When Christmas is difficult…

Lonely Christmas

No matter where you find yourself in the world during the month of December, there’s never any escaping Christmas expectations. Seasonally, this is supposed to be a time for family and loved ones – and we’re constantly reminded of how we should be celebrating, through films, adverts and songs on the radio. But for those of us facing a difficult Christmas this year, that’s the last thing we want to be reminded of…

There is a number of reasons why many people find Christmas season very difficult including death in the family, loss of a job, loss of a marriage or relationship, financial collapse, loneliness, depression, or family problems.  A study into festive despondency by psychiatric healthcare facility Florida House found that 29 per cent of people feel depressed at Christmas because it reminds them that they don’t have anyone to share it with. Meanwhile, for 69 per cent it simply makes them realise how broke they are…

Are you facing a difficult Christmas season? Are you overly stressing about what needs to be done or the upcoming family gathering?  Are you isolating yourself from all of it and everyone?

Christmas.jpg

So, if you are feeling like the only person in the world who is not filled with festive joy, how can you make it through Christmas?

  1. Keep things simple. Keep your schedule simple. Keep your commitments simple. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
  2. Balance alone-time and time with others. Don’t isolate. Isolating will only make things worse.
  3. Talk about the issues with someone who is safe. Talk about why it’s a difficult Christmas, but don’t ruminate about it. Identify the pain and work through it.
  4. Do self-nurture. Take time to de-stress. Find gifts for yourself, pamper yourself, go for a long walk, read a book and wear your pyjamas all day if you want to.
  5. Give something back. Christmas is a great time to volunteer and there are always people who need assistance; helping out at your local Church or charity car boot sale is a great place to start.
  6. Lower your expectations. In fact, try to have no expectations. Too often we have too high of expectations, and the disappointment that follows when those expectations are not met will only add to one’s pain.
  7. Ignore the media. The schmaltzy ads and poignant songs can bring back many memories. At times this may feel overwhelming and trigger some pretty intense emotions. (This is totally OK). But when things get too much, it’s a good idea to mute those telly ads, switch off the car radio and completely disconnect from social media. And if you still need an escape, consider celebrating Christmas somewhere where you won’t be reminded so much of home or the person you miss…

Sources:

Credits:

War is Evil, War is the Devil…

WarFrom http://komitet.net.ua

War is evil
War is the devil
War is between politicians
War is about religions
War is destruction
War is not construction
War is depression
War is an obsession
War is fighting
War is killing
War is sorrow
War is no tomorrow
War is explosions
War is confusions
War is blood
War brings tears like a flood
War makes you cry
War makes you die
War is death all around
War makes you die on your own ground
War is fire
War is not to admire!
War is creed
War is between your own breed
War is cruel
War cost a lot of fuel
War is amputations
War is mutilations
War last forever
I wonder if it ends in Heaven
War is only release
For those who are killed
It means ‘PEACE’

Славянск, разрушенияFrom http://glavred.info/

Thinking of my dear relatives who got caught in the current civil war in Ukraine: some of them forced to leave their houses and all their belongings to move to a safer part of the country, others – stuck in the war zone, hiding in rural areas as all towns and cities are being shelled and bombed with lots of peaceful civilians (including women and children) killed or mutilated. A beautiful peaceful coal-mining town that was full of smiles and laughter when I was spending my summer holidays there as a child is now in the middle of the war zone full of grief, pain and tears. Still struggling to believe that… 😦

When will those who are still living get some peace? 😦

From http://ria.ru

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Don’t forget to unpack your baggage…

Baggage 1

Dragging old baggage around with you can taint the most promising relationship. Living with someone who is carrying excess baggage can feel a little like walking on egg shells; never knowing what will trigger the next blow out. Since it is impossible for your partner to ever be perfect enough to not trigger your baggage, it is wise to unpack.

A few tips for unpacking your baggage are provided below:

1. Accept and release your anger. Accept that it is healthy to feel anger about negative experiences and losses. Accept that you feel angry for a reason, acknowledge that you have a right to feel how you feel. Then choose to deal constructively with your anger and find a way to release that feeling, rather than allowing it to turn to bitterness.

Anger.JPG

2. Rid yourself of reminders. Give back, give away, sell or discard the physical reminders of old hurts. If you are hanging onto stuff that brings you pain each time you use or see it, it may be time to clean house. It can be helpful as a symbolic way to say I am choosing to let go of the past, or to free myself from its grasp.

HEAD

3. Break the pattern. Carrying old baggage can mean that your partner gets painted with the same brush as your ex. If they say or do anything that even reminds you of something from the past, all that build up hurt and anger falls on them like a ton of bricks. Choose to be in the present and to deal with your current relationship and remember that your partner is not your ex or your parents or whoever else hurt you in the past.


From http://www.happyfriday.ca/

4. Forgive yourself. It is important to accept responsibility for the hurtful things that you did or said in past relationships and to learn from mistakes that you made. Remember that you are only responsible for things that you can control. Choose to learn from your past and forgive yourself, rather than beating yourself up. Accept that, in whatever situation you found yourself, you did the best you could at the time.

From http://stylemagazine.com/

5. Forgive others. Forgiving those who have hurt you frees you from carrying their baggage with you. You do not forgive them because they deserve to be forgiven or to give them peace of mind; you forgive them because you deserve to be free of them and you deserve peace of mind. Forgiveness can be difficult and sometimes takes years, but it really is the most effective way to unpack your baggage.

From http://frasesconsentimientos.wordpress.com/

Get help if needed. If you strongly feel that your past is interfering with your present and stopping you from having the future that you want, it may be wise to seek help from a professional. Sometimes your partner can help you unpack and sometimes you just need a little extra help.

From Unpack Your Baggage for a Great Relationship
by Susan Derry


From http://www.ingeniosus.net

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Credits:

Sometimes I just wish, I could run away and hide…

Hiding
From Coach Your Mind

Sometimes I just wish, I could run away and hide.
No matter where I go though, these feelings stay inside.
How can I stay here and live each day a lie,
When all I want to do is close my eyes and die?
I see the pain I cause you, with every tear I shed.
I plead with you now, let me go instead?
I wish I could take you with me, to a happy place,
Whether it exists though, is time for me to face.
Can I ask for your forgiveness? For you to set me free,
It may seem ungrateful, but this life’s not meant for me.
Thank you for all your love, for all the time we shared,
It means the world to me, to know that someone cared.

By Jaclyn

Free
From Set Me Free

* * *

Have you ever had suicidal thoughts? If yes, you’re not alone; many of us have had suicidal thoughts at some point in our lives.

Feeling suicidal is not a character defect, and it doesn’t mean that you are crazy, or weak, or flawed. Lots of people who were experiencing suicidal thoughts have no history of mental illnesses, drugs or alcohol abuse.

Humour

From IZquotes

When I started thinking of ending my life, I simply did not see any purpose in existing on this planet. I did not see any way of fitting in with that curious lot, people, who all ‘herd together, trampling on each other’, as Maxim Gorky once said. I felt it was a mistake for me to be born at the first place and just wanted to disappear with no trace, like if I have never ever been on that planet. 

Photo1From DevianArt

People jumping under the trains were a regular occurrence at that time.  Life was tough and lots of people saw no purpose in keeping that miserable existence going.

One of my friends was a train driver. He told me once how that feels to see someone dying under the train. How hard it is to forget the eyes of that person… That did not seem right thing to me. I felt that it was up to me to decide, what I wanted to do with my life. But what right did I have to make other people’s lives more miserable  by making other people see that and leaving them to deal with the remains on the tracks? Leaving no trace – that was the problem…

FaceFrom Shellshock Serenade

I never talked to anyone about my thoughts. I never indicated to anyone what was going in my mind. I was still laughing, constantly reciting my favorite lines from ‘Cynics’ – the book I liked the most at that time. That laughter and those lines – my closest friend could not stand that anymore and pulled me out of town for a few weeks. The ‘Cynics’ were left behind as well as the lines of its main character who did commit suicide in the last chapter of that book…

Photo2From DevianArt

These were probably the most important two weeks in my life. That was the first time in my life when I realised, that if there is no way, I CAN make my OWN WAY. Looking back, I appreciate a lot those people, who helped me to realise that, who did show me that life was still worth living, who did return me my sense of humour… Looking back, I’m glad that I did not disappear without a trace. I’m glad that I’m still on that planet.

However that experience taught me a lot and gave me a good ‘measure’ for everything in life. Every time I had a hard choice in my life, I was thinking: ‘If I go that way or make that choice, will I want to live on that planet afterwards?’. And if the answer was ‘no’, than that option was off the list. That made my life so much simpler.

Photo3From DevianArt

If you are unable to think of solutions other than ending your life, it is not that other solutions don’t exist, but rather that you are currently unable to see them. The intense emotional pain that you’re experiencing right now can distort your thinking so it becomes harder to see possible solutions to problems, or to connect with those who can offer support. Talk to a trusted friend or relative, talk to your beloved ones. Give them a chance to help. Alternatively, try anonymous hotline.

Hands

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you might be afraid to bring up the subject. But talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.

Ways to start a conversation about suicide:

  • I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
  • Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
  • I wanted to check in with you because you haven’t seemed yourself lately.

Questions you can ask:

  • When did you begin feeling like this?
  • Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
  • How can I best support you right now?

What you can say that helps:

  • You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
  • You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
  • I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
  • When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can manage…

HelpFrom How to Help a Suicidal Friend

If someone close to you committed suicide, don’t blame yourself. People tend to think of what they might have done differently to help prevent the suicide. Being deep in grief makes it hard to think clearly, and you may really believe that you could have stopped your loved one’s suicide with lots of “what ifs”: “What if I had taken her straight home?” “What if I’d gone downstairs and checked on him that night?” “What if I had told her I loved her more?””What if…

Grief1Grief

Coming to a place of acceptance (the final stage of grieving) often goes hand in hand with getting a sense of closure on the actual death. Talking with others who knew the person well or even having some kind of a gathering to talk about the person can be quite healing. Laughing and enjoying life again doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten your loved one. In fact, going on with your life is a wonderful way of honoring your loved one’s memory…

Life
From Suicide is Painful

Resources:

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If tomorrow starts without me…

Grief
From ExperienceProject

If tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind;
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, “This is eternity, And all I’ve promised you.”
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way,
There’s no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven,
And now at last you’re free.

So won’t you come and take my hand,
And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,

For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.

Angel1

From Pinterest

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How not to say the wrong thing: Comfort IN, dump OUT

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Dorothy Nevill (British writer 1826-1913)

speak-no-evil
From How not to say the wrong thing

One of my followers raised some interesting questions regarding responding to those who are in pain or are going through tough times: what to do and what to say. As everyone reacts and copes differently, the worst fears we have is the fear of saying the wrong thing to the person who is going through very tough times.

A few months ago one of my friends posted on Facebook a link to an article on Los Angeles Times on the ‘Ring Theory’ of kvetching: comfort in, dump out. It goes like that:

Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma (parents, children, spouses etc.). Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order.

Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, “Life is unfair” and “Why me?” That’s the one payoff for being in the center ring.

Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.

When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don’t need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, “I’m sorry” or “This must really be hard for you” or “Can I bring you a pot roast?” Don’t say, “You should hear what happened to me” or “Here’s what I would do if I were you.” And don’t say, “This is really bringing me down.”

If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that’s fine. It’s a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.

Comfort IN, dump OUT.

Remember, you can say whatever you want if you just wait until you’re talking to someone in a larger ring than yours.

From How not to say the wrong thing

tumblr_inline_ms8c3nPWQ31qz4rgp
From How not to say the wrong thing

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