Thursday, December 27, 2012

Family Stress and Imperfect Holidays

I've seen a number of things floating around Tumblr reminding everyone that being home and with family actually isn't always a great experience for everyone. Like this one. It's an important reminder, especially for those of us who don't have picture perfect situations and can get mired back into old feelings. As I've written about a number of times before, being "home" for me is as stressful as it is happy. It can be very easy to slip into that place where you feel like the angry, hurt 12 year old again.

And that is not a place I want to be.

But society has a way of making us feel like something is wrong with us when we're sad around the holidays. We see that greeting card, the movie, our friends, and we think that we're different or alone.

So to me...and everyone else who has ever been in that place: Don't forget who you really are. Don't forget the progress you've made. Don't forget the things that make you happy. Don't forget that you are strong and beautiful. Don't be hard on yourself when they do get to you. Because they will, and that's not your fault. Be safe. Be happy. Seek comfort where you can.

The holidays can be a wonderful time. They can be full of smiles, warmth, delicious food, hugs, and memories. But they're certainly not all like that. It's just true that they can also be stressful, sad, painful, and rage inducing. And they can be happy one moment and horrible the next. And there's nothing wrong with you if it's all a tough time.

Don't forget that.

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