January 24 is on record as being the most depressing day of the year. It’s not hard to figure out why. The bills come in from all those generous gifts you gave back when the holiday spirit had you feeling rich. The resolutions you made on December 31 are, well, broken. And it’s cold, dark, and dreary—the roads wear the kind of brown slush that is unbecoming.
However, my mood dips long before the 24th. It does a dive the Monday after the New Year—the first full week of January. I call it Yuck Monday or Yuck Week.
This week is Yuck Week.
I prepare to be down this week because it’s like clockwork. It has happened for as long as I can remember. Last year, it was especially severe. I was just emerging from a very deep and scary depression. The stress of Christmas numbed me, much like a sedative; I went into holiday gear—which is do, do, do, don’t think, think, think. However, hosting a family reunion proved to be too much. The dysfunction of my family of origin and the unresolved childhood pangs that I feel when I’m with my sisters and my mom was enough to break me.
Once they left, I couldn’t stop crying.
You’d think I’d learn from the mistakes of last year and be a bit gentler to myself. But the definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results—applies here. Not only did I host a family reunion, but I launched a new community for persons with treatment-resistant depression. I am proud of the end product, but the stress involved in building it broke me.
On Yuck Monday, once again, I couldn’t stop crying.