My initial post sounded pretty pitiful and needy, and I really don't want to be this way. The holidays always add to my depression, which I'm sure is very common. As my extended family doesn't accept the fact of my illnesses, mainly agoraphobia, Christmas is like a nightmare to me. I usually do my shopping over the Internet; this year I haven't, and it's really too late now. Then the family Christmas dinner and gift exchange--I start months ahead trying to think of excuses to get out of it.
This Thanksgiving, I dropped my daughter off, and went back home. I didn't even tell anyone I wasn't going to come because I didn't want to deal with all the guilt trips that would be laid on me.
Now Christmas is a few weeks away, and I have no idea how I can go, and I've used up all the excuses I can think of over the years. I hate lying, but honesty doesn't work when your family doesn't believe you have agoraphobia. I've tried being honest many times, but the responses I get back are, "I'm hurting this person or that person, I'm just thinking of myself, blah, blah, blah."
I would appreciate hearing any ideas of how you all deal with the holidays. I can't get the anxiety out of my head over it, and of course, the more you think about it, the more anxious one becomes. It's a vicious circle.