How will we cope with our anxiety through the Holidays, please share with each other.

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stkitt
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   Posted 12/4/2009 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Friends and Family here in the A & P Forum,

Behind our holiday smiles and good wishes, many of us carry feelings of deep grief. So how can we have a wonderful holiday if we are experiencing sorrow? Each one of us can choose to have a good holiday or bury ourselves in our troubles.


Please realize that you are in charge and can make the best choices about how to cope with your grief. If you are in grief because of the passing of a loved one, decide whether you will be happier being with family on the holiday or being alone with thoughts of your loved one. Know that it is your decision and do not let others orchestrate your life with activities they think will make you happy. You are in grief and that is enough to cope with. This is not a time for you to carry the extra burden of pleasing others. Reference: Carole Lynne

When someone dies or is away for another reason the possibility to have that Hallmark family holiday is lost.

Altering traditions is a good coping strategy, give yourself permission to have it be different. I have not put up my big Christmas tree the past 3 years now and I have asked my daughter to do Christmas Day at her home which is lovely and I enjoy it so much. It is a change in tradition that was not accepted by my children at first as they always came home to Mom's house but the stress, anxiety and memories of the people I loved that are no longer with us made it high anxiety for me.

I still make the food but no more 14 different kinds of cookies, I found a great bakery that will make up wonderful trays of breads and cookies. I buy my pies and I have time now to do what I like, watch the Christmas specials on TV and reflect on how I can keep on controlling my anxiety and depression and be happy all in one big package. This is my gift to me.

Please do share what you do or will do to make your holiday comfortable for you.

Blessings to all,

Kitt

stkitt
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   Posted 12/4/2009 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I am hoping others will share here in this thread.........let us all try to help each other with our stories and support.


Happy Holidays,

Kitt

melindazcrew6
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 12/4/2009 10:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I have 4 children so Christmas is sssssssssoooooooooooo buisy for us!!! This year I asked the family's to do christmas on different days so we wouldnt have to rush around like crazy trying to get everywhere. EVERYONE has agreed!!!! And I feel so much better already :-)
Love the Christmas specials to and have lots of time to watch!!

Happy Holidays to EVERYONE!!!! May it be Anxiety and Panic free !!! XXXX

stkitt
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   Posted Yesterday 12:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Melinda,  Great ideas and goals for you and your family.  Happy Holidays to you.
 
Kitt

edgewood
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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted Yesterday 12:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt, how lovely that you thought of us all. Folks, whatever our problems, we have this sanctuary and are not alone. We understand each other and the love can be felt in every post. I will be alone on Christmas Day like many others, so why not use the chatroom to have our own Christmas party? I look forward to seeing you there.

melindazcrew6
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   Posted Yesterday 11:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Your very welcome Kitt!!! Happy Holiday's to you and yours as well !! smilewinkgrin

debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
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   Posted Today 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Ah, the holidays. I will deal with them this year as I do every year: like a guerrilla fighter. Gonna get in and get out as quickly as I can! Well, that's with one side of my family. I will spend a little more time with my mother and grandmother and just hope my incredibly dysfuctional relatives do not make an appearance. I have a very odd extended family. They are few in numbers but make up for it in their weirdness.

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted Today 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
The chat room is a good idea and I am sure to be around in the afternoon on Christmas Day.


debaser, I remember you stories from Christmas's past and your right, you have a family that is a hoot. smhair



Whenever I start to feel anxious or depressed over the holiday season, I take a deep breath and remember that Christmas is about caring for others and giving to the children of the world. It is about love and about your religion if you are a Christian or about the Holidays and feeling the warmth and love of your neighbors.



No one is alone if they belong to this forum. I am here for you. ((((((((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))))))))



Kitt

Korissa
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 337
   Posted 12/8/2009 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes, thank you Kitt for starting this topic now. I just got off the phone with my sister who lives here and wanted to know if I'd booked a flight to be with all of them at their daughter's, my dear niece, out of state. I've been hoping the flights will all be full now so I have an excuse to not go. They were close to full at Thanksgiving.

And I'm feeling guilty. I do want to be there--but the effort of going and all the activity while there seems too much.

A friend is in a similar situation, only it's because her family is dysfunctional so she's also staying in town. She said--yes, it's sad thinking about it, but the days before Christmas come fast and then it's over all in one day.

It sounds a little cynical in a way. But if the true meaning of Christmas is kept in one's heart the day is still special.


Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/8/2009 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
great thread.... kitt..i will not be going where my family feels i should i am deaf and they get frustrated with me ..and i with them..its not the same without mom n dad ya know so i will spend my day here cook a turkey and get chunky lol......watch specials on tv and of course shed some tears..i might just join in the chat ...luvs ya...lyn
                          
                                Co Mod for Crohns, Anxiety/Panic, Alzheimers
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dixibella
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 12/9/2009 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone,
Thanks for a great thread Kitt. Last Christmas was my first with my husband as a married couple, as part of building our own traditions we opted not to run around like crazy people and spent the morning together just the two of us quietly watching a funny Xmas movie (Elf), laughing, having a nice breakfast, and taking care of our horses and spoiling them with carrots and apples. We visited his mom in the nursing home in the afternoon then visited my family in the evening and joined them at a small gathering at a friends house. It was relatively relaxing and I'm hoping this year will be similar, although my husbands mother has passed and my family situation has gotten crazy, we will gather to have a nice meal and have decided that we aren't doing presents, just going to enjoy each others company and try to relax. Where we are so busy, I think that is the best gift. The quiet moments.

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/9/2009 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Family,

Great sharing by all. It is my opinion that there is not right or wrong way to enjoy the holidays and being true to yourself is what works best for me.



Throw guilt out the window and remember this is your holiday and I agree if the true meaning of Christmas is kept in one's heart the day is still special.



Lyn, you cook that turkey and save some juicy white meat for me and some stuffing too..........and yes think of your Mom and Dad and how proud they would be of how you have fought your way back yet again. (((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))))



Dixi, I love the movie Elf and laugh just thinking about it. Do it your way and make your own traditions and memories.



Korissa, Enjoy staying home and do not worry about the wedding, there will be many guests there and I know you will send a wonderful card. You have the right to be happy and comfortable during the holidays. Thank them for the invite and tell them your honored but you will not be able to attend. Remember we do not have to make excuses for our decisions to others. We have rights.



Come]



Holiday]

Kitt

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/9/2009 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thamks for those words i know come from your heart  as all your posts do ........they mean so much coming from you my friend...luvs lyn

YES lol i will get lots of turkey n stuffing into me and some for you...ummmm i can taste it already.....tongue

..I will be thinking of you ....huggles lyn


                          
                                Co Mod for Crohns, Anxiety/Panic, Alzheimers
   Crohns..Pyoderma gangrenosum,..Anxiety / panic..Fibromyalgia,,Neuropathy...Deaf...Seizures
 
                        I DONT COMPLAIN...OTHERS ARE WORSE OFF THAN I AM                                   
                                                     .....LYN.......
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Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 12/9/2009 9:34:21 AM (GMT-7)


Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 12/10/2009 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
After just losing my grandmother, this thread speaks volumes to me. . . The best way for me to handle things is to just carry on and try to be as close to family and friends as they will allow me to do. We missed Thanksgiving here at the farm for the first time in almost 50 years when G'ma was sick and it felt so wrong that I can not allow that to happen this Christmas. Her wishes was for things to carry on the same after she was gone, and I'm going to honor that wish :) This is how I will handle my anxiety and I know that I will keep marching on. Life does not lie down for anyone and it will march all over a person if they just sit still and let it happen.

Many wonderful wishes to all of you this holiday season. . . No matter what is happening in our lives, I hope that everyone finds some peace and makes the most of the time we all have here on earth :)

Korissa
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 337
   Posted 12/17/2009 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I had been doing well with my decision to stay home for Christmas. I'm now having regrets, but it's too late now. All flights were full long ago.

I think it's just because I've been feeling better and think I could have gone after all.

I'll be with a friend Christmas Eve who is also alone.

How's everyone doing?

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/18/2009 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning Korissa,


Remember guilt, regret or whatever you want to call it is a wasted emotion. You made your decision and please know it is ok. You will have other opportunities to make that long trek to another event but for this year enjoy your holiday and stay in the moment.



Happy Holidays to you and know you will make your own Christmas special in your own way.



Gentle Hugs to you,



Kitt

Korissa
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 337
   Posted 12/18/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kitt--
Youve given me the support I needed to start off this day!

Gentle hugs back!

Stormienite
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 12/18/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not looking forward to Christmas eve.  We go to church with his family (my one and only day of the year I go to church).  Then everyone goes back to his parent's house for food, gifts, games, drinking.  We never get out of there before 11pm.  Mind you, mass will start around 4:30.  Let me count how many family members.. um... 19 plus neighbors and friends coming over.  I'm already hyperventillating.
 
Wed night my kids were in a Christmas program at school.  It's every year and lasts about 2 hrs.  First off... I forgot to take my xanax.  We had to park 2 blocks away.  It was freezing and windy.  Got in the gym and it was packed and HOT.  I just looked at my husband and said "I need to sit down in 30 seconds or I'm gonna freak out".  We grabbed bleacher seats way in the back and thank God there was no one beside or in front of me.  At the end I had a little meltdown too with the crappy way they do drawings for baskets...ugh people are so friggin stupid.  But I was never so glad to get home, pop a pill, and grab a drink.  It was a really nice play and stuff but I just can't take the crowds.
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
300mg Lamictal
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stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/19/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey there, I am sorry you are feeling anxious already and it is not even Xmas eve yet so try to rethink what you just wrote and see how you can change things to make it less stressful for you.



I assume by "his" parents you are referring to your husband's family? Do you have family of your own you would like to spend some time with?



Also can you limit the length of time you stay at this Xmas eve gathering?



If you enjoy the children and not the adults get down and be with the children. I will do that, just get down and play with the kids, look at their gifts..........and just be a kid myself.



I was a bit distressed to read "I was never so glad to get home, pop a pill, and grab a drink. " Be very careful mixing alcohol and pills.



If this is really that stressful for you then you do have the choice of not attending and making your own private holiday plan for that time frame.



I have stayed home from some social events ( yes family events) that I knew would make me feel very anxious and trigger my panic as well as tip me over into depression for feeling guilty for not being able to enjoy myself. Do put yourself first in order to enjoy the holiday and that way everyone will be happy.



Gentle Hugs

Kitt

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/19/2009 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Was also distressed and concerned about you mixing pills n booze..it is def a dangerous thing to do..not judging you only speaking from my heart..lyn
                          
                                Co Mod for Crohns, Anxiety/Panic, Alzheimers
   Crohns..Pyoderma gangrenosum,..Anxiety / panic..Fibromyalgia,,Neuropathy...Deaf...Seizures
 
                        I DONT COMPLAIN...OTHERS ARE WORSE OFF THAN I AM                                   
                                                     .....LYN.......
                                Donate to..www..healingwell.com.
                                                    
                             No BETTER GIFT than FRIENDS N FAMILY                                               
                            Happy Holidays from my home to yours
                              
 


Stormienite
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 12/19/2009 6:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I really appreciate your concern.  Yeah, it does sound a little bad popping a pill and getting a drink.  Hmm.  I know it's not good for me, I'm just not ready to deal with it yet.  I never drank until 2 years ago when my best friend died of cancer.  In some morbid way I took up drinking her fav drink. (Capt Morgan)  I dunno. I don't talk about it.  The xanax is .5 so it's a small dose.  I know I'm making excuses here. gaahh
 
Good news is I started seeing a therapist again!  First session this week.  But I understand what you're saying.  I'll have to deal with it.
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
300mg Lamictal
90mg Pamalor
60mg Prevacid
2mg Niravam (Xanax)


Treester
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 12/20/2009 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
My biggest triggers during the holiday season are the social aspect of holidays, and the pressure (whether self-imposed or otherwise) to Enjoy Everything Before It's Too Late.
 
My husband and I have over the years pared things down to a managable level.  We have two small kids, so by default, Christmas is all about THEM now.  We don't go to any parties, we don't exchange gifts with everyone and their brother, and the shopping is FUN as long as we start early and make lists.  It's so much more enjoyable for me now that I know how to be organized about it, and now that I know how to focus on the little things that make the season special for my kids.  For example, they love Christmas music.  So, instead of getting all stressed out that the radio stations play 24/7 Christmas music starting in early November, I actually embrace it and let my kids get their fill.
 
I also build up the excitement of little treats (which under some circumstances is probably not healthy, but if you saw my son's pure joy at getting to eat a small crunch Santa, you'd understand!).  I love little treats, too, so I set small goals and reward myself accordingly.
 
For gift-giving, I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to be the cool aunt who gives good presents.  That's just too hard for me to deal with, so I've decided to become the cool aunt who gives cash.  I've let go of the fear that it seems lazy - the "cool, thanks" mutterings of teenage boys is far more satisfying to me than an "oh." (My nephews are good kids, they're just typical teenagers!)
 
Finally, we do host my husband's side of the family here, but we set the bar very, very low.  I hate hosting as a general rule, but for christmas we just do bagels and coffee, and the family knows not to expect anything more involved.  I've found that managing expectations plays a huge role in my ability to cope and enjoy the holidays. 

ocean1
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 12/22/2009 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for this thread Kitt.  It helps reading others posts and how they are dealing with the holidays.  I, for one, feel more alone than ever during the holiday season as I am the only single one left of brother and sisters and everyone else has their kids.  I decided this year to do something different for Christmas day.  It is very lonely to wake up to an empty apartment on Christmas morning and know my sisters and brother and parents are all celebrating with their spouses and kids.  I am going to be waking up alone Christmas morning but also getting up very early and working.  I work for a hospital and we are open 24/7/365 days a year.  I will be at work by 6:30am and working all day so will have the feeling of warmth knowing I am helping the people who literally have no choice about what they can do on this special day cause they are in the hospital.  I'll be helping others and that is what I feel God put me on this earth to do anyway and it will feel good to focus on others and not my own loneliness.  I volunteered to work that day.  I may start my own tradition of doing this every Christmas, that way I'm not alone and am doing something worthwhile by helping others and not sitting around feeling sorry for myself which is what I used to do.
 
I hope everyone here can find peace and happy times this year and heading into 2010.
 
diane
Diane
LET US BE GRATEFUL TO PEOPLE WHO MAKE US HAPPY. 
THEY ARE THE CHARMING GARDENERS WHO MAKE OUR SOULS BLOSSOM.

Anxiety 2007; IBS 2004; Chronic Hives 2002.  Medications:  Allegra, Zantac, Xanax, Darvocet.


stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/23/2009 1:11 PM (GMT -7)   
 
I am so sorry you lost a wonderful friend to cancer.  Talk to us about how you feel, share and let out some of the pain of her loss.  That may help you and don't worry, we are not judging anyone.
 
I lost my sister to ovarian cancer on April 30th.  I understand your pain.
 
Holiday hugs to you,
 
Kitt

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/23/2009 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Diane,

Wow, you are living my life. I worked the holidays in the hospital for many years and I worked 3-11 PM so I worked on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.



I love your attitude as I went to work with that same feeling, how I could help make someone who had to spend the holidays in the hospital feel the spirit of Christmas.



One year we had our nurse's Xmas party at a local restaurant in the private party room and the waitress said to one of the nurses, " I came in on my day off to work today for your party". The nurse answered her with "and we will be open for you on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day 24/7" :-) The nurse who responded said it very pleasantly and was sincere but I never forgot that comment and thought to myself yes, she is sooooooooooo right. We don't close.



I will be thinking of you over the holidays Diane and blessings to you my friend.



Kitt
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