Where Did the Magical Season Go?


So, can this day/week/season hurry up and be over with already?

Every year I hide behind my words – <Insert Holiday Title Here> is nothing but a commercialized guilt trip and we should celebrate love, kindness, thankfulness, gratefulness, family, friends, and whatever else, EVERY day.

Yeah, just words. Sort of.

In all honesty, I have always disliked many holidays. I dislike Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents day, Boss’s Day, Administrative Assistance Day, and any other day you can think of. The truth of it all is, it’s a holiday that people adopt so they can party (like St. Patrick’s Day, or Cinco De Mayo), or it’s a day that all the retailers try to lure you in with “savings” to get your money or guilt trip you into buying something for your love or your child and if you don’t, you suck.

And it seems to be worse around Christmas.

My heart and soul must live in a different time period, especially around Christmas time.  The magic of the season is everything to me. You know what I mean. Old movies like HOLIDAY INN or WHITE CHRISTMAS, or the kind you see in a Thomas Kinkade painting, and all the stories of miracles happening around Christmas. A quaint little neighborhood. A blanket of virgin snow. A single trail down the center of the road that leads to the horse-drawn carriage. Christmas lights and decorations lining the streets and warming the houses. Everyone smiling and wishing passersby a Merry Christmas, helping those who needed help, and giving a small gift of friendship in any form. Friends and family circling round the fireplace drinking hot apple cider, singing Christmas carols, and sharing in the warmth of the love. Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.

Oh to see the world through my childhood eyes again.

To set the record straight, It’s not just about the lack of presents. With all due respect, presents under the tree is only a tiny part of that ideal Christmas image in my head. With each passing year, though, the magic of the holiday seasons grows more distant and unattainable. Decorations, still packed away in boxes stored in the garage, are left untouched for years. The lack of cold and snow, does nothing to put me in the mood either. I have no motivation. And when I do, I do it all alone. And now, while the desire is there, that little voice inside my head says, “what’s the point?”

I no longer like going out window shopping, just to enjoy the decorations or looking for ideas for my own house. There are way too many people. It would be ok if everyone was happy it was Christmas time. But now, everyone is so rude, and a thousand times worse during this season. It spurs anxiety in both TheHubs and I.

PTSD and Pain have ruined this time of year for me. TheHubs only feels 3 emotions: rage, despair, and nothing. He doesn’t get into decorating, socializing, or celebrating anymore. This, in turn, makes me not want to put in the effort. Maybe it’s the lack of UV light, the drab days, the lack of color all around, that adds to the depressive state. They do talk a lot about this time of year being worse for depression. So maybe that’s part of it. But I also know that seeing your loved one in constant pain, suffering his demons, and hardly ever seeing the smile on his lips and twinkle in his eye, well, you just let it slip through and wish it were all over so you can get back to the everyday life without seeing everyone else’s Christmas cheer.

This year has been especially hard, making this holiday season a bit worse for wear.  We’ve been through some seriously trying times. Communication is the only way to get through it. And while the PTSD Rage Monster flares bright, I wondered if we’d ever get back to that point. But we did. We both opened up. We both are constantly working on our communication. But while you’re smack in the midst of living the hell, it is hard to see the light. There were several of these times throughout the year. More than we’ve had in a very, very long time.

And then there were all the medical issues.

For me, luckily, this year was pretty simple. Just a few follow-ups with my Psychiatrist and adjustments to my meds–which at this time, I am not going to up them because of the price. It’s like two completely different prescriptions, even though it’s the same medication. One strength dose in the morning, a different one in the evening. But, it’s on a higher tier in the formulary so I have to fork out a bit of money for that. (And don’t even get me started on next year’s medical insurance.)

When TheBoy started school this year, he also started complaining about his feet hurting. It wasn’t until about a week in that it got so bad he called us from the nurses office saying he couldn’t walk anymore. We took him to a podiatrist and that’s when we found out he has incredibly flat feet (like his father) and loose tendons (like his mother). Luckily, the doctor had a quick and permanent fix, giving him an arch and correcting his feet to hopefully not have pain. It would require surgery on both feet. And now was the best time for him to have it since he’s still growing. He’s already had one surgery, and his second is on Dec 8th. (if you want to read about this condition, you can see the pictures here)

And then we found out he needed braces. UGH!

On top of all this, we also have to foot the bill for what the VA doesn’t cover for TheHubs. All his medications, and the neurologist he’s been seeing for a little over 10 years. His Botox injections, and pain medications. He also had surgery in September to help correct his severely deviated septum, which was supposed to help his apnea and we were hoping to alleviate the positional pain that came from sleeping since he would now be able to breath out of his nose while sleeping on his belly. It helped somewhat, but nothing to write home about.

So, our bank account has been pretty much wiped out — of course adding to my already discouragement for this season.

So when TheBoy comes to me, without prompting, and says he would be fine with nothing for his birthday and Christmas, an instant surge of pride is quickly replaced with a great sadness because I know with all these medical and dental bills that are going on I cannot afford to get him something, or anyone else either.

This season is about giving. And I do so love to give, whether it be a present, a smile, a hug, a positive thought. I am happiest when I am giving and helping people. I am happy making others happy. Sometimes, though, I would love if everyone else felt the same way I do.

When I started writing this post, it was so very negative. I couldn’t see the positive, and wondered if I would ever feel any Christmas spirit again. After getting it out, admitting it, I realize that just like being positive in everyday life, being happy on Christmas is a conscious decision. So today, I am making that decision – the decision to try to enjoy the season and not focus on my dreams.

I am going to try to make other people happy. Maybe it will help me get back into the spirit of the season. If I can buy someone’s coffee while I’m out shopping, or find a homeless vet who hangs out on the corner near the mall and give them $20. Or get back to leaving my Positive Post-It Notes around town while we are out and about…*IF* we are out and about. I really want to be able to share the positive and the happy and give someone a smile. The more people who see kindness, maybe it will spread and the rudeness will diminish?

I honestly believe in karma and “what goes around comes around”. I just have to be patient. And patience is not my best quality.

One can only hope, though.

So I am going to ask you to do the same. Maybe it might help you too. Be kind to everyone. You never know what their story is.

Be kind. Smile often. And spread the happiness.

LadyJai

If you’re willing, I would love to hear your stories as well. Let us all feel not so alone, especially during this holiday season so we can have a little bit of light in the PTSD darkness. Love you all.

Related Articles you may like:
Holidays
Christmas 2014
The Secret to Marriage
Finding the Positives

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8 thoughts on “Where Did the Magical Season Go?

  1. Janie Junebug

    Holidays aren’t really holidays for me, but what I want to tell you is that I have flat feet, too. They always hurt, but didn’t become really bad until I worked in retail and had to stand in one place on a cement floor. I’d go home and sit in a chair, and when I had to get up, I’d cry. Then my ex-husband would yell at me that my feet hurt because I was fat. There were slender people who worked in the store, and at the end of the day, some of them left crying. One of them told me it was so bad one day that she went straight to an emergency clinic. So it really is a serious problem, and I’m glad for arch supports. My ex-husband was mostly mean because he wouldn’t take his anti-psychotic medication. He was extremely overweight. I was very thin until I took an antidepressant that made me crave carbs. I think he was angry about my weight gain because up to that point, he loved it that people would ask him if I was his second wife because I looked so young. When I gained weight, I guess I looked my age. He didn’t like that.

    Love,
    Janie

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  2. Gary

    My lovely friend, you and your loved ones have been through so much. And yet, despite it all, despite the trials and tribulations, the worries, you find it within your heart to think of the plight of those who are the most vulnerable. Homeless vets, rough sleeping veterans, each with a story that needs to be heard. Stigmas and stereotypes are to be eradicated.

    The magical season lives on in your heart and soul.

    Hugs and hope,

    Gary

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  3. lexacain

    Yes, often enjoying things is a conscious decision. I’ve found women making the decision to see the best side and be cheerful more often than men. Wishing you patience, love, and understanding. Plus that 2016 is easier on your wallet.

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  4. Katie thecyborgmom

    I hate the Christmas season as well…it started when my daughter was little, and we were expected to travel for Christmas and be merry and cheery…not very easy when you have a newborn, are traveling (with pain), and are sleep deprived. Plus, we struggled in the early years, being young parents and all…and our families would overindulge our daughter (and then eventually my son) with a ton of crap. Imagine if they just added to the kids’ college funds instead… Oh well, you’re not the only Grinch around here! 🙂

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  5. Elsa

    I’m a CNA in a dementia unit, and I have found that having a smile on your face does wonders to turn my resident’s moods around. Before healthcare, I worked in retail for 2.5 years, and yes people are rude and cranky, but the people who came through my line with a smile and a pleasant, “how are you?” Those were my favorites, and they stood out all the more because of the contrast. So I encourage you to keep smiling, and I’ll keep smiling and who knows maybe someday we’ll smile at each other and brighten up each other’s day just a little bit.

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  6. Mrs. Coconuts

    SO familiar.
    All of it.
    We hardly ever do shopping this time of the year, and even grocery shopping is a stretch. I can say that there won’t always be bad days, but dang in our worlds, it seems like those are the only days. Bad days, worse days, and the “screw off” days. Guess families like ours are really great at taking the best of the worst.
    I have found that baking my hubby’s favorite cookies or dinner can help alleviate some of his murkiness, and I’ve also found that as the years keep going, this time of the year is still bad, but he starts trying a tiny bit more. We started our shopping way early, because I wanted to beat the rush in November and December and this year I was able to use a little bit of extra money from Ibotta and the Walmart Savings Catcher.
    This time of year really does seem to enhance the greed in people, which is surprising considering what people profess this time to mean.
    I do hope that your family is able to have a lovely celebration together, even if it is just snuggling up watching White Christmas (one of my favorites, ever! I always laugh at the boys’ rendition of Sisters!).
    Sending all my love and blessings for a quiet and happy Yuletide.

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