Most of us know that the December holiday season is not all merry and bright for many people, however we feel somehow that it is supposed to be, and when it isn't for us, there is a disconnect that can be incredibly painful. Here are some ways to care for yourself during this holiday season:
When we use wellness strategies, mental health diagnosis and medication and see help guides to avoid acknowledging larger social concerns, we risk doing harm to ourselves and others.
This study showed that people who scored 4 or more on the ACE questionnaire were seven times as likely to become addicted to alcohol.
If you can acknowledge grief and loss instead of minimizing or judging yourself for feeling it, then you will be able to heal and carry on.
A starting place in addressing intrusive memories is to understand that our memories are multifaceted and that each facet can be addressed in order to lesson their intensity and impact on us.
"Chronic suicidal ideation takes so many forms. It can be fantasizing about passing during sleep, developing a terminal disease, dying in a tragic accident. Or it’s background noise, a staticky station whispering taunts you can almost, but never entirely, tune out." Anna Borges
Your strong emotions are not the problem, they are a helpful sign that you need some care. Not only do you deserve to care for yourself, it is your responsibility to do so. This includes asking for help when you need it, setting good boundaries and reaching out for support.
Historically, I have paid much closer attention to my dreams than to my nightmares, I have discovered that, like my waking life, looking closely at the things that cause me fear and shame, has been very effective in helping me to understand areas of my self that require attention and have, surprisingly to me, greatly reduced their intensity and frequency.
Men learn that emotions, and emotional connection are, at best, distractions (unless they are a means to money or sex) and, at worse, anathema to true masculinity.
When family members behave in ways that are abusive or unsafe, many of us respond with our childhood responses, fight, flight or freeze.