Usually at this time of year I’m writing posts like “how to survive the family at Christmas”. So this is weird. This whole year has been weird hasn’t it?
Weird, strange, difficult, scary, heartbreaking, lonely, interesting. Quite a lot to pack into to a 9 month long existential crisis. It’s been a a prison, an escape, a torture, an opportunity, a learning, an eye opener, a mind opener, a mind closer…
Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure. One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness. Feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel Christmas.
Maybe you have a friend or family member who is dreading it. Maybe you are dreading it.
Maybe you, like a lot of people, are facing into Christmas as a separated parent. How can you be sparkly and happy when you feel like you’re on the floor, struggling to find order in the debris of a broken relationship? Everything around us tells us that family is king, happiness rules and life is one big gift-wrapped bundle of glittery joy! It’s a cheerfest – that’s for sure! And really, MUST they keep playing Mariah Carey???
When a journalist contacted me last year for some quick “Be happier by—” tips for a piece she was doing on the dreaded New Year’s resolution tradition I was not thrilled. I’m really not a huge fan of New Years’ Resolutions.
But then I thought well, hmm… “Be Happier by -” That’s FAR better than “Be miserable, unrealistic and give up stuff I love up by – “. And so I replied to her with a list, she wrote the piece and I thought – that’d make a nice little post on my own blog some day. Then in true New Year’s fashion, I forgot all about it!
It can be hard to know how to define abuse, and when we are ‘in’ an abusive situation, it can be hard to ‘see’ that it’s abusive. But you might have a niggling feeling, your friends or family may have expressed concern. Abuse can be lethal.
I’ve been meaning to have a wee rant re the whole “Twelve Pubs” thing.
I know many young (and not so young) people who are about to go on this new-and-not-so-noble tradition of mass alcohol poisoning with a view to consuming at least one unit of alcohol per pub (X12) in a few short hours.
Christmas, warm, fuzzy and fun as it is, can also be painful, lonely and sad. For many of us it’s all of these things together, swinging from one to the other, day to day, hour to hour.
This piece is dedicated to those feeling loss around this time of year – particularly parents of younger children. Another piece will follow soon for younger people themselves. Sign up over on the right there to get an email from me when that’s posted (or scroll down to underneath this post if you’re on your phone) Don’t forget to check your junk mail to complete the sign-up!
We all think of Christmas as a time for giving to others. And that’s nice, it really is, but when did you last give to yourself? Not necessarily a material gift, but time to yourself or with a rarely seen loved one, fun, nurturing things?
We often forget about ourselves and fret instead about the people we love. Are we not allowed to love ourselves?