The Dark Christmas Spirit



How appropriate, Hope pondered, that on the day with the shortest amount of light, the darkness should hit her like the door of a tomb slamming shut, the echoes sounding deceptively final. Every year she braced herself for the void the season reminded her of. For a few days, she had been feeling so good that she thought she might escape the blackness, but instead it had blindsided her with an exceptionally hard knock.

This year’s unwrapped gift of depression contained so many things she had not wanted and probably didn’t deserve. Loneliness. The excruciating pain of realizing she loved someone she could absolutely not be with. The bitter edge of the cold.

The accumulation of losses and disappointments led her to spend the night driving along country roads, winding slowly through the darkness for hours little salt streams staining her cheeks. As she took in the beauty of the moonlit trees, the reflected eyes of animals in the brush and the small noises that interrupted the hush of other’s sleep, her mind wandered to the something that had never appealed to her. She wondered about the lure that prompts sad people to make the choice to climb over the railing of a wind whipped bridge and jump into the blackness. She had read that the impact was massively bone shattering.

The irony was sharp, that someone could survive plummeting into the water from a great height and instead of ending their suffering, find themselves more injured then before. She wondered if such survivors found the resulting physical devastation had eclipsed the emotional/mental anguish that prompted the desperate self inflicted violence in the first place. She knew she could never do something so dramatic.

She also knew she would probably survive this wrestling match of heavy shadow but she wasn’t sure she wanted to. She wasn’t sure she cared about anything but stopping. If only she could figure out a way of releasing herself from this prison that wouldn’t hurt so many others. If only she could sleep through the winter, hibernate like a bear. She might dance between forcing herself to go to social functions and retreating to solitude. She would plod through her obligations with diligence, of that much she was sure. She was always dependable. She would put on a believable smile. She would go through the pretense of joking and flirting like a cat hiding a trauma.

When the day came she would act as if there was nothing special about December 25th that set her and others who lacked the connection of some kind of family to share it with. There was no particular humbug here, there was just no Christmas. It was a fact of her life. But being Hope, she wanted to believe that it might not be this way forever.

-LM 2013

The holidays are difficult for me for a whopping variety of reasons. I also knew a good number of people going trough a particularly dark time right now. Because I believe that the only way to get through a dark night is to push through to the dawn, I wrote this piece and posted it. Some people responded with gratitude, some of my friends expressed concern. I had to post the following disclaimer:

FYI People: I am not planning to jump off a bridge. Yikes, it’s not that bad and it’s just too cold. Besides I have kitties to take care of and awesome New Year’s Eve parties to attend.

When I post things if I am quoting someone else I usually use quotation and usually note the source.
If I am making a statement or rant that is my own original thought and content, there are generally no quotes.
If I am posting a piece of my writing, a fragment of a story, essay, poem or lyric I almost always remember to put my initials, LM at the end. While these things often contain autobiographical elements or tinges of things I am going through that does not mean every word is true.

But thanks for your concern. I appreciate you checking in.



PS: If my writing touches people or makes them think I am grateful.


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