For years the holidays would send me into an anxiety-filled depression. It would always begin slowly and without warning. I would start to get sensitive than the mood swings with come. There are times where I would even pick fights with loved ones. Subconsciously I was trying to take the focus off of how I was feeling. The holidays always made me feel uncomfortable. For many years I couldn’t understand why I felt so unsettled, why everything always seemed to bubble up. There’s something about the hustle and bustle of this time that sets emotions on fire. Tensions become high, emotions begin to surface. The happiest time of the year for many becomes the worse. The holidays can serve as a reminder of the dysfunction some face in their lives, the people they’ve lost and the relationships they wish they had.
Growing up there wasn’t a significant focus on the holidays. For many years it was my mother and I celebrating with whatever friend she had at the time, there were some years where she was in good terms with her sisters, and we would spend the holidays with them. Then there were the years where she dated Jim my Father figure and we would celebrate as a family. The most cherished memories I have are from this time of my life. I was heartbroken when they broke up, I felt as if the only family I knew was shattered. In adulthood I found myself spending the holidays with friends and their families. I would come up with excuses as to why I couldn’t go back home, but no matter how much I tried to avoid my feelings they would always show up announced.
The holidays may leave you feeling overwhelmed, with many different feelings surfacing. Allow them to come, honor them and let them go. Be gentle with yourself and those around you.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”- Oprah Winfrey