It is often a difficult time for many, if not impossible for most. Holidays represent the heightened requirement of gaiety and relaxedness (is that even a word?), where people get together, families gather and children run while without knowing the underlying reason, if only to reinforce the belief that had already been in place from the previous year – that holidays and weekends are a stressful time.
There is the familiar refrain: “Oh, the weekend is coming up!” To which the afterthought by the grump always reminds: “And Monday always follows.” Similarly, with holidays, the anticipation is often better than the reality: “Oh, the joyous holidays!” And yet… For many, if not most, it is a time of greater stress, of needing to get together with obligatory family members, and especially with those whom one doesn’t even care for. Exacerbating the situation is often an underlying medical condition.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the vicious cycle may be the weekends that are used to merely recuperate in order to survive during the work week. Thus, instead of enjoying, relaxing, “doing things”, tinkering, etc., the weekend becomes a haven and refuge to regain just enough strength or rest the aching body in order to get through the grueling week of work. Similarly, holidays become merely an extension of a weekend, and a 3-day weekend is just a longer excuse to hide away and lick one’s wounds.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a psychiatric condition, including Major Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, agoraphobia, Bipolar Disorder, etc., holidays and weekends can further deepen the heightened reality of anxiety and depression, as the stress of the holidays themselves and the anticipation of what follows after a weekend can become magnified beyond comprehension and tolerance.
Consider preparing and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; for, if holidays and weekends have become a tumultuous time of overwhelming pain and despondency, and not the interlude to be enjoyed and become excited about, then it may be time to consider that the impact of the medical condition upon one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job is the underlying reason why the medical condition itself is worsening.
Holidays and weekends are not meant to be exclusively lived for; they are supposed to be mere intermissions where the rest of the week as well is looked forward to.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire