12.21.2018

Not so Happy Holidays


Let me just say it: the holidays can be f*cking hard. Really really hard. A lot harder than many people want to talk about. 

The holidays are supposed to be a time filled with celebration, glee, and cheerful memories being made and shared with family. But if you have strained relationships with relatives, or can’t travel for varying reasons, or are if you’re still grieving the absence of a loved one, then the holidays can bring feelings of loneliness and sadness. 

Over the past three years, our family has spent most of the holiday season inpatient at Hopkins due to Sansa’s treatments. We haven’t been able to travel to family for a long while. But even though Sansa’s health is in a good place, we’re dealing with other problems and more "normal" life type issues, which is great, but also brings a different kind of stress during the holidays. 

Since Nikki has come out as transgender, we haven’t been completely welcomed by our families as we used to be. I’m still grieving the loss of many broken relationships, and coincidentally all of them have been church related. (That is another blog post for another day if I ever feel brave enough to go there). We’ve both have been burned pretty badly, and many of those old wounds seem to resurface every holiday season. The idea of ever going back “home” for the holidays brings up a lot of worries, insecurities, and stress. 

Also, with Nikki’s graduate funding being cut in half, as well as our depleted savings and the high credit card debt we’ve racked up from our many hospital stays, travelling down for Christmas isn’t even a feasible option. 

We will be spending the holidays in Baltimore for another year, which will be fine. But when I see my family post pictures on Facebook sharing about their Christmas celebrations, I’m sad that Sansa, Nikki, and I aren’t there. It feels like we are missing out on so much, and I don't know if we will ever get that back. 

Since we are spending our first Christmas at home in forever, I want to be able to start new holiday traditions with Sansa that she can look forward to, and this will be the year we test some of those out. If you want to share your favorite Christmas and New Years traditions, please do so! I want to know. :) This year we’re learning to let go of so much, and also (hopefully) moving toward something better. 

I wanted to share all of this, because maybe the holidays are tough for you too. It’s hard to allow room for the tough feelings when it feels like they are not allowed, especially so close to Christmas. It’s okay to not be okay, even during the holidays. 

For those of you who are not experiencing a hard time this holiday season, please remember to check in on your friends/family/loved ones. Spread light and kindness as much as you can, because you never know how someone else is feeling or what they could be going through. 

Thanks for reading this different kind of blog post! I hope you all find ways to enjoy your holidays. Make sure to spend time taking care of yourself during this time of year. 

xoxo!


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