Post Holiday Crash and the Final Semester

A Quick Word on the Post-Holiday Crash:

Something about the holidays leaves us feeling drained and depressed. I suspect these feelings have something to do with how much time, money, and energy we expend trying to make these arbitrary dates “special” or “meaningful” only to end up feel let down when the days come and go with little magic. Whatever the case may be, the post-holiday crash is a very real, and very prevalent problem that far too many people ignore. Don’t. If you feel it, talk about it. Pretend it isn’t real won’t make it go away. For me, the crash this year was so bad, probably because I haven’t had a therapy appointment since before Christmas, that I ended up in a really dark, semi-suicidal, terrible-decision making state over this last weekend. I ended up going on a date I didn’t want to go on, spending money I didn’t intend to spend, and agree to a relationship with a guy who I don’t have any romantic feelings for whatsoever just because I felt lonely and vulnerable and he has been trying to get me to date him for years… now I get to have an extremely awkward break-up conversation all because I chose to ignore my mental health. [Sidebar: if you’d like to hear more about this relationship, and how this awkward conversation goes, please comment below.]  Moral of the story? Ignoring your mental health, espeically around the holiday season when the crash occurs, can result in terrible decision making you wouldn’t normally make.

A quick word about School:

Monday January 7, 2018 was my final first day of school. After 6 years of attending University, I have finally reached my final semester and will be graduating in 16 weeks. I am excited, of course. This is something I have worked for non-stop for years, but I am also finding a strange mixture of anxiety and apathy in my emotions as well. Why? That’s a simple question with a simple answer: I have been working toward this for a very long time. I am 25 years old. I have been going to school for 20 years. I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t a student. Working full time doesn’t intimidate me as I already have a full-time job, but not having classes is a foreign concept. The new-ness of being “done” with formal education is why I’m anxious (that and irrational concerns that I’ll choke at the finish line) but why do I feel apathetic? To put it simply, it’s because I’m too tired to care anymore. Most of you remember high school and how you were so full of dreams and plans that come with being told the world is at your fingertips. You were ready and rearing to go as a Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior, but by the time you became a Senior you were tired of waiting. You wanted to be done. You wanted to be out, and You wanted to be gone. At least in Utah we called this phenomena “senior-itis”. As a senior in college, having already gone through 12 years of primary in addition to your college career with the added stresses of working, paying bills, keeping house, and often trying to date, marry, and start a family- that “senior-itis” attacks again with a vengeance, except now, you are jaded by the realities of the job market and adult responsibilities.

A Quick Word about Moving Forward:

I have just confessed to having fallen into a dark pit of despair and spiraling into a frenzy of anxious apathy about my approaching graduation so I would forgive you for assuming that this post is all about complaints, doom, and gloom- but you would be wrong. Yes, winter is a particularly hard time for me, and I did do some very foolish things. Yes, I am struggling with my feelings about starting the next chapter in my life, but it’s not a bad thing. The whole point is, I am struggling with all of this, but I am still here. I am still acknowledging and confronting my problems, and I am still getting out of bed, getting dressed, and going to work and classes. I haven’t given up  and neither should you. It’s okay to struggle, to fall into that darkness, and to make stupid decisions. It’s okay to feel excited and worried and tired all at once. We human beings have complex emotions that don’t always make sense on the surface- and that’s okay. If you are struggling, remember there is nothing wrong with you and you can get through this. We’ll do it together. Knowing that I’m not alone and that I am still moving toward my goal is what is pulling me through this rough patch. Find what you need to move forward and keep it with you. You can get through the post-holiday crash and your apathetic periods, and I will too.

 

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