I have a confession to make: I’m not really a big fan of New Year’s Eve.

I’m 42 years old now, and I honestly don’t recall if I’ve ever enjoyed the occasion of the final day of the year. I know what New Year’s Eve is supposed to be like. It’s supposed to represent new hope. It’s supposed to be an occasion to reflect on one’s accomplishments from the past year. It’s supposed to allow us an opportunity to put our failures behind us. It’s supposed to be a happy time, filled with friends, festivities, and revelry.

And, for many, all that is exactly what New Year’s Eve is all about. For me, though, the day/night has never exactly lived up to its billing. All my failures from the past year just seem to grow larger in my mind as the next year approaches. I’m reminded of resolutions that didn’t come to pass and goals that weren’t reached. Instead of being filled with happiness and optimism, I get a little bit sad. And as far as friends, festivities, and revelry are concerned, I don’t remember the last New Year’s Eve I spent out of the house, and I’m usually in bed long before midnight.

I try to be an optimistic person, and I don’t mean to say I’ve never had a good New Year’s Eve. It’s just that more often than not I find the end of the year to be a rather depressing time. Instead of remembering the previous year’s successes, all too often I find myself focused on the things that didn’t get done. This year hasn’t been particularly different in that regard. As I sit here typing this (at home), I’m reminded more of things lost this past year than things gained. I feel tired and dreary, and I don’t want to think about another year turning over.

I can only speculate, but I imagine New Year’s Eve is like this for a lot of people who suffer from depression. We don’t care about Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve or even the party down the street. We just kind of want to forget that things are supposed to be looking up, because so often to us it seems as if they are not. Another year means the passage of time, and the passage of time means more lost dreams, more unfulfilled longings, and more falling short of our own expectations.

I’m not writing all this to ruin anyone’s New Year’s Eve. I’m just trying to provide a little perspective. It’s not all fireworks and balls dropping for everyone. It’s not newly found love for all the lonely people. It’s not the start of a bright new day for all those living in darkness. It’s not … it’s not … well, it’s just not.

I sincerely wish everyone reading this a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017. May it exceed your 2016 in every way imaginable. If you are someone struggling with depression as this new year turns over, consider those sentiments doubled. I want you to have the best year possible, exceeding even your wildest expectations. And if 2017 is not that kind of year for you, I want you to know that’s okay, too. We’re not going to win every battle, but we can still come out standing.

And, with that, I think I’ll go to bed. Good night, 2016.

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