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For anyone NOT having a joyous holiday...

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  • auntiedeb
    replied
    Kim, thankyou for that post. It has helped me somewhat today.

    Leave a comment:


  • Katherine
    replied
    I had a great day I think it is so much fun watching Angel;
    We played and sang and just enjoy a quiet Day.
    Love and best wishes to all

    Leave a comment:


  • vm
    started a topic For anyone NOT having a joyous holiday...

    For anyone NOT having a joyous holiday...

    I am, but I know it isn't always that way for everyone. Here are some neat passages:

    Holiday Triggers

    One year, when I was a child, my father got drunk and violent at Christmas. I had just unwrapped a present, a bottle of hand lotion, when he exploded in an alcoholic rage. Our Christmas was disrupted. It was terrible. It was frightening for the whole family. Now, thirty-five years later, whenever I smell hand lotion, I immediately feel all the feelings I did that Christmas: the fear, the disappointment, the heartache, the helplessness, and an instinctive desire to control.

    ~Anonymous


    There are many positive triggers that remind us of Christmas: snow, decorations, "Silent Night", "Jingle Bells", wrapped packages, a nativity scene, stockings hung on a fireplace. These "triggers" can evoke in us the warm, nostalgic feelings of the Christmas celebration.

    There are other kinds of triggers, though, that may be less apparent and evoke different feelings and memories.

    Our mind is like a powerful computer. It links sights, sound, smell, touch, and taste with feelings, thoughts, and memories. It links our senses - and we remember.

    Sometimes the smallest, most innocuous incident can trigger memories. Not all of our memories are pleasant, especially if we grew up in an alcoholic, dysfunctional setting.

    We may not understand why we suddenly feel afraid, depressed or anxious. We may not understand what has triggered our codependent coping behaviors - the low self-esteem, the need to control, the need to neglect ourselves. When that happens, we need to understand that some innocuous event may be triggering memories recorded deep within us.

    If something, even something we don't understand, triggers painful memories, we can pull ourselves back into the present by self-care: acknowledging our feelings, detaching, working the Steps, and affirming ourselves. We can take action to feel good. We can help ourselves feel beter each Christmas. No matter what the past held, we can put it in perspective, and create a more pleasant holiday today.

    Today, I will gently work through my memories of this holiday season. I will accept my feelings, even if I consider them different from what others are feeling this holiday. God, help me let go, heal from, and release the painful memories surrounding the holidays. Help me finish my business from the past, so I can create the holiday of my choice.

    Getting Through the Holidays

    For some, the sights, signs, and smells of the holidays bring joy and a warm feeling. But, while others are joyously diving into the season, some of us are dipping into conflict, guilt, and a sense of loss.

    We read articles on how to enjoy the holidays, we read about the Christmas blues, but many of us still can't figure out how to get through the holiday season. We may not know what a joyous holiday would look and feel like.

    Many of us are torn between what we want to do on the holiday, and what we feel we have to do. We may feel guilty because we don't want to be with our families. We may feel a sense of loss because we don't have the kind of family to be with that we want. Many of us, year after year, walk into the same dining room on the same holiday, expecting this year to be different. Then we leave year after year, feeling let down, disappointed, and confused by it all.

    Many of us have old, painful memories triggered by the holidays.

    Many of us feel a great deal of relief when the holiday is ended.

    One of the greatest gifts of recovery is learning that we are not alone. There are probably as many of us in conflict during the holidays than there are those who feel at peace. We're learning ,through trial and error, how to take care of ourselves a little better each holiday season.

    Our first recovery task during the holidays is to accept ourselves, our situation, and our feelings about our situation. We accept our guilt, anger, and our sense of loss. It's all okay.

    There is no right or perfect way to handle the holidays. Our strength can be found in doing the best we can, one year at a time.

    This holiday season, I will give myself permission to take care of myself.


    ~from The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie
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