Valentine’s Day Depression is more common than you think. In fact, there are precious few holidays that arrive without a heavy trunk full of trauma for me. From Christmas to Valentine’s Day and all those celebrations in between, I have felt inner turmoil. It is part of my tumultuous upbringing.
What could possibly be the problem with Valentine’s Day in my childhood? Consider this historical context.
Valentine’s Day Depression Started in Primary School
I was a red-headed freckle-faced scrawny girl who was poor. Valentine’s Day required every single classmate to fake kindness toward me via these little cards. These are the same children who reveled in bullying me every day. Believe me they found a way to target me even with their Valentines.
My Valentine’s Day cards emphasized poverty. After all, what do you expect? I came to school with bread sacks over my shoes because we could not afford galoshes. Not to mention there was always the dreaded project. Each student had to create a Valentines Box.
Poverty showed up again in my creations. To make matters worse, my tumultuous home life held my creativity hostage. I couldn’t draw to save my life. My pathetic creations provided just one more opportunity for classmates to mock me. So, I grew to hate Valentine’s Day.
Valentines Hardship in High School
It only worsened during middle school and high school. Everyone had a boyfriend but not me. I watched classmate after classmate get a singing Valentine or flowers delivered to them. The lump always hardened in my throat. Valentine’s Day reminded me that I was a social reject.
Adulthood Valentine Despair
As an adult woman who experienced the anguish of domestic violence and divorce, I remained jaded about this holiday. “Meh, it is just a commercialized holiday, a gloomy reminder of my life long rejection.
That would all change in 2009, when I married an incredible man. Jon offered unconditional love, empathy, encouragement, and support. His affirmation enabled me to process the past pain in a new healthier way. In short,the joy we share repaired the damage from past traumas. We celebrate our romance every. single. day. But Valentine’s Day gives an excuse for us to go all out. Jon’s love helped me get unstuck emotionally. I grew to enjoy Valentines as a chance to serve others who may have the same kind of past trauma.
Surprisingly, I am not alone in experiencing Valentine’s Day depression. Not everybody looks forward to this holiday. A recent poll found that one in ten young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day. And that’s just the ones that admitted it.
Make This Valentine’s Day Different
On Valentine’s Day we show love to those who matter most to us. However, this year let’s try something different. Reach out to those who are forgotten, alone, or desolate. Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.
But how can you make a difference? Here are a few ideas to help you create a ripple effect of joy:
- Visit someone who is lonely or shut in.
- Make a comfort box/basket full of self soothing items. Give it to someone who is hurting.
- Buy groceries for a family experiencing financial hardship.
- Write a letter of encouragement and send it snail mail.
- Send an affirming text to someone who is struggling.
- Reach out in kindness to a difficult person.
Encouragement is the motivation behind my bath and body company. We weave inspiration into the very designs of our handcrafted soap. Further, we make it easy to share good vibes through our product offerings. Gift boxes as well as Vickie’s Happy Box are packed with self-soothing products. You can find these items in or shop or create your own care package with simple items.
Valentine’s Day is not a happy holiday for everyone. Many suffer from Valentine’s Day depression. Take time to observe others around you who are vulnerable. If you associate Valentine’s Day with anguish, you can rewrite joy into experience by making a difference in the lives of others. Finally, enjoy this heartwarming story of true love. This 93 year-old man visits his wife’s grave almost every day.