Thursday, December 24, 2009

Get Through Your Holiday P.M.S.

Some people look forward to the sights, signs, and smells of the holidays. The holidays bring them joy and a warm feeling, and they joyously dive into the season. For others it brings conflict, guilt, shame and anger, and they dip into the Poor Me Syndrome (PMS); which we all know equals depression.

We can read articles, blogs, and books on how to enjoy the holidays, and about the Christmas blues, but many of us still can't figure out how to get through the holiday season. Many of us feel 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.

This choice of how to feel during the holidays is ours. It always has been, and it always well be. One of the greatest lessons I learned in recovery is that I’m not alone. There are definitely as many of us in conflict during the holidays as there are those who feel at peace. Those who are at peace got there by learning, through trial and error, how to take care of oneself a little better each holiday season.

The holiday season presents us with an opportunity to practice the “letting go thing” I’m always talking about on the Work In. When we catch self-pity starting, we can choose to take action against it immediately. This is a special time of the year to set aside our work and our routines; to put our problems and burdens on the shelf. We may have been too compulsive on past holidays to celebrate. There’s no need for perfection on how we celebrate. We can have some tension, or pain, and yet set it aside as we join with others for a special day. Join with others who are also letting go on this day; and celebrate. Maybe we can learn from them how they do it.

“When we set an intention to change and grow, we begin a journey in which we move from coping, to learning and finally, to the enjoyment of living. With each step, we experience greater freedom, fulfillment and joy. Worth going for, don’t you think?

Every human has four endowments - self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.” -- Stephen R. Covey

(Usual disclaimer applies, with emphasis: The suggestions on this blog are just that “SUGGESTIONS.” My words cannot heal your pain and or addictions. Nor can I change your life. Only you can.)

To read daily motivations visit you are not sure how to begin your work-in or need some guidance please feel free to post a comment or email me directly at, I will response as soon as I can.

“We can overcome if we change the way we See: See ourselves, See our past, See our possibilities.” Daniel Beaty -Emergence See-

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