Christmas is not always magic #mentalstories – Irina – Hungary/Magyarország

Merry Christmas all from everyone at Euro Youth Mental Health CIC!!!!

With this in mind, our co-founder and co-director Irina Buruiana tells us of her experiences at Christmas, and that for many they can difficult times of the year, during a period of expectational happiness.  


Christmas is the “jolly” period of the year. But is everyone as happy as the media and society shows us? Are there people that can’t enter in the gratitude and happiness state of this time of the year?

Those were my questions for a few years; let’s say since I was 15 years old.  That was the moment when my mother was diagnosed by depression and anxiety disorder. I remember one night where everyone was laughing and feeling the Christmas spirit, and I looked at my mother and with a lost gaze she was looking at the lights and superficially smiling to crowd. It felt like her eyes were screaming:” I just want to be alone and feel my sadness, very far away from you all. I am someone that you all want me to be, but I don’t want to be. I just want to be me, with my emotions!” I remember that moment perfectly, as I was feeling her sadness, her un-fittingness.

It was heart breaking and a wakeup call, as to notice that later in my life I was unrolled for psychology and the road of understanding the human mind.

When we talk about depression, we very rarely talk about the caregivers, the people that are sharing the space and the environment with a person diagnosed with a mental illness. It is a role that provokes a constant conflict between the person that wants to help and to make it easier for the other vs. the person that needs to see this state as any other state, a passing hard one.

We want to see immediate results and to make the other person feel your universe, or to see them happy, good, fulfilled, peaceful, as “it should be”.  At least I know I was feeling helpless with my mother, I wanted her so much to genuinely smile again, to feel the holiday spirit, to enjoy the beautiful moments in the family or with friends. I want her to be my mother again. Simple as that. I just wanted her back. So I was in a constant frustration and search for understanding “why this is happening?” and “why this is happening to me and her?” “How can we change it?” “Will it ever be the same again?” Questions that were wondering my mind from morning till dawn.

Until the moment of acceptance arrived. Accepting that not everyone needs to be constantly happy, and fulfilled. You can also feel sad, and hopeless, and the best that you can do, as a standby person, is to be next to the other, to be the light at the end of the tunnel, and to hold their hands, saying “It is ok not to be ok! I am here with you and even though physically I am not here, I am always when you need me! You are not alone”.

Because in the end, we all want not to be alone. We all want, the “happy joyful Christmas!”

Happy holidays everyone and stay healthy!


Published by Euro Youth Mental Health

I'm a champion for youth mental health - Co-Director of Euro Youth Mental Health - Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor - Mental Health Participation Expert - Facilitator & Podcaster - Youth Wellbeing giver.

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