Depression Might Make Me Lose The 50% Of Willpower I Need To Put In, But A Christmas Tree Brought It Back

Depression Might Make Me Lose The 50% Of Willpower I Need To Put In, But A Christmas Tree Brought It Back

Sometimes, a little holiday cheer is all you need to function.


I have bipolar 1 disorder which basically means my depressive states are a lot worse than my manic states and a lot longer. This is not a clinical definition by any means, it's just me describing my version of my disorder to you all, but the point is I am more often depressed than I am not. I could go on forever about how bad depression feels, but here's a plus point: I'm currently sitting at my computer writing this article as opposed to popping a Klonopin and deciding to do absolutely nothing. There's a reason for that.

My psychiatrist and psychologist say that 50% of recovery is the medication and 50% is willpower. Whether that be exercise or just doing something like going to museums or the zoo or painting or singing or just anything. Something to keep your brain active. Today was a particularly rough day. I woke up and took my medication and the Klonopin 0.25mg just wasn't working. I was pessimistic, didn't want to do anything, and kept kicking the box that contained the brand-new Christmas tree that we had to assemble. After about thirty minutes of pleading my mother reluctantly got me to take a Klonopin 1mg pill.

The thing about taking higher dosages of Klonopin is that it tranquilizes you and the only thing I could do was go to sleep, and I pretty much slept the entire day. This is a problem because the 50% of willpower that I was supposed to put in was nonexistent and then I felt bad about not doing anything. Then I caught sight of the Christmas tree box. As a little backstory: Christmas time is my favorite and my favorite part of Christmas is the Christmas tree.

I was extra excited to put up the tree because we got rid of our old seven-foot tree and ordered a nine- foot tree. That's more tree to love. When you're depressed it's hard to do anything, but that tree just called out to me and on a whim, I tore open the box and began assembling the tree. This was my first year buying an unlit tree, so I was a bit hesitant about the whole endeavor, but after a quick trip to the store I ended up with 600 lights and about 100 new ornaments. This was the willpower I was missing all day.

We put on Sinatra's "Ultimate Christmas" playlist on Spotify and began to assemble and decorate this tree, and let me tell you, it felt great. The tree came right on time, and I don't mean Amazon Prime did their duty, I mean to say that some higher power knew I had been in a depressive episode all week and delivered that tree right before I saw the doctor.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I intend to show him that although the medication is not doing it's full 50% because it needs to be titrated carefully and slowly, I found the 50% of willpower I need to keep me feeling happy for the time being.

It may not last, but these moments of happiness are what I live for in the midst of depression.

Update: I wrote this article before my medication, Lamictal (a mood stabilizer), was titrated to 50 mg from 25 mg, but after it got titrated my depression has gotten a lot better, however, in the time that it was being titrated, in that transition period, the Christmas tree was truly only one the things that helped me feel better and more energized. That's to say, despite the fact that the 50% willpower I'm putting in is finally back on track, it was the Christmas tree that helped me get there. Happy holidays everyone!

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An Open Letter To The Person Who Can't Do It Anymore

"Strength grows in the moments when you think you can't go on, but you keep going anyway."

Hey you, yeah you! You’re the person who everyone sees as having their life together. Everyone comes to you with all their problems and tells you how you give the best advice. But no one ever seems to care about how you are doing. Even when they ask the cliche line “How are you?” You respond with “I’m alright” or “I’m okay” and they don’t respond anymore or just ignore your response and start talking about something else. You’re the person who puts everyone else’s happiness before your own, and you question why because when does anyone ever do that for you. And sometimes you feel like you just can’t do it anymore.

When I say can’t do it anymore, I’m not talking about being suicidal, I’m talking about feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally dead, to the point where you can just lay in bed for hours staring at the ceiling not realizing the time that has gone by. You have no motivation to do anything. Then you eventually just isolate yourself from everyone, even your closest friends. It’s not the feeling that you can’t do it anymore that gets you, it’s all the other stuff that comes with it. It’s the feeling of being left out, lonely, uncared for, overwhelmed, and so much more. But most of all you feel lost. Sometimes you just cry, and the worst part about it, you don't know why, you're jsut sad. Sure you have friends and family you can go to, but you question whether they even care about you at times. You try so hard to help and please everyone but no matter what you do, it never seems to be good enough for anyone. Sometimes you just can't get it right, or at least it seems that way. Which is okay because you realize everyone makes mistakes, but yours just seems to be huge ones that affect friendships or life choices rather than small ones that don't have any affect on you. Or it seems that way. On top of everything though, you just feel like something is missing, but you have no idea what it could be.

Every day is hard for you to get up out of bed, let alone to put on a smile and act like everything in your life is perfect, but it’s not, it feels like everything is crashing down on you all at once. And the worst part, it just seems like everything keeps getting worse and worse and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But there is, as hard as it is to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You just have to keep going. Keep faking that smile, helping others, and doing your everyday best. Keep fighting. You may feel like you’re dying, but it will be okay. Have something to fight for. Whether it’s your future, your goals, your friends, family members, pets, or whatever it might be. Keep being the good person you are towards others because eventually someone will notice and appreciate your kindness, you will see the light, and not only wonder why you felt that way before, but you will feel full and have everything you have ever dreamed of. Even though you feel physical, mentally, and emotionally dead now, just remember there is more to life than this feeling and eventually, you will see the light, sometimes when you at least expect it.


The person who has been there more than once

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.


Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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