At the risk of oversharing, I have an alarming tendency toward depression come December, partially due to the cumulative effects of cold after cold, but most years I can suppress it, channel it, or raise the dose on my meds. This year it came in a wave so unexpected it knocked me out of the world I'm in, and back into the world that was. But then, that's what the holidays seem to do to us.
Becoming children again isn't always as fun as in the movies. I'm always filled with visions of my mother trying desperately to create merriment and magic on a budget while my father, at his best, passively looks on with a blank expression, or at his worst, sits slumped drunkenly over a plate of ham with mustard, drooling onto the plate, vacant.
Needless to say, I don't eat ham. Ham with mustard gives me PTSD.
This year, not only do I sense a flinging backward to childhood, but a time-machine trip back to the year our marriages were annulled in Multnomah County, with Prop 8 doing a subterranean attack on my nerves, proven today when my wife innocently handed me an editorial to read by a local lesbian about Prop 8, and before I could finish it I was in a full-blown panic attack.
But on the whole I'm doing better, and the holiday season is counting down. There is snow outside and it truly looks like a winter wonderland, and I had my hair cut and donated it to Locks of Love, which made my day bright. If I can just play with the kids, ignore the newspaper, skip CNN, and avoid the constant knowledge of our second class citizenhood I might make it to New Year's with my sanity relatively intact. It's a goal.