It’s the darkest time of year. The time where it feels like you are on the outside looking in at everyone you know behind a glass. They are all happy and celebrating. Seemingly from behind that glass, they don’t have a care in the world. You feel like all the cares have somehow managed to accumulate in your head instead.
During the holidays emotions become stronger, every word takes on a slightly different meaning, time stands still and somehow also moves faster, depending on the day. It’s a week that seems like a year but a day that seems like a minute. People either come out of the woodworks to show you they care or they stay farther away than they have the rest of the year.
In a pathetic attempt to protect myself from the reality of the season, I find myself scrolling more than I have any other month of the year. Even though what I see makes me more emotional, more irritated, I delude myself into thinking that the distraction is a positive one. I follow along in strangers’ lives because I don’t want to be present in my own. Being a part of their holiday whether it be more extravagant and pretty than mine or whether it be tinged with some dramatic tragedy that I have not yet had to face, I want to be absorbed in it. After I put down the phone, I feel guilty for not being fully present in the holiday unfolding right in front of my eyes. But if I was I think my head would explode because your own holiday has all your own baggage within it. All the memories, all the people, all the thoughts and feelings, all the fights, all the love, all the misplaced love, all the misunderstood love, all the other misunderstandings, all your past. It’s all there in the dining room, in the kitchen, in your childhood bedroom.
I’d so much rather follow along in the Christmas of someone else. They’re lives seem easier for me to comprehend than my own. I can read their resolutions and their gratitude lists rather than attempting my own. I know this is not the way it should be. There are times I see something that triggers me into a panic. Then I vow never to look again. Within minutes I have to see what has gone on. The upsetting post is forgotten as I watch someone make their favorite recipe or take their child to see Santa.
During this time I long to not be alone. The screen shows me all I could ever want. People who could be my friends, people who could be my enemies if they came out from behind the screen. They create another world for me to be in when my own is too much.