For many years the holiday season was always a low point for me, just another dreary season to try and survive. I drank myself stupid during this time, I lay in bed for days on end waiting for it to pass, I worried myself sick over every interaction that I had to be involved in, and I never saw any light. This is also the time of year I tended to end up in the hospital. I hit my lowest weight of 115lbs requiring treatment just to maintain my normal bodily functions. I ended up trying to end my life and faced 2 weeks in the mental health ward. This is when I commonly overdosed or got alcohol poisoning. The history of this time is not one I look back on fondly.
In recent years this has begun to change, the mountain of despair is slowly eroding, becoming a tall hill. It is still a challenge to climb, but it is not hopeless, it is not a impossible task anymore. This is in large part to the work I have put in and the people who I have surrounded myself with. They have done more to add happiness and joy to this season than I could ever imagine. From the starting of a book exchange tradition within my family by my boyfriend, to celebrating the solstice amongst chosen family. The pattern has changed, I look forward to sharing space in good ways, and I enjoy love in these days now. I receive and give it as freely as I can and the difference is astounding. I could not conceive the idea of liking the holidays, I never had people filling my spirit with good energy before.
This may not seem like a drastic change for most, for me it is. I want to continue bringing light into the dark season, and showing appreciation for those that share life’s journey with me for the whole year. I am so grateful for these people, the ones that think of me when I don’t think of myself, who come to my aid when I am overwhelmed, and who show patience for the mistakes I make. Honest two way friendships and relationships have molded my life in a way that I never knew could exist. Every effort I make to have plans, support, and love are reciprocated… this lesson will stick with me.
I may never get to a point where this time of year is exciting and a downhill sleigh ride, but I can now see the sun over the hill. I am proud of that, and in coming years I may turn it into a mound, and then a hurdle. For now, I am content as I make strides up this hill alongside some of the best people I have had the pleasure of meeting, and my love whom I can’t thank enough.
To those still facing that horrifying mountain, chip away, break it down as small as you can and keep moving forward. Sit on the mountain and wait for it to pass if that’s all you can do, climb as far as you can if you have the strength, but do not stop trying. Every time do something different, try a new thing, you never know what change may start a ripple effect. As I explore new ways of healing I can only gain more tools to face the challenges of each season, dulling the sting of winter’s bite.