Alone at Christmas
In a world of constant change, uncertainty and loss of beliefs, life can become overwhelming leading to feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, depression, and even suicide. And now, the party season is here and whilst it can be so much fun, can still lead to arguments when too much drink, drugs and sex come into play.
If you have an addiction it can lead to the loss of loved ones, families and friends – ultimately becoming an even worse nightmare. Drinking is socially accepted so we are able to drink to oblivion and not recall what we said. We become unaware of our actions so can cause trivial arguments that lead to worse. In addition we may justify our drinking and behaviour and the lack of finances which is an extra pressure – addiction can appear in many areas of our life and can just creep up on us, so worries, anxiety and stress, all hidden under the glamour of Christmas, can build to a head that, frankly, is difficult to cope with.
We are more acceptable to flashbacks of the memories we hold dear in our hearts and of the loved ones we may have lost. Of those who have not passed away but we no longer see or we have experienced a heart-breaking separation or divorce, then with all those memories (good or bad) the bittersweet feelings can be so heartfelt we do not know what to do. The sleigh bells are jingling and “Coming home for Christmas” songs are playing and we feel low and down and do not know how to cry.
I have learnt from my own experiences that you can only take one day at a time as the world is constantly changing. And so do we – nothing stays the same, Christmas comes and goes and somehow we all get through it. My suggestions are: be flexible and say yes – we can have different experiences with the same things if we think differently in our own thoughts; open up to others and smile or invite them to join you for a coffee or a drink – do something different to what you usually do – it’s challenging (I know, I have done it) but there is so much to gain.
Yes, it is challenging to change our thoughts, expectations and traditions that we are used to around this time of Christmas, but it is possible – just small steps to do what makes us happy but be aware of others and how and what you can do to make them smile and laugh. There is so much to gain and give at this time of year but it is about how we perceive it all. Life is not always as we want it and it is a lot better when we are able to let go of the hurt, betrayal, greed, competition and just be ourselves and have fun – smiling and laughter is the perfect gift. It’s not about money and how much we spend on each other; it’s not about the biggest and the best, its about love, kindness and opening ourselves to be with others, embracing their differences, diversity, different faiths and religions and knowing that we all feel the same. We’re all human, after all.
If you don’t have a family, then join in with others who do. And those who have families, then ask others who are alone to join you – they will bring something very special to the table.
There is a great cliché, “Let it begin with me”. Don’t wait for others to make your life better or affect your moods and what you choose to do. Give what you would like to receive – it comes back to you and will give you so much more. There are many explanations of how this philosophy works and why; the simple fact is that it does. Let’s help each other to have a better time this Christmas and new year –let’s move towards each other, not away.
If you would you like to find out how I might be able to help you then please phone me on 07733 454 790 or send me an email.
Jacquie Castle. Psychotherapy and Counselling in Hampshire.