Every year around the holiday season, I find myself in a holiday funk. Last year, I went into a deep depression where I stayed home and on my couch for two weeks straight. I only left home to buy Big Mac’s and French Fries and once I went to the movies alone in an attempt to revive myself. My pity party refused to let my friends see me in such a sullen state of mind. I heard my messages and read my text and would not respond. I would cry because I was too embarrassed about how I felt during a time I’m “supposed” to be happy. When you add that on to all the other shortcomings I’d remind myself of from my past; rejection of love, family, low finances, the lack of companionship…I dug and dug and I dug. I wrapped myself in a blanket of misery and believed I was a failure in success because I didn’t have the money I felt I should have to buy the gifts I thought people would like, a charity case to my friends and family because they know “my story” and they only want me around to pity me and I’m single because I’m not good enough for anyone to love; great for sex but not for companionship. I succumbed to my Christmas drama.
What is Christmas drama? It’s that stuff that happens right around the holidays that puts you in a stanky funk. I’m not the only who goes through these emotional swings. It usually takes the simplest thing to trigger it and the shut down begins. I have been overwhelmed this year with a number things the average young hard working woman may go through; love, family, work, home, so its no surprise my bottled up frustrations to keep everything in order will eventually manifest itself in some way and needed to be released. This year I cried for a day and I cried again last night and may cry again, but what is different is that I will not allow myself to be consumed by sadness and grief over things and people I can not change. I believe what hinders most of us is trying to change or control what is out of our power and not focusing on what is in our power. That anger or animosity to one situation will fester and destroy the good things you do have. Why, well, because negativity has its way of making its rounds. It’s like cancer; it spreads until there is nothing left.
People handle it differently. For years I have conditioned myself to feel a void in some area of my life and build on it and my coping mechanism of choice is seclusion. Let me hide my sadness and humility. Some people self medicate themselves via alcohol or some other extreme activity; eating smoking shopping. For example loneliness sometimes equates to excessive eating, an attempt to fill a void of some kind. Someone with relationship trouble may pull out old flames for rekindled intimacy. Women are great for externalizing their emotions through shopping or eating. Men are more internal with their dealings. They may be more reserved and want to be with the fellas.
All in all we all have holiday drama because none of us are perfect and the holidays is that time of the year where we recap our dids, didn’ts, wants, shoulda, coulda and wouldas. With this end of the year reviews we recognize the imperfect creatures we are and in that realization we determine what kind of holiday season we are going to have. Not happy with the results why not pout and whine as babies do because they can’t quite yet communicate what it is they want, withdraw, speak negatively, shunned those who care or drown ourselves in liquor to avoid thinking about it.
As you read this ask yourself have you been through or going through some Christmas drama? My wonderful cousin told me, “master your emotions.” Take control of your happiness. Get rid of that Christmas drama inside of you. This is the time for giving and giving doesn’t always mean monetary gifts. As I wish to tell someone, your presence is the present.
This year, I refuse to be unhappy and defeated. My year-end review is damn positive — I have a great job that I love. My students are the best and inspire me to be a better educator. I have great friends who love me, all of my flaws, my chocolate chip cookies and Mimosa Sundays. I have companionship with someone truly special to me who makes me smile even in the most embarrassing times. My family continues to grow; two new babies by my cousins, I’ve met relatives I didn’t know I had and what tops it all is I’ll be meeting my older brother whom I’ve been blessed to find this year. My life gets more and more amazing everyday. This Christmas I have the greatest gifts ever, my health and my family and that’s what the holidays are all about. I have chosen happiness. Happiness is a choice.
How to avoid these holiday trappings of self-pity, sadness and loneliness check out some scenarios and ideas to curb the emotional roller coaster:
Singles not Feeling the Mingles: Most people around this time are going through a break up or feeling a bit lonely cause they don’t have a holiday companion. The best way to work through it is to surround yourself with good friends. More than likely you are not the only one feeling this way, its just people show emotions differently. Christmas eve, have a Christmas slumber party with your girls, food, drinks, good music, old photographs, take it back to the days of high school and wallow in the fun of just being cute and silly. For the fellas hit up a sports bar or have game night with your boys.
Family is Out of Town: Go to a friend’s home who is like family and celebrate with them and theirs. Offer to cook a dish or do grocery store runs. Let their family be your family and you’ll see how similar their family is to yours. It may not cure the being homesickness but it will make you smile.
Finances in the Red: Who cares!! We’re in a recession right now so everyone is feeling the pinch. This is where creativity and a whole lot of love takes over. Let loose the inner child in you and make him/her/them a gift. Make or buy a card and write a little something to your loved ones. For Mom and Dad or Sister/Brother, significant other, taking time to make card or picking out a card specifically for that person and writing a few words of love is one of the most thoughtful gifts in the world. Guys picture her smile when she reads the words from the heart or a movie line ya’ll laugh at.
Remember smiling and laughter is the panacea to all negativity. Have a wonderful Christmas everybody!