Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Holidays.....lots of feelings, lots of family interaction, how is it going for you? What is working for you to take care of yourself this year?


Anonymous said...

Oh yes.. the good old holiday time.. You know, this particular subject has taken me a few years to accomplish but I have found several things that have worked for me. I used to get so stressed out and overwhelmed at my family's homes and or gatherings. I finally figured out that the biggest problem was that I was NEVER putting myself OR my THOUGHTS/ FEELINGS first.
I have a totally different perspective on this issue today. I finally had to remove myself from the situation if things got to be too much. I will even now to this day sometimes just leave and go walk the dog. (Even if its not my dog.) I sometimes need a bit of fresh air. Our families are wonderful and they mean well but sometimes they can be inconsiderate of others' feelings.
The first few times just excusing myself was tough. Now after a few years my family knows that I will put myself first. Yes, I DO care for others but when things overwhelm me I speak up for myself. Before, I would just bottle everything up inside and be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I REFUSE to torture myself anymore. I have closed that chapter of my book in life.
I will also reward myself for being able to handle certain situations. It is small things too. Such as maybe renting a favorite old time movie, giving myself a pedicure, buying my favorite lotion, etc. You might all find this comical but even to this day I carry with me (when going to relatives and inlaws homes) sticks of candles and a placemat. If mealtime gets too stressful I will remove myself from the situation and have a nice candlelight dinner outside or in the other room.
I usually have a couple of people even join me that feel the same way. I have learned throughout my recovery process that putting myself first instead of last (like before) has been a big stepping stone for me. I think the biggest thing is giving myself permission to be different than my family and (yes this was a huge obstacle for me) but it worked!! I love my family more than anything else in the world but I do excuse myself from the given situation if it gets to be too much.
I have even carried a deck of cards with me and I take them out and go in the other room if I find myself slipping into a detour. It works believe it or not. My family is more accepting of me now than they have ever been in my WHOLE life and respect me for my feelings and or actions. We are all unique individuals and I find its extremely important (whether families understand it or not), to nurture ourselves with all the tender and loving care we can possibly give ourselves..

Jeanette said...

Those are some really awesome suggestions. Due to my past (which is something I will deal with of these days) I tend to just want to sleep through Christmas. This year I am trying something new I think. I am going to try and make happy memories and define how I want Christmas to be from now on. I do not have to always up end sick and in the hospital over Christmas. I am trying to stay as positive as I can be and not dwell on the past. That is a hard thing for me because I know my past defines who I am now and I do a lot of things because of my past....but I do not want my past to define my future if that makes sense. So.....I am stepping out in faith and trying to make this the first Christmas of my new life.

Anonymous said...

Holidays are very hard for me, I feel more alone and sad than any other time of year. I don't want to go home, because of all the emotions that stur up in me. I love my family and am thankful for them, but it is still hard for me. I have not yet found a way to get through Christmas without pain and sadness, but it does get slightly easier each year. I am trying to hang out with friends and find love through others. I also get through by loving others and caring for those who don't have anything.
Christmas day is tough, I try and talk to some of my friends on Christmas, even if it is asking them what they got for Christmas.

Most importantly...remembering the reason for the season...that brings joy to my life...
Merry Christmas everyone

Jeanette said...

anonymous...........I can soooooooooo relate to your post. For the longest time I would sleep through Christmas because I do not have a family and it was never a happy day for me. This year I am going with my best friend's family out of town and am going to try and make new memories for myself and redefine what Christmas means to me. I am I guess it is about time. It no longer has to be the same holiday I thought of as a kid. For so many years I spent every christmas in the hospital for one reason or another....this year I want to make it different. I love your last sentence about remembering the reason for the season......that HELPS so much.

Merry Christmas all!

Jeanette said...

I thought I would post my Christmas letter that I sent out to a lot of my friends. I think it is recovery related....I think so at you go and merry christmas

Dear Friends:

Since I am not a very conventional person, I thought I would write a Christmas card that was well….not very conventional. Normally in these Christmas letters I receive it tells of what Jane and John accomplished and happenings of that sort. Well, I am going to this Christmas letter a little different. Instead of outlining all of my accomplishments, I want this letter to tell you how the Lord has worked in my life this year!

This has been anything but a normal year. I started off the year really struggling. I did not know who I was or what I was really about. But I can honestly tell you that God has changed me over this year. I have been blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I am more complete person today. Let me give you a brief run-down of the past year.

In April, I started getting really sick. My electrolytes were not where they should be and I was feeling horrible. I was in the hospital pretty much every week until the end of June. In July, I went to a hospital in Kansas City, MO. That trip changed my life. For the first time in my life, I began to understand that God loved me just the way I was and didn’t think ill of me. I began to see myself as God sees me and love myself as He loves me. I realized I did not have to perfect and that I just need to do the best I can each day and that is good enough. I realized that I did not have to be a “human doer” but I could actually be a “human being”. I understood that God could really forgive me for my past and I did not have to hold on to it and feel all the shame. I spent a month in the hospital in Kansas City.

I got back to Fort Worth at the beginning of August and did not go back to work immediately. I was not at home a whole week before I ended up back in the hospital in Fort Worth. Every week I was in the hospital three to five days out of the week. I was exhausted and at the end of me. (Which is exactly where God wanted me to be!) See, I had always determined my worth as a person based on my accomplishments here on earth. Since I was not able to work or go to school, I felt like a failure at life. However, I realized that my worth is not based on those things. I have great wealth to God and His kingdom and He has a great purpose for my life! It does not matter how many degrees I have to hang on the wall, or the money in the bank, or any of the worldly accomplishments I was going after. What really mattered is that I lived my life everyday for God and people could see God through me. God gave me a sense of peace that is unimaginable! I still spend the night every other night at the hospital for treatment and have had continual challenges to my faith and spirit. However, how I handle these difficulties are different now. I focus on scripture when I am faced with a challenge and I pray for God’s direction and will. The result is a much happier, peaceful person. I am thankful for the peace of spirit and mind that God gives me everyday.

So my wish and present for each of you this year is not something physical that I can wrap up or put under the tree. My wish and prayer for each of you is that you can find the true peace and love that I have experienced because of Christ Jesus and the gift He gave me.

Merry Christmas!

madddison said...

thax for your prayers. i am so happy that you found God, he is a very important part in recovery. let the lord be your light and follow him to your future.