Christmas can be such a magical time. But for some, it can be the most difficult time of year. Grieving the loss of a loved one, a painful relationship break-up, turmoil in existing relationships, and so on. Christmas and the holiday season can really elevate the internal struggle. You try hard to cover the pain so you are not bringing everyone down around you. Isolation seems to be the easiest way to cope. I am here to tell you that it is okay to feel what you are feeling. It is okay to tell someone like a close and trusted friend or family member how you are feeling. Recognize your feelings and that it’s tough.
Why do the holidays bring on such emotional turmoil for some? I know what I can share from my own personal experience. Nine years ago was my very first Christmas alone as a newly separated mom of two. This was the first Christmas that I was alone with my children, and the memories of every single tradition we had created as a two-parent family all came rushing back like a title-wave. It was heartbreaking. I felt alone and scared of an unknown future, all while trying to be as happy as I can be for my young children and my family. However, I really just wanted the holidays to pass, so everything can go back a distorted normal. Truthfully, I was not in the mood to celebrate and have family over. In fact, I struggled to shop for gifts and partake in anything Christmas.
But how healthy was that for me? How healthy was that for those who loved me and had to watch me grieve in this pain? It wasn’t. And if I look back now, a few things happened that holiday season. First, I accepted my pain. Second, I allowed my sorrow to come through and relied on my support system to carry me. Third, I finally understood that what I saw on my children’s faces when we drove by a house sprinkled with twinkling lights, and the awe they felt surrounded by so many people that loved them dearly, was exactly what I needed to pour my focus and energy into. Finally, I heard laughter surround me and could enjoy the coming together of loved ones. That was the moment that I knew I had a lifetime of memories to build with exactly what I had around me.