Navigating the Holidays Solo

As the holidays here in the United States approach, most people associate them with a time for family and being thankful. What if you do not have that same luxury?

Having spent the majority of my years being a bump on a log around the holidays, it was purely due to the fact of family. It meant having to go visit and fuel myself with alcohol to endure the PTSD symptoms that would occur while there. When I say fuel, I mean inebriated. As sad as this may sound, or ridiculous as well, it was a coping mechanism many others use as well. That is a long story and going back through my posts, you will understand.

We are born into this life and family used to be an important factor of identity. For some, it still is. It should be! Yet we are in an era where many otherworldly factors have caused many to estrange from their immediate and surrounding family. People see beyond the human bond and more toward their own well-being and comfort. From family being unaccepting of certain situations, life choices, or financial reasons, there are many reasons the family bond is something a large amount of the population does not have.

As we move further along in age in this world, we quit tolerating the nuances of others around us. Some start seeing people for whom they really are. No one is perfect, but making a concerted effort to raise a child in a healthy environment is hard for most. The factors of money, greed, alcohol, drugs, lust, sex, and ego cloud many and impair parenthood worldwide. More so in the United States.

We all have “those people” in our families that we tolerate. Thing is, what causes the point of tolerance to turn into exiling from your life?

To let the holidays overwhelm you with feelings of depression and sadness due to not having that picturesque family you see portrayed by the media is lying to yourself. That is NOT how life really is.  It might be for a select few, but we are a nation of excess and lust. A large majority of our citizens care more about what they have and putting on a show for others to see. You can guarantee 99% of the time that your Facebook or Instagram feed full of happy holiday pictures is a mirage. Why? Because happy families do not post on social media. They are busy sharing their time and energy with their loved ones. It is not for show or to impress.

If you, like myself, end up being alone this holiday season, you have to realize there is more to life than some calendar celebrations man created. It is about being true to yourself, your mental health, and your spirit. Putting yourself through something that makes you physically ill is not worth it. That is what happened to me during holidays in the past. Even as a young child. Children should not be enduring such at an early age, but it is getting more and more common. I remember as a young boy going to my granny’s home for the holidays. I did adore her, but all the aunts and uncles drinking, bickering, talking down to each other, and even physically fighting gave me anxiety as a child. This in turn became something that physically ailed me. Cousins quickly grew to mock the same as their parents.

In most cases, even mine, you are not alone. Yet finding those to share time and memories with is hard as you feel you are intruding on their immediate family space or life. So I understand, it is hard to find that medium. That baseline. Do not get me wrong, I want to have that family to celebrate with, and did, but my mental illness mixed with alcoholism made that impossible.

Most importantly, again, you do not have to inflict grief, anxiety, or stress upon yourself for the sake of an image of unity that is false. Sometimes, things can be discussed and resolved between families. That would be the healthy thing to do. Unfortunately, that is not the case for a large majority, and bonds are broken due to this. Never lose hope as when one bond breaks, many new ones can be made. Family is not always by blood.

Have faith. There are many things to be appreciative of during the holidays, most importantly, your commitment to a healthier mindset sans all the drama.


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