A cautionary take of what happens when Christmas and depression cross paths.
The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone in a blink of an eye. The Monday after the days of turkey and tryptophan, I walk into an office that’s awash with every decoration of the festive Christmas holiday known in the universe: snowmen, angels, mistletoe, stockings on everyone’s cubicle, and everything else one can think of. I hate it, and I don’t want any part of it!
The day before we all took off for Christmas, the big boss threw a big party that lasted all day. Everyone within their cubicles played holiday music, ranging from religious pieces to secular. To drown out everyone trying to sing, I put on my headphones and began listening to the classical radio station.
Lorna, my closest friend in the office, came over to my cubicle with an antler headband on with bells hanging on them. “Chastity, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“Lorna, the time between Thanksgiving through the first week of January, I get the blues,” I said. “Since my miscarriage, it’s escalated and turned me into a sour puss.”
“Aww, Chas. I’m so sorry to hear that. Come join me in Bill’s office. He has a box of those fancy-pants chocolate mints you love so much.”
Smiling, I eagerly followed Lorna into Bill’s office. Once inside, I saw several boxes of my favorite mints stacked up on the floor, and a table with a ton of presents on there. Bill was conversing with Melissa, Sallie, and Grace in a Santa hat with his name in green glitter. Smiling like a Cheshire cat, bill came over to me and hugged me. It felt nice being in his arms again, only for a brief second. Looking up, I saw that he was standing under the mistletoe. I played along, kidding him on the cheek that made the women in there seethe with anger.
Breaking the mounting tension, Lorna squealed in delight.
“What’s going on?” Bill asked.
“You have the good mints here,” Lorna said excitedly, “and you have several here with Chas’s name on them.”
“Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. Chastity, five boxes of the mints is yours, and a stocking full of other goodies you will like.”
“Thank you, Bill,” I replied.
“Chas, don’t be sad. It’s a celebration! Have some wine and cheer up.”
“Bill you sure do know how to make a woman feel special.”
Melissa gave me a nasty look as I took the stocking and mints from Bill, as he sat in a chair and pulled me down with him. “So, Chastity, what do you want for Christmas?” he asked.
I want our child back, I wanted to say. “I want to beat the holiday blues I get every year.”
“Well, little girl, I don’t know how to do that. What I can do is make sure you have fun tonight at the party.”
“I would like that. Thank you, Bill.”
Bill handed me a stocking with some candy and I kissed him on the cheek. Grace and the other girls shot daggers at me and Lorna, but we didn’t care. Bill was enjoying himself, as everyone should.
“That was fun,” I said to Lorna as we got back to my cubicle.
“The looks on those faces were priceless,” Lorna giggles. “It put a smile on your face knowing that you got to straddle bill for a couple minutes.”
“Thank you for that.”
“Don’t forget about the debauchery at five.”
“My camera batteries are charged and ready.”
Five rolled around and everyone was on a sugar and wine high. Stefan brought his DJ equipment and turned the office into a night club. Catered food came in, and the alcohol began to flow like Niagara Falls. John and Lorna went into a closet and haven’t come out for air yet. Grabbing a brownie and a cup of hot apple cider, I sat at one of the conference tables and stared out at the falling snow. The moment The Carpenters’ Merry Christmas Darling filled the office; tears started falling down my cheeks. Packing my belongings, I briskly walked to the elevators and almost ran into Lorna and john.
“Chastity, what’s wrong?” Lorna asked.
“I can’t listen to the music or wear a fake smile on my face anymore,” I sobbed.
“I understand. Call me when you get home.”
“Take care of yourself, Chas,” John said to me.
“Thank you both. I really appreciate it.”
I got on the elevator and a flood of tears ran down my face. Since the miscarriage and getting dumped on my birthday, I’ve been an emotional wreck. Seeing couples holding hands, mothers pushing their babies in baby strollers get to me, especially during this time of year. I want so badly to beat this depression; I don’t know what to do. The last thing I wanted to do was end my life and join my unborn child in heaven.
I went home to my semi-barren apartment and flung myself on the couch. After about an hour, I looked around and spied a bottle of vodka and antidepressants. Changing into some sweats and gym shoes, I popped a few pills, washed them down with alcohol, and repeated the routine until both bottles were empty. I got back on the couch, fumbled for my cell and sent a text to both John and Lorna, and closed my eyes.
I woke up several hours later in the emergency room, hooked up to an IV unit. Lorna and John’s faces came into focus as the doctor came into the partition. “Well, Miss Meyer, you’re very lucky to have friends that care about you,” the doctor said. “You were within five minutes from dying from an overdose of pills and alcohol poisoning.”
I looked from the doctor to bot John and Lorna. Reading the question on my face, John says to the doctor, “Chastity has had a rough year with a miscarriage and getting dumped on the same day and this holiday season just pushed her over the edge.”
“I see. We get a lot of people who try to attempt suicide around this time. She needs to stay here for observation. She’ll give you a call when she’s discharged.
“Thank you, doctor.”
When the doctor left, Lorna hugged me. “Chastity, I know you’re upset at Bill for dumping you when you need him the most, but it’s no excuse to kill yourself.”
“Yesterday’s kind gesture from him was completely fake,” I said finally. “He’s waking up with those two-bit bitches and holding another fuck session, not caring about the child I lost because of him.”
“The best thing for y now is to get better and return to work sooner than later. Forget bill and his stable of attention whores. Work on you and the business you’re about to open up. That’s how you get back at him and those girls.”
I smiled at my friends. “I have one question. How did I end up here?”
“When I got your text at the party, I grabbed John and headed over right away. We found you under the afghan with a very faint pulse. I called an ambulance and they brought you here and pumped your stomach. You need to get some rest. We’ll be back for you tomorrow.”
“Thank you, both.”
The next day I went home with john and Lorna. Christmas and New Year’s came and went and I didn’t bawl my eyes out this time. Throughout that year, I continued to work and saved up enough money to open up my own café. I long forgot about Bill, what he’s done to me, the miscarriage, and his girlfriends. I worked overtime to get the café up and running.
I left the company to work in my café full time, and I’m happier doing that.