I truly believe there are others that struggle during the Christmas season because I am one of them. I write this to share my story and to help myself in the healing process. It might have been just one Christmas years ago but it has had a negative effect on the rest of them since. Well until recently it has slowly changed for the positive. I know this sounds confusing but by the end you will understand.
For so many years, I had always wanted someone to come with me to my family get togethers for Christmas. In my first relationship, she never did. No matter how much I had asked her, she would always stay with her’s while I went to mine. This was very frustrating and discouraging because I felt there was something wrong with me. Few years after this relationship ended, an amazing person came into my life. Her name was Cassie and she had a huge impact on my life.
Unfortunately, we were only together for one Christmas but it was an awesome one. I had asked her if she would come with me to my family’s gathering for Christmas. Without any hesitation, she replied “Yes I will”. I couldn’t believe it. Someone was actually going to join me. It was the most wonderful Christmas I had ever had. Few months later after we were no longer together but still friends, I asked her if she would join me again the following Christmas. She told me ‘Yes as long as she was not with anyone’. This gave me hope until tragedy struck.
Cassie passed away that spring and every Christmas afterwards was miserable for me. There were many times I tried to stay home during Christmas and hide from everyone. Fortunately, I had my family to help pull me through the season. It was good to be out with others but I was hiding so much pain from them. I was not my true self every year from Halloween till about after May. I would never open up to anyone about my struggles even though I could tell I was sorta ruining the holiday season for them.
For so long, I hated everything about Christmas. The songs, happiness, the colors and even the decorations. I was so miserable and withdrawn from everyone. I missed Cassie and that Christmas so much that I was oblivious of what was going on in that present moment. I was more focused on my lost and pain than what truly mattered. This is how it was for two relationships and six years of my life. It all changed about three years ago.
So I have been with my girlfriend for four years now. Three years ago something clicked in my head and finally realized what I was doing towards others. I knew something had to change. My girlfriend is amazing and has been to every family gathering with me without any hesitation. I wanted to begin embracing this time of the year again for her and my family. I knew I couldn’t just bury the pain and put a smile on my face. I needed to begin loving this season again like I did the first time. It hasn’t been easy but I have made progress.
I have begun taking time (when needed) to cry and grieve. This way I am able to vent the pain I am feeling instead of constantly burying it. I have also slowly begun opening up to others about my struggles. On the days that I am strong enough, I take the time to embrace and love this holiday season. I now find myself singing or humming Christmas songs. Enjoying the decorations that people have put up in their yard. I even bought and decorated my own Christmas tree last year which is a huge step forward for me. I remember how I was feeling on that first Christmas and began focusing on the positive feelings of that day.
We all have our own struggles and losses. There is a time to dwell on the pain and sorrow but it’s not for the rest of our lives. There comes a time when we need to change our thought patterns back to the positives. Before the pain there was love, joy and happiness. When you are ready, it will be time to begin embracing those feelings again. It will be hard but you will start appreciating the present moments again. Until my next blog post… Share. Inspire. Conquer.