Getting Through the Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year for most people. Getting together with family and friends, all the noise, the lights, and the business that seems to go on and on. Everyone seems to be in such a great mood all the time. How do you get through these times of merriment and joy if you suffer from disabilities that make it a struggle just to get out of bed?

Not everyone has family and friends to celebrate with this time of year or maybe they are facing some hardships that are making this time of year more difficult. That in itself is difficult. When you have mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD or any other issues this time of year can become even more painful. You feel lonely, excluded and you blame yourself for feeling this way. It can be almost impossible to make yourself get out of the house to go anywhere even if you are invited. If you do manage to drag yourself out of the house you usually do not stay very long and find any excuse to hurry up and get home. Putting on that fake smile for people is exhausting and fighting back tears that you don’t even know why they are there is sometimes more than you can handle.

It is hard to balance the fine line of when you are not feeling your best and trying to make the holidays good for others especially when you have children. For me personally, that is where I am struggling now. I thought this year would actually be great for the kids because we had just moved into a house and we could decorate it and put up a nice tree. We finally had a lot more room now. I have been managing my bipolar disorder better and things were overall just better. But then life threw me for a huge surprise that I did not want. I ended up in the emergency room with a huge clot in my lung and was told if I had waited I would not be here. This has really put me down this Christmas season. The kids were sad that no tree has been put up and there are no decorations are up and just nothing is the same as years past. It makes you feel you are not being a very good parent. All I can do is tell myself that I am doing the best that I can do. The kids have presents for Christmas and I am still here to see them open them.

The only thing we can all do to get through the holidays when they are tough is just take things one step at a time. If that is minute by minute or an hour by an hour. Whatever it takes because it will get better. If I need to have a good cry because I feel overwhelmed by everything that has happened then that is what I will do. I will journal or reach out to a few good friends. Yes sometimes it is I just need that time by myself and have my favorite cup of coffee and just let things sink in.

Remember you are special and important!! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!!

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