In my life I have learned a few survival skills. The kind of skills that override my depression keeping me squarely on the planet for at least another day. I am a day-by-day woman. Yes, I make plans and I stay hopeful about the future with me in it. However, my struggles are day-to-day shit. Wrestling with despair, fear and self worth. I am without a doubt my own assassin. The key to surviving this Season is to recognize the pain immediately. To call it what it is. No excuses. No explaining away and going easy on self medicating.
It's Christmas! My absolute favorite holiday. Bright lights, vegan gingerbread, shiny ornaments, soulful music, celtic music, latin Christmas Jazz, Christmas Smooth Jazz, all the varieties of vegan eggnog and wishing everyone I meet Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Outwardly you cannot see the pain, unless of course you recognize the weight that I carry. I am a woman of height and girth, who on first glance is quite jovial in my own right. So most folks never notice the sadness, the distance, the falling backwards into the well. Not even really close friends and family readily notice. I mask well. I unmask well too.
Writing is my first line of defense. If I can write what I am feeling. Tell the God's honest truth as best I can. That is often just enough to right my world. The second line of defense is to go do something. Be of service, or be reflective in the places that ease my spirit, like bookstores and art galleries and art supply stores and furniture stores. Yes, I do my best reflecting and discerning when I am roaming furniture stores. I can't tell you how light my heart gets when I am staring at a beautifully made sofa, or handling fine china. I am tactile too, so having my senses engaged as I am rescuing myself is key. A fine cup of coffee, or some exotic tea and vegan scones or some vegan treat. A few hours of that I am right as rain.
The third defense is allowing the tears to flow. Calling a trusted loved one, my sister Lo. Or a handful of friends who will listen and remind me of who I am and what I mean to them. Sometimes it's hanging out on a Tuesday with my Squad, because I need grown women time... Time to talk shit, laugh and be real baddass. Followed by a good nap in the buff... totally nude. Me and the fine linens of my bed. And sometimes some sappy over the top movie.
All these defenses begin with prayer. Followed by sitting a bit in silence. Listening for direction. Clarity always comes.
For me Christmas is its own saving grace. The story of a holy birth, the star in the heavens. The telling and the retelling of this ancient story. I take it in. I am not moved by presents. I happily sit and address my holiday cards. Like prayer. At least 100+ cards with a hand written message of "I hope to see more of you" "wishing you great joy" "Enjoy this glorious season" Always, Love Babz.
I have learned that I am the savior of me. If I am the assassin of me. I certainly can be my savior. And that is how I survive this life. I decide who I want to be to myself.