Anxiety around the Holidays – I lost my father to a massive heart attack a decade ago, and at the time, it was the worst incident of pain I had ever felt. There is no emotional healing manual of life for losing parents, especially ones who have such an impact on your life.
I remember talking to my dad in one of our snowmobiling trips together as it approached Christmas in December 1999. We had a conversation and I asked him a question that seemed odd at the time because until later in my life (he wasn’t around much in my youth) had no idea how he would answer.
Then I asked him, Dad, why do you not like Holidays? He replied, “ I get anxiety around the holidays” and it leads to a bit of depression. My father was very abused as a youth, mentally and physically, and had no understanding of what family meant until I started to get a relationship with him and myself had children, and began to share my life and memories with him.
As I’ve gotten older, raised my kids, and have watched the holiday season unfold so many times, it’s not hard to see why so many manifest melancholy thoughts and depression around the holiday season. There are so many repressed feelings of despair, loss, and old familial issues that just seem to come to the surface when Thanksgiving hits and into the Christmas season approaching the new year.
My dad used to say we are all a product of our childhood experiences and if we don’t deal with the past, the past will deal with us. As my father was right about so many things, I think he is spot on with that one. The holiday season is a time for reflection and memories stirred and I believe it’s the time of the year where we all, knowingly or not, self-destruct a little bit mentally and emotionally.
Anxiety around the Holidays
I know I tend to get a bit emotional and miss my father deeply around this season. It was this time of the year where we found ourselves finally after his bout with alcoholism. He simply wasn’t around in my youth but we more than made up for our time lost.
We spent countless hours on the snowmobile trail talking about life and living a father/son life most would dream about. I know people who don’t even talk to their father and for the life of me, I can’t wrap my head around that. Your father no matter what the past experiences were is the single most important person in your life, he’s a man and a boy always needs a strong man in his life.
More than Holiday Blues
Now that I’m older, I get the anxiety around the holiday blues but I also appreciate how blessed I am to have the gifts I do in my life. No matter what your life experiences and past hurts have been, there is nothing more precious than the biggest gifts we are given. The here and NOW, the present. That’s why they call it a gift. It’s the present we all deserve and cannot take for granted.
The day I got the call from my sister that my father had a massive heart attack, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see past my pain, my suffering, and my hurt but I did make it back to see his last breath taken.
We are all on this earth for such a short time. Life has a way of passing us by before our eyes. Around this holiday season, remember one thing. Take the small things in life seriously and to heart, as one day you will look back and realize those were big things!
If find the world closing in, or you are getting anxious seek medical help if it is an emergency. Or call Wake-Up Sense for a long-term non-phramasudical solution.