Boy has it been a while.
For anyone still listening - I'm sorry for the silence. For anyone who stumbles upon this space and decides to stay - I can't promise it will get better, but I'll try. Again.
Anyway - it's November 20, there's snow outside, and I have packages arriving everyday this week, some even filled with stuff not for me.
So it must be the holidays.
If you're not new around here, you know that this is not my favorite time. For years and years it was great. Then I had a job that became nothing but a big pile of stress in December, making the holidays all but impossible to enjoy. Then I got divorced and all the traditions (I thought) I needed to be happy went out the window.
Over time my job has changed a little and I've learn to manage the stress. My traditions never recovered, but I accepted that and actually have come to enjoy the freedom that comes with fewer expectations.
But as I've gotten older, I've realized that a lot of the family time that comes with the holidays is also a huge trigger for my anxiety. Trying to please everyone (and inevitably failing), having to (once again) explain why my life doesn't look like they think it should, being caught in awkward family feuds... It's supposed to be a fun time of year, but it's taken over by so much stress.
I struggle to get through each day, worried that it will be the day I finally break. I practice my anxiety relief activities, and try to remind myself that this too shall pass. After all, January is coming - right?!
It's been a huge help to me in the last few years to realize I am not alone in this fight. It turns out I know a lot of people who struggle too.
So for those going through anything that will make this season a tough one, remember this:
You are not alone.
So let's put on our fancy holiday anxiety and push through!