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depressed in Cancun?






Is it possible to feel depressed while on vacation in Mexico?  The ocean is warm for god’s sake!  But I left behind my neck cream which was a huge mistake and it is taking a toll on my self esteem.  My neck cream was my safety net so now I feel fat and saggy and unattractive to the opposite sex. Or any sex. 

Not only that but my natural constitution is lethargic, and my metabolism isn’t just slow, it’s non existent.  I am attempting to make up for all of this by pumping myself full of a lot of black coffee.  I’m trying....

Anyway, I’m on this family vacation at Club Med in Cancun and if you didn’t already know Club Med is a French company.   Which means there are a lot of skinny French women walking around in bikinis. The skinny bitches!  But I found it interesting to discover that everyone in my family (except the little kids) is feeling fat.  It must be the all-you-can-eat buffets and copious amounts of alcohol which, having been in AA for twenty years I forgot had a lot of calories.  But my virgin margaritas aren’t exactly Weight Watchers approved either    

So let’s get to the heart of the matter, which is what it’s like to be on a family vacation for 8 days.  Can we all agree that 8 days is a looooong time for something like that?  The little kids are wearing out and so am I.  However this time together is a huge blessing because I wasn’t always emotionally equipped to hangout with my family.  For many many years I had issues with them.   My parents and brother haven’t been to either of my two weddings and last night at dinner we were reminiscing about the family Christmas in Hawaii.  The one where I bailed. 

That trip was when I was 18, away at my first year of college, and  my Mom decided to take the family to Hawaii for Christmas break.  I didn’t like the idea AT ALL.  It wouldn’t be traditional or magical and I only wanted to come home. I. protested vehemently.  I was being a brat but I went anyway. .  Then two days in I rebelled and caught a flight back leaving the rest of my family to celebrate the holidays without me.  I went home and got high with friends and basically nursed my teenage anger and resentment.  I didn’t realize that my mom had scrimped and saved for that trip, wanting to do something special for us.  I just saw the whole thing as an obstacle to my happiness, and my mom as being difficult.   Obviously I was the difficult one and now when I think back on it, the whole situation makes me feel extremely sad.  Then again,  I have a history of not being allowed my own choices. 

These days I love my parents unconditionally and I was even, on this very trip, able to tell my dad I loved him and forgave him for absolutely everything, and I meant it. Not that he was ever evil exactly but no one pushes your buttons quite like family, and really we are all just muddling through.  I can see that now.  

There has been a long time of healing, a lot of therapy, and a lot of working the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for me to get to this place.  When I stopped trying to change my family and focused on changing myself is when the good stuff happened.  I didn’t ask anything of them but I think setting the wheels of change in motion for myself stirred something for them as well. 

Is it perfect?  No.  I am still depressed in Cancun but as long as I schedule in plenty of “me” time I can tolerate and even enjoy the time I am with my family.  We swam with dolphins together!  And held baby crocodiles (with their snouts held shut by rubber bands) together!  Basically we’ve been exploiting animals together - how’s that for family fun?  And of course the kids are precious- tantrums and all. 

Many of you may think I’m just being a wet blanket and need to pull myself up by my bootstraps but I think a large part of my depression is strictly my brain’s wonky chemistry (more on what it really feels like here). How else could I explain this?  I don’t want to be this way. But sometimes depression can exist in and of itself. And by now I know what I need to do to take care of it.  I have been madly texting my support system back in the US trying to keep the inspirational thoughts flowing and putting a leash on my monkey mind.  Because I am grateful. Gratefull for all of it.  I just wish I had brought my neck cream. 

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