New Year’s Eve can be one of the toughest nights of the year for people with Depression, but it doesn’t have to be. It is all a matter of what you choose to focus on. I know that this simple statement sounds trite, and I am aware that for most of us who are still in some degree of depression that this is easier said than done, but it is paramount..
If you are doing well and you wish to take this time to reflect upon the strides that you’ve made, then enjoy those thoughts with gratitude and bask in the glory of your accomplishments; but then come back to now and make some new moments to enjoy – enjoy right now!
But if you are depressed then you really need to realize that New Year’s Eve and every annual holiday is nothing special and nothing real. At this very moment in time many countries and many billions of people are already in the year 2014. In approximately 11 hours from now it will be 2014 in Times Square NYC, and those west of NY will still be back in 2013. So this whole time thing is a bunch of nonsense. You have the same odds of being happy an hour from now as you do for when your clock strikes midnight. Every new second is a new opportunity for things to turn around, and these moments are no different than any others. It’s just that the world has gone crazy puffing up the importance of these occasions so that everyone will spend lots of money on food, alcohol, decorations, electronics, concerts, hotels, travel, clothes, and on and on the list goes. If you’re smart or lucky enough to not get caught up in this stuff then you’ll save your money, save your sanity, save your liver, and save your life or perhaps somebody else’s. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against celebrating holidays like New Year’s Eve, but misusing them as a means of measuring your progress towards happiness is counter productive.
You cannot break depression by thinking about the past, especially with judgments and regrets. It’s a complete waste of time and it will only serve to make you feel worse and waste the current moments away. If these thoughts enter your mind just try to let them pass like little white clouds floating across the sky. Don’t resist them. Don’t fight them. Don’t try to control them. Just let them drift by. If this isn’t working for you then just stop moving, take a deep breath or two, and then place your hands on whatever surface is closest to you and feel what that feels like. You know how those children’s books have pictures of different animals and objects and have a surface that the baby can touch to learn what is soft and what is rough, and what is bumpy and what is smooth? Do that with any surface. Try to really feel the texture of it and stay with it for a few moments. Then move on to others and do the same. This will help to get your head out of the past.
If you are feeling unhappy or uncertain about your future then you can handle it the same way that I just described for the past. The future doesn’t exist yet. In the next moment something unpleasant may happen, something wonderful may happen, or it may not seem like anything has happened. Either way, unless you have specific plans that you are executing at this moment in time for something that will help break depression then you need to be living in this moment here and now, wherever you are. The past, the future, the date and time, and the holiday are irrelevant. They are made up constructs so don’t give them any more credit than they deserve.
If you have one foot behind you stuck in the regrets of the past, and the other foot stuck in the fears of the future, then you’re shitting on the present. Get your whole body, mind, and soul back into the present and into this thing called life.
Don’t even utter the most profane words of the English language: “should”, “should have”, “would have”, “could have”, “wish”, “regret”, etc. Say something less profane like “fuck it!”. :-). These words are damaging words at any time of the year, and feel even more potent on New Year’s Eve, but existentially the are exactly the same at any point in time, so be kind to yourself and don’t use these words.
If you’re alone, you are still valued just as much as you would be if you weren’t. In many ways the path to freedom and joy is an individual path. Adding other people to the mix makes things much more difficult. So perhaps being alone on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2013 may be just what is needed for you to break out of depression in 2014, maybe even January 1, 2014!
When you look at the ball drop in Times Square and all of the cool musicians performing and so forth just remember, they’re freezing their balls off and you’re nice and warm and toasty! It’s all a matter of the thoughts that you choose to think and are in the habit of dwelling upon, so choose kinder thoughts.
The stuff that I say to myself amazes me sometimes. If I spoke those same thought to another person I’d be a nasty son of a bitch. So why do I talk to myself that way? Where did we learn that it’s perfectly fine to abuse ourselves? It makes no sense. We need to watch what we say to ourselves in thought and in word. Depression is not your fault so don’t blame yourself for it. Just do your best to participate in life to the best of your current capability right now, and for every now that you can that follows.
I wish you all a very happy new moment, and then another happy new moment, and then another and another and …
Peace and Blessings…