This year the holidays were more bad than good. It's not that they sucked or I didn't have fun or enjoy myself at all. They just brought with them a lot of negative feelings. They tested my strength and I didn't always pass that test. I feel like the older I get the less exciting the holidays are for me. As someone who grew up absolutely loving Christmas and everything about it, I struggle to find anything that I enjoy about it anymore. Because nobody shares my joy and excitement it doesn't get expressed like it did when I was younger. This year Christmas felt empty. That's really the only word I have to describe it. Not because I was alone or anything of the sort. I got some very nice gifts from my family members and was able to spend time with my husband's mom and her husband, as they were in town for a few days. It was empty for other reasons. It was my first Christmas away from my family; zero interaction with anyone in my family other than a phone call. It was Christmas Day mass at a strange church. It was sadness from my aunt passing away two days before Christmas. It was all of these feelings and thoughts that I kept inside. It was feeling alone even though I was in a room with my loved ones. It was empty. Something was missing. The joy that is supposed to come with these special and exciting holidays was not present. It was empty because I put on a brave face in hopes of being able to "fake it til ya make it". When that didn't work I just turned inwards towards myself.

The last week has been nothing but struggles. One after another. Most of these have been internal battles with myself and ongoing wars inside of me. I'm finding it hard to see the positive in just about anything right now. I can't find it in myself, my life, any of my relationships, anything I have ever accomplished, attempted to accomplish, or want to accomplish. It's nowhere to be found, without digging deep and honestly I don't have the energy or desire to dig for it. I am typically able to use my anxiety for good things, to advocate for myself and my needs, to help me in my job, to energize me and give me a reason to keep going. I'm having a really hard time even relating to my anxiety in a positive manner lately as well. Self doubt is also overshadowing any ounce of confidence I have built up over the recent months. I'm tired of always being on guard, or literally tip toeing around myself on eggshells, afraid to trigger a panic attack, or a bout of depression. I'm tired of having to think ahead all of the time to prevent escalating my anxiety. I want to do what I want, when I want without planning around traffic or busy times. I want to make plans without knowing every little detail from what time to what is everyone else wearing. It is so exhausting always being on guard and putting so much effort into avoiding these meltdowns. I want to be validated when I say that I'm having a hard time or a bad day, without trying to trudge through the muck by myself and getting stuck.

Like always I know that I will rise up out of this funk and be back to my cheery, happy go lucky self. But this time it feels different. It feels like I have a lot of soul searching to do and a lot of being vulnerable to do before I can climb back out of this. Maybe I will start that climb tomorrow, maybe I will start next week. For now I will try to be gentle with myself and let these thoughts come and go.

                                                                    rough seas, they carry me wherever I go... (time, love - it's only a change of time):


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