I love this time of year. I love the colder temperatures and the darker nights. I love being able to curl up under blankets with a good book and hot drink. I love wearing layers and long sleeves. I love the build up to Christmas. The festivities and the atmosphere are wonderful.
But I’m not a fan of the big day itself.
Being an introvert and dealing with depression and anxiety means the pressure of Christmas Day itself is no fun at all. This isn’t anyone’s fault, but rather how I feel about the whole thing. I love my family, but spending more than a few hours with them in any one go is enough nowadays. There is so much pressure for everyone to be happy and get along, but at the same time the old judgments and comparisons come out and it hurts. Why we do this to each other I will never know. It means I dread the time and then am on edge, which is no fun. Christmas should be about celebrating being who we are freely and whole with those we love and want to be with.
I plan on doing things my way this year and even if my family think it is selfish I am going to follow through for my own health and happiness. Luckily I live in the same town as my parents and we are all going to their house. I set myself up last year to not be there the whole time. I’m going to the boxing day swim at the lake (even if I don’t swim as I currently full of cold), which means I’ll be out of the way all that morning. I also plan on heading home to watch Doctor Who on Christmas Day evening. I’ve never done that before, but this year I am as I have to go feed the cats and the timing works out really well. I know that will recharge my batteries by stepping away for an hour. It’s about the small things for me that allow me to be myself fully and cope with the pressure of being the ones who love you best, but don’t always know you best, and sometimes won’t allow you to change. It is okay as long as you are true to yourself.
I am extremely jealous of people going away with just their friends or significant others. I would love to go away and explore somewhere new each year. I would love to see and experience other traditions around the world. It is something I am already thinking of doing in the next couple of years. I would like to meet someone to do this with or talk some friends into it (I have one who is keen) so even if I don’t meet someone I’ll still be starting my own tradition.
So this year I want to give people like me hope that it’s okay to be different and not feel like everyone else this time of year. We can make our own traditions and enjoy them by being ourselves in whatever way we can. This year for me it’s the small things, but in the future I am going to create something totally new and that is exciting. Others might consider it selfish, but we only live once and as long as we aren’t hurting anyone we must be true to ourselves.
I found this on The Berry and it made me smile and I know this is exactly what I will be doing when everything feels a bit too much this Christmas.
Merry Christmas Everyone! Enjoy whatever you are doing and know you are not alone. Reach out if you need to. That is the joy of living today and the internet and the communities on here are available all the time whenever you need them.