When things are going fairly well in my life and I am not on the outs with a loved one during the holiday season, I usually always feel a childish sense of excitement and eagerly await Christmas Day. But this year, it doesn’t even feel like Christmas time for me. It feels just like every other day of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that I get to spend tomorrow with my family and my boyfriend but it still just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. And Christmas has always been my favorite part of the year.
My mom got us a small Christmas tree and helped us decorate but the excitement that I was anticipating just wasn’t there. People around me or that I talk to have holiday cheer, so where the hell is mine this year?
I think I am becoming more and more aware of one of the things weighing heavy on my mind this holiday season. If my pregnancy hadn’t been ectopic in February, I would finally have what I’ve always wanted; to be a mom with a child of my own that I could have started new Christmas traditions and memories with. So many people that I know and went to school with are celebrating the holiday season with something that I most likely will never have; children. Most of the people I know either have children already or are expecting the arrival of a baby.
If my pregnancy would have been viable this could have been the best Christmas of my life. Instead, I have had this vacant hole and emptiness inside of me that nothing seems to fill since I had to have surgery on February 2, 2020 to remove my baby and my ruptured right fallopian tube.
I don’t know one single other female that has suffered through and struggled with an ectopic pregnancy. I feel like no one I know can even begin to understand what it feels like to be told that you are finally pregnant after many, many years of trying just to be rushed to the emergency room with internal bleeding a few days later from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and having everything you ever dreamed of torn from you in an instant.
And the friends I do have who have suffered through a miscarriage wouldn’t fully be able to comprehend the loss I went through since they already had other children. I get that any pregnancy loss is hard, but when you already have children who love you and that you love more than life itself it’s not the same as someone who struggled their whole life to try to become a mom that doesn’t have any children when that’s all they’ve ever wanted from life. They are two very different types of pain and loss.
I haven’t struggled with the loss I went through this much in a while. So why now? Is it because this Christmas could have been the Christmas where I finally got to play the role of Santa Clause for my own child?
I recently found out that my medical insurance does not even cover one single damn thing that has to do with infertility and assistance with getting pregnant. I am at a dead end. I will be 35 this coming year and my time frame to have children is quickly running out.
If having a baby wasn’t part of my destiny, why the fuck did the universe have to make having a baby the one thing that I have wanted out of this life more than anything else for so long? It’s like some cruel and twisted cosmic joke. It’s like the universe would rather make a heroin addict or junkie who refuses to stay sober even during their pregnancy a mom before someone who would shower their child with love and who would do anything in the world for their baby. I just don’t understand it and it’s so fucking unfair.
Usually by Christmas Eve I am beaming with excitement. I start to look forward to the automatic cheer that the holiday season usually brings to me starting as early as Halloween. I wish I could feel like my normal excited self about Christmas finally being here but the joyfulness and excitement has gone into hiding this year and is missing in action. I haven’t even heard or listened to one single Christmas song so far this season when I usually would have secretly listened to a few Christmas songs by now. After all, tonight is Christmas Eve.
It probably doesn’t help that I feel bad for not being able to afford to buy everyone on my list Christmas gifts this year. My brothers are even going to have to wait until after Christmas for me to get them a gift. I am the type of person who thoroughly enjoys giving my close friends and family gifts on Christmas. Probably more than I even like receiving gifts in return.
I love to see the look on their face when they open their presents. I usually try to buy at least one gift for everyone that I believe they would adore and cherish. I love to make my loved ones happy. I even get so excited when I find the perfect gift for someone on my list that I will sometimes give the person their gift early just to see their reaction when they open their present sooner rather than later. I hate being broke during the holidays.
I hate that it doesn’t feel like Christmas time for me when I really do look forward to the holidays most years minus two or three holiday seasons where my family stopped talking to me. The years that I didn’t have my immediate family were miserable for me. But I have my mom and my siblings this year again. I have my boyfriend. I should be too excited for Christmas Day to arrive tomorrow to sleep tonight.
Could the whole pregnancy loss that I went through this year be causing this lack of enthusiasm? I feel like there has to be something else going on inside of me that I just can’t seem to put my finger on. Sure the loss I went through plays a role but it can’t be the entire reason. This whole week I have been hoping for the anticipation of Christmas to hit me. I wish I could think more positively and hope that my feelings of excitement will hit me by Christmas morning. But the spark just isn’t there and it doesn’t feel like the cheerfulness will suddenly appear overnight.
I am not really in a depressive bipolar episode, so I don’t believe depression has anything to do with my missing holiday cheer. Sure, I am a bit sad about the fact that this was supposed to be my first Christmas as a mom. But feeling sad over something bad that happened to you and feeling depressed are two different things.
I want to be festive and bursting with excitement. But you simply can’t force yourself to feel something that just isn’t there. Have I reached a certain level of adulthood that just sucks all of the holiday spirit out of you? Is that even a thing? I was still in my 30s last year and was still just as excited for Christmas Day as ever despite being sick last Christmas. Could the global pandemic possibly have anything to do with it?
I really want to get this figured out so that I can try to fix whatever is wrong with me this year in order to feel like I am in the proper holiday spirits. I have more questions than answers right now, though. I don’t want this lack of excitement to be my new holiday normal. I am a kid at heart, so feeling this way is really confusing and it sucks. It also makes me feel a sense of disappointment. I am disappointed because I wait all year for the holidays to roll around and I feel nothing special or magical right now. It’s a let down.
Where has my Christmas cheer gone? I don’t want this holiday season to slip by without so much as peaking my interest and giving me a sense of enjoyment. I don’t want tomorrow to just feel like every other day of the year or like I am just seeing my family for a regular family get together. I want it to feel like Christmas and be a special day that only comes once a year where I get to create new cherishable holiday memories with my loved ones.
I feel like if tomorrow passes by and it doesn’t start to feel like the holiday season for me that it could have the potential to trigger a depressive episode since this is usually my favorite time of year. If I can’t get myself engaged in the festivities I feel like it will make me feel like I missed out on something that I absolutely love and make me feel like total shit for not being able to feel like my normal self. I don’t want to have to wait a whole other year to see if the loss of cheer I am experiencing this year is just a fluke or if something has permanently changed in me. And please, please don’t let it be a change in myself.
I only really look forward to certain days of the year; mainly Christmas and sometimes my birthday. If I can’t get excited for Christmas there is not really much else for me to look forward to all year which could leave me feeling really low. Because what is the point of life and trying to live if you have nothing to really look forward to. Everyone needs something to look forward to because it can help make bad days more tolerable when you know you have something that you enjoy in store for you in the future. I just want my Christmas cheer back!
With how shitty 2020 has been for me, I have been looking forward to something that could really lift my spirits and give me some real and pure excitement and joy. I really thought my favorite time of year would be that for me. I guess you could say that not being able to enjoy my favorite holiday to the fullest makes me sad. I feel like I am really missing out this year and I hate feeling like that.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.