It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
That’s what people tell me all the time, but honestly it’s the hardest time of the year for me. It’s a stark reminder of the parents I’ve lost and the siblings that I can’t connect with anymore. I know I’m lucky to have my husband and daughter and the wonderful in-laws that have accepted me as a part of the family, but I still get down this time of year. In fact, coupled with my bipolar, the holiday season was a frequent time of hospitalizations for me. Some years, it was all I could do just to make it to January.
Over the last few years however, I’ve been able to refocus myself on others during the holidays and that has helped me tremendously. By volunteering at the local food bank, I’m able to remind myself of the blessings that I have and the family I still have. I still struggle sometimes, because it’s hard when you miss your family around the holidays but helping others has certainly helped me.
Consider volunteering at a local food bank or homeless shelter this year or even donating much needed supplies.
It still might not be the most wonderful time of the year for you, but the joy helping others brings you may help you more. The joy of giving of your time is the best gift you will receive all year, and maybe–like me–you’ll find yourself not only surviving but enjoying the holidays once more.