The Holidays are Upon Us

The holidays, like all potentially triggering days, are for some of us a time of sorrow and depression. Living with dissociative identity disorder can make these days of the year even harder because we experience flashbacks and fear.

How can we make our holidays better? I’m going to discuss a few ways I have found that have helped me make it through the most traumatic time of the year.

Why Are Holidays So Hard?

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For most of us, the holidays were times when we were home from school for a vacation but instead of this time being a happy one, it left us more vulnerable to abusive episodes. There were drinking and unhappy adults to bear with and the very real danger of getting hurt.

Thus, we learned as children that the holidays are not a time of jolly joy making and family togetherness but rather a time of fear and danger.

Separating the Present from the Past

Staying in the present is hard enough during any time of year but it is exceptionally difficult during the holiday season. I have learned that I need to stay present in the now and allow the past to remain there.

You’ll notice I did not say it was simple or easy, just that I try and succeed to a certain degree and this causes me to feel more relaxed and happy.

Can I return to the Thanksgivings or Christmases past? No. All I can do is make those holidays the best I can in the now.

Some Suggestions for Having a Better Holiday Season

I realize some of the suggestions I am about to share will not set well with those who are not ready to allow themselves to leave the trauma/drama of the past. We all get caught up for a while in the fearsome victim mentality mode.

However, there are some things the rest of us can do to make our holiday season run more smoothly.

Avoid the stores.

I realize this is nearly impossible, but I tend to shop for just what I need and no more during the Christmas holiday season. Unfortunately, Christmas comes earlier and earlier each year with some big stores, driven by profit, putting up lights and decorations in September (for crying out loud, really?)  I go into the store, get what I need, and get out.

Understand there are NO Rockwell Families.

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Norman Rockwell painted some pictures of family life as he wished it to be, not how it always is. His famous painting of the Thanksgiving feast complete with mother serving a nicely cooked turkey leaves out the argument the kids had just before the scene and the drunkenness of the adults afterward. Bottom line? There are no Rockwell families. It is a myth.

Practice Living in the Now.

Pay attention to the sights, smells, and tastes you experience right now at this moment. After all, we have this moment and no more.

Try to Enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas

You can’t hide from the calendar and Thanksgiving plus Christmas swing around every year. Why not attempt to make new memories and traditions that reflect who you are and who you want to be.

If you want a great tradition, try pulling a whole family from that kid’s tree of needy children that is set up in nearly every department store. Then enjoy the experience of not only buying toys (you get to spend a copious amount of time in the toy aisle!) and knowing that on Christmas morning those children will open up presents together that were bought with love and caring regardless of their home circumstances.

Bake some cookies and take them to your neighbors.

Go door to door and after introducing yourself ask if you can do anything for them.

Gather a few friends together and go caroling for your neighbors.

There are literally tons of ideas to make your holidays and others a much better and enjoyable experience.

Keep in mind that life isn’t easy for fair for anyone. You and I are not the exceptions to this rule and neither is anyone else you see in person or in the media. We only have a short time on this planet and some of that time has already gone past. Why not try to make the holidays a part of our existence that is enjoyable and something to proud of in the future.

Then, on your death bed, you can truly say, I had that moment and I did not squander it.

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We Have This Moment and No More ~ Shirley J. Davis

We have this one moment and no more.

The past is gone.

There is no guarantee that the next moment will ever come.

We have this one moment and no more.

We must decide how we want to live in it.

Will we live in regret of the past and fear of the future?

We have this one moment and no more.

We must stay in it as much as we can.

We must pay attention to how we feel right now.

We have this one moment and no more.

We can choose to live it in hatred or love, anger, or tolerance.

We use our time to respect others and ourselves.

We have this one moment and no more.

We have the beautiful gift of time.

Life is a series of decisions good and bad.

We have this one moment and no more.

Only we can make our lives what we wish them to be.

No one else can do it for us.

We have only this one moment and no more.

Enjoy it, savor it, and live in it.

It is enough.

 

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