Family Holiday

I’m sitting in a hotel room here in Taiwan on a family vacation. I should feel lighthearted and cheery, we are on holiday after all, and many would leap at the opportunity. In some ways I am. I tease and poke fun at my brother all in good humour, I accompany the rest of the family going out, I’m enjoying the cheap and delicious food, only purging twice in five days (it could be worse…), there are times when I laugh and joke with the family, I make all the right moves, or try to anyway. Yet something doesn’t feel quite right.

Maybe it’s that I feel as though I don’t deserve a holiday, when I’ve failed so tremendously this year. Maybe it’s that there’s too much going on, too much to think about, to really enjoy the holiday. Maybe it’s because the depression is lurking within me, you can run away from your problems but you can’t run away from yourself. Maybe it’s too much time spent with the family, especially my father, and feeling disconnected from everyone else. Maybe it’s because I’ve pinned too much on this holiday, and the expectations were greater than the reality. Maybe it’s because less than two weeks spent overseas means I don’t see my psychologist for a month, and miss out on spending time with my friends while they are on their Uni break. Maybe I’m afraid of being too happy because I know the moment won’t last. Maybe it’s that being on holiday requires too much energy, energy which right now I do not possess. Maybe I’m afraid that all this food consumed while on holiday is contributing to my increasing body weight. Maybe I’m just being a moody, ungrateful, spoilt teenager.

And maybe it’s all of the above.

5 thoughts on “Family Holiday

  1. When I came out of hospital this summer almost right away I was forced to go on holiday down south (to florida) with my parents and sister… i was not ready for this… i spent most of the time finding ways to secretly cry in public places and try to not show them how much I wanted to die…and also felt like an ungrateful bitch. That was completely unhelpful! But yeah I feel ya, and most likely you’re not an ungrateful teenager.

  2. I don’t think you’ve failed tremendously this year. I’m sorry you’re unable to fully enjoy the vacation. Maybe if you were to put all the evaluating aside and just live in the moment you would have more fun. Obviously that’s easier said than done. I hope things turn around.


    Wishing you well,

  3. I felt ungrateful on my summer vacation this year as well. I spent everyday of the 3 week trip counting down the days until we would be home. It’s hard to make yourself feel the opposite or even partially enjoy it when you’re focussed on how much you hate it. My only partial suggestion is to yourself yeah, you aren’t having fun and don’t feel well. The key is to being open for the vacation to be fun. I began looking at each activity as…”Is this something I could like?”. And when shit hit the fan and everything went wrong (eg. bad weather) I found I lifted my own mood and others’ as well when you just openly say “this is crap but we make the vacation, not the weather”.

    This is probably totally off base. Hope you find some parts of the vacation enjoyable.

  4. It’s hard to enjoy vacations because I know they’re temporary. Whenever I get away from my life for a vacation or a weekend away, it’s so hard for me to live in the moment. My mind’s either in the past, thinking of my crappy life before the vacation, or in the future, thinking about how I’ll have to go back to my crappy life. But I’ve found that there’s always a few times on vacation when I just forget about it all and live in the moment. Granted, they don’t happen often, and when they do, they only last a few minutes at the most.

  5. Poor old you. I don’t think you are being a spoiled teenager: and as long as you don’t act like one, you shouldn’t label yourself thus.

    It just sounds to me that you are feeling “not up to all off it”, which as you well know is a sign of being a bit depressed. Feeling lethargic (both mentally and physically) can seriously affect what you can reasonably expect yourself to be doing and feeling. And you have noticed that your thoughts go towards not seeing your quack (psychologist – I’m British) for quite a long time. For you and others like you, this would be akin to requiring someone with a broken leg to take off their cast for a month and make do!

    Being with family IS a strain when you feel like you do – being with most people who aren’t mentalists and don’t really get it is a strain. Being with your family on holiday when the pressure to be happy and have fun is such a prerequisite… That’s REALLY hard if you are depressed or even a bit melancholy.

    To many who have no idea what depression really feels like and how it works its dark magic, it might appear that you are ungrateful, ungracious and un…. everything good and happy. But please don’t beat yourself up about what these people think. Depression doesn’t just lift in a trice because someone takes you on holiday… Unless you are really well and balanced in the heid, (Scottish accent now – oh dear!), it is really difficult to partake of the things that others see as positive.

    I think what you probably need to do is to get enough sleep for one thing: you sound awfully tired in your post. Do your family understand what is bugging you (do they even know)? I’m not suggesting that you blurt it all out and run the risk of a family war on holiday, I’m just curious to understand whether they might allow you some time to chill out if you feel too tired to muck in with everyone else.

    Take it easy and don’t feel that you are a horrible person over this: your readers totally understand – look at the comments you’ve had. You ‘ain’t alone love!

    X Clarissa X

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