The worst time of the year

Not to be a downer but Christmas isn’t a great season for a lot of people. I’m one of them.

I have a job where I see lots of men wandering, lost, in the cosmetic department. I find it so touching when a man struggles to buy a woman eye shadow. I assure them that their wife/girlfriend/mother/grandmother will love it, mainly because the guy wandered into the foreign land of cosmetics to get it for them. I’m trying to see the positive, but sometimes my own situation gets to me.

Those of us who are single, childless and have emotionally distant siblings will understand. It’s like wandering through a party solo where everyone has a group to laugh and chatter with. There’s a bit of envy and a bit of anger that we are where we are. Plus, I’m going through a fair amount of frustration with my health, particularly the insulin-induced weight gain. Despite fasting for a week and eating low-carb meals, my body has greedily hoarded fat. My clothes remind me constantly that they don’t fit and I’m too stubborn to go out and buy a bigger size.

I go silent at work, and elicit joking comments from my workmates that I’m talking their ears off. The thing is, I can’t talk about any of this. People wouldn’t understand the idea that some of us are Christmas orphans. Thank God for friends, but sharing in their Christmas celebrations not the same. Buying gifts for friends brings back flashbacks when gift-giving was a competitive sport — who can spend the most and get the biggest reaction from our parents. The thought was not a factor at all.

And I can’t talk about fasting, however I did make an exception last week. I learned one of my supervisors has Type 1 diabetes and requires insulin. He’s tall and slim and benefits from walking the store all day. I do not. My body doesn’t wear off glucose by exercise, except that morning dog walk — I just had a “rapid fall” alert from my waking-up jab coupled by a brief dog walk. It’s the only time my body responds to walking.

So you may see my frustration. I’ll be working this week until Christmas eve. A few days to get through.

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