“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” But is it really? Maybe for some of us however, not all of us. So many people I care about, are struggling. Whether the struggle is with mental health, addiction, grief or just general stress around the pressures of the holiday season, life struggle doesn’t end because the holidays are here. The holiday season doesn’t take the pain of missing loved ones away, or the want to use substance or flick poor mental health off until they are over. The holidays are a trigger for some pretty shitty emotions that can trigger and affect our mental states into some very sad, isolating and devastating places.
Growing up, I remember the holidays being such a joyful time of year. Even after the separation of my parents, my Christmas’ remained intact. My mom made sure of that for my siblings and I. I remember happiness with family and friends. Christmas eve at both my grandparents houses with so much family and than in our home where my mom and friends would gather while drinking and laughing and singing carols as my mom played the piano. Bailey’s , I remember Bailey’s and sneaking sips as a kid (yup mom, I did) until I was old enough to be allowed to have a few drinks in my mom’s home with all my friends who were now a part of our Christmas eve tradition. A message Christmas eve from an old friend reminiscing about those fun times, brought a world of good to my mind! New beginnings and changing environments happen every day. And things may not be what they used to or how we envisioned them to be but, there’s a calm and endearing feeling to finding peace within ourselves when we usually expect to feel pain. Memories. They have the ability to make us smile and appreciate or, break down and concede and live anguished.
This year, the anguish and pain of the ridiculous hands I’ve seen wasn’t so present. For almost 4yrs, I’ve learned to appreciate more rather than wallow. I’ve battled my love/hate relationship with alcohol for almost 4yrs come next May, I’ve grieved death in ways I never knew existed for over 4yrs, I’ve learned self love and preservation and how to maintain boundaries in order to keep myself and be the best I can be to those around me, this past 4yrs. I’ve worked so hard for this. Approaching a new decade brings so much ‘bittersweetness’ to my thoughts and life. I’m still not where I completely want to be however, I sure have come one hell of a long way. Deep trenches of crap and I’ve never been prouder to know myself and be better for it all. I still have and probably will make poor decisions at times and feel the anguish of my experiences and always will. Life is continuous learning even in the best of circumstances. Choosing not to let the bad drive our beings, that’s a level to strive for.
The dawn of a new decade is upon us together with the closing of this year. And though I thought and hoped this year would be the calmest and clearest of the past 10, I’m just fine with it’s progress and/or lack there of for myself. There’s still so much more I need and want and will strive for, learning to be patient in the process has been half the battle. “Patience is a blessing” is a quote a friend from recovery said to me at the very beginning of this past 4 yrs for me. He lost his battle to alcoholism earlier this year. His insight to negotiating life in the mind of a Borderline personality addict, will never leave my mind.
I have had so many positive blessings with all of the pain. I’ve met, shared with, had long conversations and keep contact with some incredible people who never fail to help remind me how lucky I am to have breath, let alone a decent attitude. Ones who allow me to be devastatingly sad and than ridiculously happy and laughing about it in the next moment, without judgement. My relationships from personal to professional are better from all I have lived. I am grateful beyond for it. My family and friends are second to none and have made this season easier to endure. It’s not that the pain isn’t there, it’s that it was allowed to be there and the laughter and joy is so much sweeter because of that. Hold on, pain ends… HOPE.
May 2020 bring so much good to all to everyone. Life is what we make it. Make it matter. Make it authentic and real. Make it beautiful! Cheers to a new year, a new decade and new beginning for all. Happy New Year!!!
For my dear friend, Rick P… Your brilliant mind will never be forgotten. I hope your soul is at peace, my friend…