I am deeply grateful for Considerate Birthdays, Mellow Halloweens, Compassionate Christmases, and today–a Tender Thanksgiving. I cannot know for sure, but suspect that if I would have experienced some of these in my first 40, perhaps I may have been less distressed and disturbed. “Happy family” occasions caused more stress, illness, and trouble for me, than any exam, interview, legal proceeding, financial fear, or medical procedure.
I am not super into the word “happy” and all of the days, in which the calendar police dedicate to enforcement of appearances of joyfulness or imposing of dismissal for those struggling and judged angry, selfish, and ungrateful. Recovery has invited me to surrender efforts to portray gratitude in the form of becoming someone different from myself. I believe that(my) depression is unrelated to lack of gratitude and is neither a choice nor a rebellious act of sabotage aimed at burdening or shaming those who insist on happy appearances of each person in their presence, for their own sense pride and success. You want people to relax around you?? Allow and invite them to genuinely relax, not demand it. Right? Seems intuitive. If I am afraid to be tense around you, I will not ever relax with you. And for today, pretending serves no cause that matters to me.
Today is a day for gentleness and tenderness, either with those with whom it is possible or by ourselves. If you are struggling, I see you and hear you. You are not alone, wierd, negative or selfish for feeling non-happy. Especially on this day, let us offer generous space to anyone suggesting otherwise.
Thank God Sweet Greg goes gladly to his family Thanksgiving without me and without shame or resentment about that. There are too many words up in there and his family does not need to know, try to understand, or navigate my low threshold for stimulus of all kinds. I love that with Favorite and with Sweet Greg, I feel both tightly held and completely free, all I have ever wanted to feel. They are my people, my trusted others, my best friends, my family. They show up and I show up and together we are a WE and an US–connection that for me, is greater than shared proximity or blood. The tenderness and nurturing that I receive, learn, and practice with them makes me a better person and parent. That is the best and only kind of love for which I am available: kind, nurturing, and fortifying. Unconditional.
We are safe and welcome to express sentiments like: “What do you need? What can I do? I am sorry I did that, it was unfair, unkind, even hurtful.” We freely share simple truths like “Ouch, Stop, No, Here is what I need, This is how I feel,Tell me more, I want to understand, Thank you for sharing that, Oops,I messed up, I can do better”. I may not be a “happy” person but I am thankful and grateful for all kindness and goodness. I am a work in progress. I LOVE to show up and be together with my people. Tonight, with Favorite and Family and tomorrow & the weekend with Sweet Greg.
PS–I don’t even particularly like holiday food items and will never complain that they are reserved only for a specific 2-3 days per year. So, in addition to causing pain-in-the-ass, with my non-joy, I was criticized regularly for being too finicky an eater(liking different things), with an unreasonable appetite. I just prefer my everyday people and foods, which are always fortifying, cozy, unthreatening. See, if I wanted to eat 27 chicken nuggets or a giant salad only on thanksgiving, that is what my people would support and even provide. Being hungry and tense and scared about being hungry and tense is no longer an option, I can consider. Comfort and pleasing food gladly served up for each and all. That is how we love, celebrate, and mourn. Together.Much Love,
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