Alone for the holidays: Is anyone else... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Alone for the holidays

Shutterbug65 profile image

Is anyone else out there who will be alone on Christmas? Other than going to my cousins house for brunch I will spend most of the day alone. I’m so anxious, and depressed. I think the holidays only amplify those feelings of loneliness. No tree or decorations for me. I see couples and families seemingly happy wherever I go this time of year. Wish the holidays where over already. And it makes me so sad because I can remember how happy I used to be on Christmas morning, especially as a child with family and friends around.

33 Replies

I spend more holidays alone than I care to admit, but we must still find the beauty in the day, I know difficult challenge but our brains are very powerful...together we can do this...just call me, okay? Love, peace, light, joy & hugs for you!

Shutterbug65 profile image
Shutterbug65 in reply to

Thank you, it is a very difficult day for me. I have to go to my cousins house in the morning, which isn’t my best time of day, my anxiety always spikes then. And then after that nothing. Hope you have a joyous Christmas, you been so kind to me, and I will call.

in reply to Shutterbug65

It's good you're going to your cousins! You had a good time the last time you got together, so there's your positive, now lead with that. Enjoy your time together. Our Christmas isn't until Jan. 7. Love, peace, light, joy & hugs for you!

It will be a normal day for me. It actually makes my depression worse with all the expectations. I can't afford gifts nor do I have my own family.

Shutterbug65 profile image
Shutterbug65 in reply to

I know how you feel. I’m in the same situation. I told my cousin and his wife please not to exchange gifts, I’ll get something for there daughter however. You know I see all these families and couples walking around and it makes me miss those days when I had my family, my grandparents who raised me, my Dad, and my girlfriend who passed away in 2010 and so many others. I can’t believe so many years have gone by, and if it wasn’t for my cousin I’d have absolutely nothing to do. I never married and have no children of my own. My depression is so much worse this time of year.

Hi I never married or had kids either. This time of the year always makes me feel more alone than ever and I hate it. x

in reply to hypercat54

Yeah and it shouldn't be that way. It's like they are throwing it in our faces.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to

That's coz they are. Promoting the ideal family Christmas is for commercial reasons which is why it always starts ridiculously early! It is important to remember though that the 'ideal' family doesn't exist and it's only the vast minority who have young children.

It's also important to remember that family arguments can start very easily so sometimes it's less stressful to be alone. x

We have our own holiday season here and it gives me the hugest anxiety, I hate family gathering I hate the whole rituals so I just take extra care of myself during that period of time, if there is dinner I don’t want to go to I don’t, if I want to lay in my pjamas all day I do, if there is a movie I want to watch I do that, find out what comforts you and do it

Nothing comforts me I’m always filled with anxiety when I’m alone. Except perhaps my photography, it does give me something else to focus on, takes my mind off of my anxiety treadmill, the constant worrisome thoughts.

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday nonetheless. 🎄

Hi I am mostly alone at Christmas , very little family and the few that are around usually add stress and disappointment and this year is by far the toughest year yet, I was diagnosed with a serious disease in June and really could use some friendship. I too don’t like this season and find it triggers my depression and anxiety, always relieved the day after... it’s nice to share with ppl and hear others stories to know I’m not alone in these thoughts and situations not to say I like hearing other ppl struggle, it just helps to not take things so personal. Thanks for reading.

Shutterbug65 profile image
Shutterbug65 in reply to Lolalu

I’m sorry I just saw your post now. I have a difficult time keeping up with my messages sometimes. But if your looking for a friend I’m here. The holidays are over but I’m still very anxious and depressed at times, nothing to look forward to I guess. I went to my cousins house and spent Christmas with him and his in-laws, which was nice. Well it’s done. hope you are doing better. Please at anytime message me.

Lolalu profile image
Lolalu in reply to Shutterbug65


Thk u for the message, I’m ok every day is different for me, one day good the next not... I am so relieved the holidays are over! The stress is just too much, I was recently diagnosed with a serious disease to which there is no treatment or cure, stress seems to trigger the symptoms the most. Not much family or friends for support so I found this site to reach out.

Again thks for the kind words. I do hope u r having a “good “ day

do yourself a favor and make this our own Christmas... I did it for a couple of years.... I got my own little tree, and got a few decorations and then went to a community pot luck dinner and didn't know anyone really much, but it was just the idea of not being alone, and doing something. It was a good thing to do that kept me from getting too depressed.... I also had a few group meetings I went to and that was also helpful. I couldn't compare my life to anyone else's .... I had to make my own way with what I had at the time....'s lonely sometimes.... but you can find a way

Hi I get that. I used to have parents and and family to enjoy Christmas with but now I have nobody. Well I do have 3 sisters but one is agoraphobic and doesn't do Christmas, another doesn't really want me, and the other one I normally go round for lunch with her to her bf's place. This year I have booked in with a little cafe with several good acquaintances but I will spend most of it on my own. I feel very envious of those with family to share it with. I also really hate the obsession on the sites I am on about having a lovely Christmas etc. and all the messages. I just want to scream 'Bah Humbug'.

I have found the secret is to organise enough things to do before and after Christmas day so the loneliness isn't so awful. I also try and arrange an hours or so drinking in the pub with friends before lunch. Makes the day go better. x

That sounds like a wonderful idea. I wish I knew other lonely people near me to spend Christmas with. It’s just this whole idea of family and togetherness that gets pushed on us. I mean I used to have that when I was younger and I even got into the Christmas spirit. But when your battling depression and anxiety this time of year can be awful for those of us who are alone. I have memories though of happy times. That’s all I have left. But I do admit the isolation I brought on myself by ignoring family gatherings, and over time they, including friends ignored me. I didn’t realize then I had an anxiety disorder. I was simply very nervous being in a social situation. Now I’m depressed, alone and I hate my life. So many years have gone by.

Why not start looking at groups in your area as there are bound to be some. If you are older then again there are lots of groups. I go to an over 55 one and met loads of people. Look online for them. If you are religious then look for church groups.

Make a promise that next year you are going to tackle your loneliness and isolation and that might include counselling as well. x

I live in a village with no friends or family and no community meals to go to, even if there was I am agoraphobic. You are lucky to have cousin to go. Can't you stay with them longer maybe, tell them how you feel. I miss Christmas and want to enjoy it not ignore it like some others who I understand want to. I have no tree or decorations or food in and will be cold and alone. Reading posts on here is the only thing I have. Make the most of time with cousin.

I’m sorry you are so alone. As for me I just miss how it used to be. This is not a good time of year because it makes me feel more depressed and alone. I also have no tree or decorations, no one will visit anyway. Sometimes it’s unbearable. I wake up with such terrible anxiety.

Gaylehh profile image
Gaylehh in reply to Shutterbug65

Shutterbug65, would it be possible to reach out, even in a tiny way to any family members? I did that and I was offered an olive branch by family. They may miss you and you may not know it. Sorry for the advise ...I also didn’t have my own kids so it can be very lonely and hard at this time.

Shutterbug65 profile image
Shutterbug65 in reply to Gaylehh

I think about that. But they are all successful and I feel like a loser around them. I’m very self conscious. The ones I used to be close to are gone now. I just can’t stand it. I let my life get this way.

in reply to Shutterbug65

Im very much alone eveyday its excruciating and I feel somedays I cant make it let alone these holidays I have great memories and traditions but thats all gone my family is toxic and my obly one friend my best friend of 43yrs passed away last year my other friends who I thought were friends went there own way and my son is having problems of his own and completely wants nothing to do with me. I suffer sever major anxiety and panic disorder and major depressive disorder and my meds are currently being changed. I got so anxious I bought a turkey breast to cook Thanksgiving for myself but am returning it because it hurts so much and its so stupid that im cooking a turkey like im happy and not I asked someome today do they think im a good person because i dont know why no one wants me??? Sometimes i wish i would just die in my sleep Ive tried taking my life before but my faith wont let me I wont see my mother or best friend I would be in limbo so even though i have thoughts I cant act on them but at 47 never married and feeling pretty worthless I wish I could take someone who is dieing of a disease who could have an amazing life I wish I could take there place so they can live and be happy and I could die instead because who's going to want me

Shutterbug65 profile image
Shutterbug65 in reply to

I wish I had the right words to say that would make you feel better. But I’m the same way except I don’t have any children. The holidays are the most difficult time because like you I remember how happy they used to be. Having family around, all my cousins aunts and uncles and my grandparents who raised me. I took it all for granted. Now I’m alone, my cousins all have families and traditions of their own and I hardly hear from them, but I also pushed them away. I’m 54 never been married nor have any children. I just can’t stand it anymore. I also have major anxiety and depression but no one wants to hear about it.

I really wish I could say the right things to make you feel better. I’m sorry.

in reply to Shutterbug65

Don't be sorry I appreciate you just being here and chatting with me. I keep hearing and seeing this commercial from amazon eveybody needs somebody to love..Its true but what do we do when we don't have anybody. Are you scared you will always be alone shutterbug??

Shutterbug65 profile image
Shutterbug65 in reply to

Yes. It’s something I’m really afraid of, being alone. My girlfriend passed 9 years ago and I’ve been alone ever since. I know she wouldn’t want me to live like this. I’m stuck and I can’t move forward.

Thank you for talking with me. I feel like a loser. I’m sorry that things aren’t good between you and your son.

I've had decades of Christmases, Thanksgivings, Easters, etc. all alone the whole entire day, to the point that i'm getting numb to it all. I don't think the numbness is bad- i mean yes i'm more depressed and anxious now than usual- but not as bad as past years' Christmases. I think it's numb in a good way, i don't know. i'm getting much better at blocking it all out. My suicide attempt 13 years ago was around Christmas time- so yes i know how bad it can all feel. But i've learned every year, to keep counting down the days til Dec 26 when it's all over----yay -- and i think that's been a way that i've given myself something to look forward to. To make something tangible of it- i've been eyeing some items online that i can look forward to possible sales when Xmas is over. If you're not into shopping, maybe a trip/road trip or just planning any activity you can look forward to , when all the busy-ness of holidays is over- may be a way to get thru it. But simply focusing on Dec. 26, in itself, has been a useful tool for me. Countdown gets smaller with each day- now in only 4 days it's the 26th and it's all over. Relief is in 4 days. The thing is i'm so lonely and sad all the time, i think i've trained my brain that it's useless to feel any worse about it at this time. i've also gotten better at staying away from Facebook and things like that- learning to stop comparing myself to others has been another useful tool . The less I see or hear of other people and what they're doing - the less i even think about all that. I just forget all of them. i'm not sure if you're religious, but that's been another tool that helps me too. Christmas comes from the words Christ and Mass. Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas. The day is about me honoring Christ's birth and going to Mass. period. I look forward to that one thing, and that's what Christmas is anyway. i don't have to pay attention to the commercialized thing this world made it to be. (On a side note- St. Valentine was a Catholic priest, Valentine's day is his feast day. another day that i don't have to listen to what this world made of that day either). Lastly , another tool--I believe i've suggested Meetup to you before- This is an international website. There's always groups meeting up on Christmas day and other holidays, of people that happen to have no family around or whatever. Did you ever try Meetup? I'm not even interested in any of the meetups - I'll be alone in my apt. on the 25th, and without decorations or music, i don't even have to think of it as "Christmas" in this world's sense. Or rather, since i try to go to Mass several times in the week, not just Sunday, as it is a comfort- every day is a day to honor Christ in Mass. So i'm getting better at tuning out all the "stuff" of this time of year. I continue to pray for you and all on this site. May we all feel peace at this time and throughout the New Year. Blessings

Hello. I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. I will also be alone almost the entire day. I don’t have much of a family. My daughter is working late, my son most likely will not even stop by with my grandson because he is in a toxic relationship and he allows his Girlfriend to control situations. My one best friend will be in Florida and my other one will be with a man she just met online last week. (Some people will do anything to avoid being alone). The Holidays will soon be over and I hope you will find inner peace that will last. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Thank you. I just can’t seem to function anymore by myself. I’m sorry you are going to be alone. I don’t have much of a family left, I never married so I have no children. I’m scared because I’m getting older, I’m 53 and I worry so much about what will happen to me if I needed help. Atleast you have a couple of best friends. I just can’t stand to live this way anymore. But only I can change that, but all I do is worry more and make excuses.

Thank you for writing and I hope you manage to have a wonderful holiday.

Hey, I feel the same way... It's not easy to get used to this kind of feelings during holidays... When everything should be nice and comfortable and safe, but it's not. I still fight with it and feel guilty if I can't be around people and just want to cry alone in my room. But every human being has it's own emotions, good or bad. And you can't escape from them... But you can try to lower the intensity or help yourself in some way. And you're already doing it, you see. It's something. Maybe you aren't happy or satisfied with your current state, but it's ok. You are as you are. You are you. And you're doing the best as you can at the moment. Try tiny steps, one thing that will help you to feel even 1% better. And know that a lot of people feel anxious too, but not all of them would speak honestly, like you. :)

I think you are doing a great job, just writing about it and being honest. You're helping other people feel more human and not so alone. And also, helping yourself to find some solution, maybe just talking with other people here.

Hi, this is my first post here. This is my first holiday alone, and I too, am depressed and anxious. My family is now all gone (grandparents, parents passed away.... my kids are moved away (both in their 20's).... I have a grandson who I can't see and that daughter will not talk to me ( long, long story). I have a couple of cousins that live near me, but I haven't heard one word from them. I deleted my facebook account for now because a) I have been spending too much time on it and it is depressing to me with....seeing everyone at the holidays so happy and b) politics are just depressing me from all directions, and seeing people fight over everything to do with politics. I've had a couple invites from friends, but I feel it is out of pity (probably my own self-sabotage)... but so many ups and downs have happened this year (in fact the last 2 years)....well in fact, my entire life.....that I am in that black hole, gloom and doom state. I've been in bed for 4 days. I just want the holidays to be over with, but then, I fear starting a new year on the same I should "expect" myself to scrape myself off the floor "again". I'm just so tired.

Man, everything you said (except for having children) resonates with me. A lot of what your experiencing I’m also going through. I’ll write back later. Christmas is over and it’s back to work for me.

Hi. I just re read you post and totally understand how your feeling. That gloom and doom state, the feeling that nothing will get better, self sabotage. You might as well be talking about me. I also stay away from fb for the very same reasons. And as for politics, the way it has polarized our country and the arguments it causes, I simply avoid all talk on that subject.

Anyway I hope you are able to find a bit of happiness to hold onto in this new year. It so hard when our minds keep dwelling on the negative. But we got to try and we must push on.

in reply to rivergal777

Im more anxious after its over and today is Wed just the beginning all the people rushing around happy excited and its excruciating to me having no one I bought a turkey breast but i cried doing it so i returned it its stupid thinking im making myself try to he happy and say its ok to be alone its not its awful my anxiety is also about after because a new year begins but Im still the same alone everyone out there is reminiscent of the holidays and starting a new year and again I can only wish of just feeling better and having family who are toxic be there and my son being with me and a couple of friends possibly a boyfriend but thats not reality its a wish a dream but family is toxic son I hope may one day talk to me and at 47 ts hard to make one friend let alone a couple and who would wantbme as a girlfriend....Its so excruciating my heart hurts so much its 6 15 am just the beginning of a long horribly long holiday season. Im trying with all my might to have Faith something good will surprise me. 😔🙏

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