Tis the season of holiday blues. As we are inundated with messages of happiness, joy, and warmth and gathering, we all know of someone or are that someone struggling with sadness or depression that seems to intensify during the season.
A strange line exists with helping someone through this period. You don’t want to diminish the feelings because they are real, but you don’t want those feelings to suffocate. I have no pat answers, but only what has helped me. Most times I just want someone to feel it, not fix it. Not feeling alone is important, and someone hearing and understanding is amazing. I also know that there are gaps in my heart that won’t be filled. I’m not sure how to manage holidays without my dad and grandmother. I have no idea.
I would pass along the idea of self-forgiveness. No beating up self when we have our moments of blues. My husband and I attended a quinceanera. It was a beautiful celebration. So out of nowhere, I watch the father and daughter dance, and I just almost lose it. I try and swallow it all down and refocus with self-talk. This is a celebration. Stop crying. No use. I have to go the bathroom and try and get control and not bring attention to my grief. I wish I could say that I succeeded, but I didn’t. I had to ask my husband to go. We did, and I broke down in our car. Sobbing and then came guilt for not being able to control this. Having to leave early, not being strong enough to push through. I have always been able to push through. I felt selfish and along with the grief came self-flagellation which is in my circle of thinking was another form of selfishness.
It is okay to miss people and grieve for them. It is okay to be sad and mourn in your way even if everyone else is happy. Forgive yourself for those moments. I found a couple of useful sites Tiny Buddha and Psychcentral. Each deals with the holiday blues and gives some very concrete ways to help yourself or maybe someone else. Another lesson was understanding grief differently. Everyday is a reminder. So be kind to yourself and to others.