Not such a merry Christmas


It was this time of the year: gleam of unreasonably tiny light bulbs, ugly plastic Santas in every shop window and, worst of all, those awfully cheerful songs playing non-stop on the radio. I looked around, saw ridiculuously decorated trees and people rushing to buy another cartoon of beet soup and I thought "I should be happy at the moment". Yes, I knew everybody from my best friend to my mother to mailman Jack expected that from me. This was (and still is) a competition of "who-is-better-in-pretending-to-feel-awesome-while-they-actually-feel-shitty". And yes, I always wanted to win it.

When I was a child, Christmas was something I awaited for weeks or even months ahead. As I grew older, I drew less and less pleasure out of it. One year when I was extremely depressed, this time of the year was a nightmare for me. All I wished to do was to hide under my bed sheets and stay there till New Year's Eve while my mom wanted me to dress nicely, clean up the house and look after cabbage so it didn't burn. I don't blame her or anyone else for wanting me to participate in all of that. The actual 'bad' thing was that I felt guilty for not being able to fully be there for them - even if they didn't notice it - and guilty for not feeling happy. Yes. Not was I miserable, I also felt remorse because of my state. It was a true "storied po", as my mum likes to say (in free translation). Basically,  I was making the deep shit I found myself in even deeper. Which, from a logical point of view, doesn't make sense AT ALL. But I still did it, of course.

This year, however, I decided to take a different approach. As far as I could, I just let my self feel sad and depressed, I allowed myself to experience the physical pain in my body. And, to be honest, that was the best decision I could make. I literally felt the stress and suppressed emotions realising from my body. And I knew THIS was the right path to happiness - not running away from feelings.

I'm not saying I didn't have a few (or a little more) moments of weakness - when I wasn't able to eat, drink or cheer with my family - but I tried not to punish myself for that. This non-self-destructive behaviour was completely new to me (which was pretty disturbing, actually) but it showed me that there are different ways of treating myself than only demanding perfection and trying to control everything. Now I slowly begin to truly understand that sticking to old and limiting patterns of thinking won't lead to anything fresh and exciting. Sometimes it's really better to let things go and simply surrender, even if it seems scary and unpleasant. Even if it really feels like shit.

Tell me, how was your Christmas? Did you have to fake being happy? I will be glad to read all of your stories.

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  1. For me Christmas was pretty much miserable from the ages of 7 to 27. I hated it, and hated that everyone expected me to like it more. Now I enjoy it. I've made it my own. I do what I want to do and it works for me.

    1. Rhian, that's very sad for me to read that you hated this time of the year for such a long time, but I'm also happy to know you have overcome that. It can be a very difficult thing to do.


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