Seems like the holiday season was just here, Bryon* thought to himself. He was divorced, and was not looking forward to another holiday season alone.
Though successful in his work, and traveling extensively, this young man realized all of that failed to fill the emptiness in his life. Bryon decided to find a therapist to help him adjust to the “Holiday Blues.” He was feeling loneliness, confusion, hurt, and disappointment during this time.
Blue Christmas Without You
Byron also felt pain from the memories of his past because his wife would decorate the home so beautifully. They would do the family shopping together.
Bryon always looked forward to his parents and siblings joining him every year for the holidays and experiencing the love of the festivities. He grew up with his parents and many siblings engaging with the gift sharing, singing and visiting his grandparents was so enjoyable.
Impending Season of Joy
As the time approached year after year Byron would remain busy and focused on his work. When November approached his depression began to overwhelm him. Prior to his divorce, Julie, his ex-wife had moved out to an apartment 22 miles away. She never called, and never came back.
Thanksgiving would usually be the start of the blues, a time when it seems everyone cherished a thankful and forgiving spirit. Byron figured that if there was ever a time when Julie would reconsider and return home, it would be at the beginning of the holiday season. He thought that she would call, but she never did.
Emotionally it took Bryon a while to get past his pain. He could not wait for the holiday season to pass. He would find himself staying away from the stores or office holiday gatherings. Often, he hid his pain as more of his coworkers and friends learned that he was divorced.
As a very kind man and private person, Byron reluctantly told his family that Julie left and filed for divorce. His parents wondered what happened to Julie was on several occasions, so he finally told them the truth. He told them that Julie left because she no longer loved him the way a wife should. She really just grabbed for straws, looking for a way to leave.
Some Folks Like to Get Away
In many cases people experience the holiday blues due to the lack of finances, the loss of family members or friends, divorce, relocation, loss of employment, or just hardship. They watch while so many other people enjoy the luxury of shopping, eating out at nice restaurants, traveling, and leaving their cares behind. Holiday blues are a real stressors.
Reimagine and recast your holidays using these ideas:
- Acknowledge your feelings about your pain.
- Reach out to positive family and friends.
- Be realistic about your station in life.
- Set aside differences with those who have hurt you by forgiving them.
- Forgive yourself and pray
- Develop a budget and don’t deviate from it.
- Don’t run into any ones arms because you are lonely.
- Know your limitations
- The holidays are not a license to indulge in substance abuse.
- Schedule a pre-holiday or holiday season counseling session.
As Bryon continued his therapy we discussed how important it is to recognize things could be so much worse, so he decided to do his best to remain thankful. He also committed to remaining busy and seeking the company of positive and encouraging family and friends.
Find The Right Mix of People And Activities
During the therapeutic process it is vital to identify with people who have gone through similar experiences to help you mature by attending a support group. Despite what you are going through try to be a blessing to someone else by serving and visiting someone in the hospital, a homeless shelter or serve at soup kitchen.
Accept, believe, and embrace Roman’s 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called to his purpose.” By grasping this concept when you are experiencing the holiday blues, you remember that God knows your pain and offers you comfort through your situation.
With another holiday approaching Bryon is learning to remain focused on others. He is thankful, and allowing God’s will to be done while defining his new purpose in life by giving back to others. He is beginning a new chapter in his life not just getting through the holiday blues, but adjusting and accepting to a new life. Bryon now ends each session with these words: “God can make my latter days better than my former days.”
*The names have been changed to protect the innocent.