Open Mic: What's one thing you struggle with at this time of year?

We’ve had a couple of threads about various kinds of struggles. Despite (and often because of) all the merry festivities, this is a really difficult time of year for a lot of people. So let’s hear from you:

What’s one thing that you struggle with at this time of year?

Passing the mic to you!

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Not being missed by my family during Christmas.

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Social pressure from expectations.

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That’s sad. What happened to create that rift? And then, as @JayCS says, there are so many social pressures and expectations to “be merry”. It’s hard for anyone that doesn’t participate in the Christmas season, whether by accident or by choice. I’m one of those too.

Seenie from ModSupport

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It’s hard to explain, in a way. Everyone in my family has their own lives. One of my sisters wants to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She and my brother in law are retired. My 2 sisters basically raised me. They were more like moms to me than sisters. In 2018, I almost died from a suicide attempt. It was at that time when they, my sisters, said enough. They no longer wanted to be my “ moms”, but wanted to be sisters. This is going to make them sound bad, but they aren’t bad. I get it. I’ve had tons of trauma and they were having to deal with all my trauma “ side effects “ from childhood into adulthood. I was in two abusive relationships. One lasted 18 years. The other lasted 2 years. They rescued me from both relationships. I haven’t been in a relationship for 11 years. I stopped dating about 5 years ago. Thankfully I don’t have any addictions. But the suicide attempt in 2018 was the thing that put them over the edge, meaning, they chose to step out of my life, still love me, but “ let me go”. So they have put up boundaries that I can’t talk to them about “ mental health, trauma issues” or fibromyalgia. They were losing sleep, having nightmares and worrying about me that it was affecting their lives. I don’t feel like I “ belong” anymore. I am on my own. And that’s ok I guess. I completely understand where they are coming from even though it hurts. I don’t live near family since my one sister moved. I take full responsibility for my actions. So now everyone is living their lives. I’m just not a part of it anymore. I use to be involved and included in all family activities. Not anymore. Please don’t feel sorry for me. It was all my fault. I am happy they are all enjoying life and having fun. I want them to be happy.

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Oh, so much baggage, Freedom! I’m sorry these things have happened in your life, but I don’t “feel sorry” for you. There’s a fine line, isn’t there, between feeling empathy and “feeling sorry” for someone. For me, “empathy” implies understanding and a feeling of confidence that the other person’s struggle will be productive and lead somewhere. On the other hand, “feeling sorry” for someone has a connotation of hopelessness. That’s the way I see it anyway: you don’t sound one bit like someone who is without hope.

You seem to understand your situation really well, Freedom, and I guess that’s the first step to resolving the problems, dilemmas and grief that you’re going through. I’m not sure that I agree with you on one point, though: “It was all my fault.” There’s nobody here who hasn’t made bad choices in their life (even REALLY bad choices) but the choices that we make are always the product of the circumstances that we’re in at the time, and what seems to be the best – or only – alternative to us at that point in our life. I don’t think making any bad choice can ever be labelled “all my fault”.

All that said, you can’t change the choices you made then, but you most definitely can choose how to react to them now and carry on from this point. What’s your plan for making the best of what you have now, and where you find yourself? I hope this community is part of your plan, and that you feel good about having us as a sounding board for your thoughts.

Because that’s what we’re here for. So back to the question: How are you going to make the best of what you have now, and where you find yourself?

We’re here for you Freedom! Big virtual hugs for you!

Seenie from ModSupport

PS Have you got a picture of your furry bestie for us? :wink:

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Knowing that cooking & entertaining our guests at Christmas is largely left up to my dear hubby. Relying on him to make the holiday special, while I use my energy to enjoy everyone & help clean up, after dinner. The constant inner struggle to appear “normal,” while fighting to move past the pain and tiredness.
The depression I feel when I’m alone.

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Oh, I SO know what you mean. I think a lot of people on our communities could relate. I’m kind of a “nobody’s done until everybody’s done” kind of person. Despite my PsA/arthritis (body and joint pain, fatigue, etc) in any social situation I would pushpushpush to do my share and keep up with everyone else. Then I’d get to the breaking point and melt down. I could usually hold that off until I was in private, but then I’d be s.h.a.t.t.e.r.e.d for days after – my poor husband then bore the brunt. It was really hard at this time of the year.

Now that I have great therapy, and with the help of a few good surgeons, I’m much more capable of keeping up than I used to be. If we had any social occasions to attend! LOL

Seenie

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That is SO true, Seenie! We’ve definitely been given a break from social gatherings this year!

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We haven’t seen our son for over a year. I miss him. Go away Covid!

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Your post made me feel really sad. We can be your family and we will miss you when you aren’t here!

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This is probably going to sound dumb, but putting up and taking down the decorations. I love to decorate and go all out, but it gets harder every year. This year I really felt my physical limitations. It took me five days to get the decorations up. And when they come down my house seems boring and plain for days until I get used to it again, makes me kind of sad. I just took them down yesterday and am now loading up on Tylenol and Advil because of it.

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What a pity you couldn’t leave them up! :pensive:
A lot of people here keep them up for up to 2 months, Dec & Jan. The natural Christmas (fir) trees are often put outside for collection on the 6th of Jan, but no-one is condemned or looked at strangely for keeping them for 1 or 2 weeks longer. A fairly new trend here is some people covering their bushes & trees or balconies with thousands of LED-lights, which everyone would regard as sensible to keep up for 2 months too, apart from wondering how much electricity that costs and how much it’s doing to our climate…
We put our 3 light-stars in the windows and fir twigs with LED-candles and a clay nativity set on the table for presents a few days before Christmas and will keep them up till the end of January.
This year we were fast with the presents and did them all on Christmas Eve, as is the tradition here, - but often we do one a day, and relish it more.
If we’d regret putting them away too early too much, we’d just get some of them out again! :+1:

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I wanted to leave them up longer, but my daughter is visiting right now so I took advantage of that to get her help putting them away! I’m not sure I could have done it by myself and I don’t trust my husband not to break them. My daughter is very helpful and understands when I don’t feel well, which is nice. Unfortunately she is showing signs of having fibromyalgia herself (I hope I’m wrong) so maybe that’s why she is so understanding.

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Chameleona, I call that smart! I avoid pain meds as much as I can (long story, I have Psoriatic ARthritis) but before “must do” events (and that includes ones I am determined to enjoy), I give myself a well-timed dose of whatever helps.

You hang in there (with the rest of us!).

Seenie

I don’t want you to be sad Gramybear. I want joy and happiness for you and Sandy Ann. It is true that I’ve had my share of trauma, but I see a wonderful, gifted Christian therapist and have an excellent psychiatrist who really care about me. I’m looking at my little dog Max curled up in a warm blanket next to me sleeping peacefully with a tiny smile on his face. Tomorrow, I’m going to figure out what my three core values will be for the year. I don’t like New Years resolutions. Someone taught me many years ago about values and core values. Now every year I pick three to focus on throughout the year. Some examples of values are simplicity, gratitude, adventure, peace, family, friends, acceptance, hope, encouragement and so on. One year it was prosperity. But that word, to me, meant growth. There isn’t anyone on this earth who hasn’t experienced trauma of one kind or another. The tragedy is when we sit silently alone. Please don’t do that. This year, 2020, I’ve really reached out for help on this site. You get me. And I get you. I consider myself fortunate to have ALL OF YOU as my family. :hugs: I have my good days and bad days. We all do. But we have each other and some of us have fur babies too. Mine just woke up from his eighth nap of the day! Thank you everyone!!! Happy 2021 !!!

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I haven’t been able to work.I had a job before all this Covid-19 with a boss who was very understanding,jobs gone store is gone.I don’t know how to go about getting some kind of help or disability.I am also embarrassed to ask my doctor.

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I’m so sorry, this is really hard for you. But Eviemore, Covid19 isn’t your fault, and your store going down … let’s not even go there, it’s water under the bridge.

Let’s just go to what may help. Your doc (or someone they can contact) knows how you can access the help you need. But I get the embarrassment of asking, even when you know it’s a perfectly normal question. Been there, and here’s what I did. I sent a note to the doctor asking for the help/information. To my surprise, the doctor called me and before I had a chance to get flustered, we were into the conversation. Issue addressed, didn’t hurt a bit.

Along the same lines, another thing you can do is make a list of questions/issues for your appointment. When the doc comes in, hand them the list and say it’s so you don’t forget. You won’t have to ask the question, and they will steer the conversation.

Do those ideas help at all?

Seenie

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Thank you so much for responding.I put that out and kinda did not expect answer.This is very helpful.I am a very up beat person ,probably and people find it almost hard to believe that I struggle and have pain.My doctor I had for years moved to Hawaii and I really don’t have a relationship with new dr.But I will just have to bring the subject up. Very very stressful because I am out of income.Thank you again.Happy New Year​:two_hearts::two_hearts:

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This is Ben’s Friends. :hugs:

Moved to Hawaii … sigh ! You will be able to do it this way, and you need to. There are people out there who can help, and you owe it to your best friend (YOU) to access it.

Let us know how it goes. (I’ve got a little grin on my face, because once you find the easy way over the hurdle, you will feel much better.)

Seenie

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