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Christmas... or, well the entire holiday season actually... is annually one of the most challenging times in my life. If you’ve been keeping up with my stories on mindyourmind.ca, and at my personal blog Gone Away Boys, you’re well aware of the situation so I won’t bother to sift through anymore details, and spare us both our well being.
So, it goes without saying; with the holidays, is an inordinate amount of stress, anxiety, and pain. The entire productivity of my life decreases surely; work, sports, writing, just the overall useful things that I do. I find myself sitting, mindlessly, like a zombie, biding time until it’s all over and I can get back to living, mindfully.
I don’t know if I can say there is one particular thing that stresses me out the most about the holidays, or riddles me with anxiety, except... well, the entire damn thing. The lights, the trees, the TV shows, the planning, the gifts, the colors! ... Unfortunately, more than probably anything, it’s the damn cheer. The laughing, cheering, celebrating... It pains me. Horribly. It’s everything I miss, and used to love about Christmas. And, I mean love. Hell, I used to lose sleep weeks before Christmas, just waiting to be with my family, and my sister. Now that she’s gone... That’s all changed. I lose sleep in anxiety that the holidays are coming, and that Christmas lights are being put up, every time you turn, someone is asking you to do something, or sending you something, or planning something... the people, they’re laughing, they’re cheering, they’re... celebrating. And I can’t. It physically is just not in me anymore, despite trying. I just can’t.
In the past, my effort to handle the stress and anxiety has followed a very simple, strict direction. “Take me away from here, anywhere but here” It’s worked. Worked so well that the one time I was in Hawaii and it was Christmas day, I didn’t even know it was Christmas day! Man, it was fantastic, but... sad, all the same. This year, I’ve been halted from running away, and am running head on into a traditional Christmas, and it’s eating me away slowly as we near.
I wish I had something I could tell you that helps me get through the holidays stress and struggles. But, truth is... I am learning just the same as you probably are. It’s going to be lots of trial and error. I am going to lean a lot on music, maybe writing, mostly because that’s all I know. I’ve promised myself that I will give this year an honest effort, and try to enjoy the holidays just as everyone around me will be. But, I fear the harder I try, the harder it’s going to be, the more upset I’ll become that people are doing Christmas around me. It just doesn’t seem right, or even real to me, even still.
So you ask how I am going to cope with the pain that accompanies these holidays... I don’t think I could answer you, because... the brutal truth is, I have absolutely no idea, and I’m terrified.
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