.

It is very true that during the holidays, a time that is joyous and filled with celebration for many there are people who are hurting, alone and suffering from depression. They are just trying to survive and they need help. It is during the holidays that these people need to feel loved and provided a sense of hope so they can share also in the joy of the Christmas season. It is also important that these people are not forgotten. Life for all its beauty can also be very hard and for many who hurt it can be a constant reminder of their pain which they wish to escape from. For some who are really hurting inside the pain can be so intense that they feel their only option is to take their own life. No one really knows what goes through someone's mind when they get to this point and we should never judge someone harshly but we also wish to understand why it had to come to this. If only they knew how this tragic outcome affects their loved ones. It is very sad that some feel so alone that they feel they have no one to turn to. It is very important to realize the warning signs of depression and to take someone very seriously when they say they wish they could die. It is too often that we lose someone to suicide and depression. We really have to listen and be a shoulder to lean on when we hear a friend, family member or stranger asking for help. It may be disguised in different words but we need to listen, understand, counsel and be very supportive in helping them get through this very difficult time in their life.

Do I know why someone says they want to die? Truthfully I don't but I know that we all must say it at times in our lives when we are feeling sad and overwhelmed. I believe we really don't mean it and it is an expression of our frustration and feeling of personal pain we must live through. I still believe if we hear someone talking about this and they seem down consistently then we need to really take it seriously, listen to them and try to get them the help they need. I know my dad loved life and my mother did too. The sad thing though is they both succumbed to their depression and were unable to go on. My mother lost her will in a hospital where she gave up the fight and died alone in a hospital room. I visited her many times but in the end I was not there by her side as she took her last breath. I still feel very sad and guilty about this.

My dad was a great man who worked hard every day of his life and he was a great provider and he took great care of all of us. He too was very supportive and loyal to mom but he could not work miracles and so he lived his life out without his wife for nearly 20 years and he was still a loving dad and grandfather but he was sad for his loss that he never really recovered from. Sure he went on in his life and he did all he had to but he lost a part of his life the day mom died. I don't know what my father was feeling or what was going through his mind that day he finally lost his battle with depression but it was not characteristic of him to take his life and I sometimes wonder if I had saw him or talked to him that very day would we still have him in our life today? I don't know the answer to that question and I will never know it but I know in my heart that I love my dad very much and I miss him and I pray for both him and mom to be at peace and both reunited together in heaven.

When I think of Christmas, family celebrations and gatherings with the ones we love I feel a special joy that reminds me how important it is to be a part of it with our family. We never want to feel alone especially at Christmastime and when we can share in the occasion and see all the children in our lives smile and delight in the opening of their presents they received from Santa I truly feel happy. When I see my son get all excited unwrapping with eager anticipation his gifts I am overjoyed and I feel I may have added a few more years to my life as I much rather feel happy as I smile seeing my son happy. It sure beats feeling depressed and all alone. It is this spirit we all seek to help us get through the difficult moments. We all need a little Christmas spirit in our life and in having this we also should remember that happiness is not derived from material things but by a feeling of being loved and needed. We all want to feel loved and needed and as we celebrate Christmas we also must remember what the holiday is really all about which is to share and celebrate in the joy of the birth of the baby Jesus. This is what Christmas spirit truly is all about and this is what we all need in our life.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Edward D. Iannielli III


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