“Another blasted holiday season. Well, damn!”

Nervous Breakdown

“I can’t believe it – the holiday season is here again. And just as I’ve gotten over the 2012 nightmare. Psychological disorders? Nervous breakdown? Symptoms of stress? I’m all about ’em!”

Yikes! I’m thinkin’ someone’s gonna’ skip the chestnuts roasting on an open fire bit. “Jingle Bell Rock?” It’s probably gonna’ get thrown at the first person to even think about hanging mistletoe (much less trying to cop a smooch). And Santa’s status in the image? A-ok!

I know, I know – I’m leading with levity. And the subject matter really isn’t humorous, is it? No doubt, this is an ultra-tough time of the year for millions. And grappling with the holiday season blues big-time ups the misery ante for those enduring a mood and/or anxiety disorder.

Shoot, so many bad memories and learned emotional and mental traditions. Life can definitely be hard.

Okay, then, we’ve established the obvious. And if you’re having a rough go of it, I likely earned your attention. So what can we do about this aggravation? Well, I don’t know about you, but as someone who occasionally scores above average on the holiday season blues scale, I refuse to acquiesce to discomfort.

“Great, Bill, so besides that supposed wit of yours, whatcha’ got in mind?”

Well, let’s start with the power of context. Yes, millions of us have endured intense ick during past holiday seasons. And, of course, the settings and players all too often come back to haunt us. But if we can discipline our minds to default to context, the ghosts take a powder – and it’s on to becoming secure in the present. News flash! This is 2013, not the year(s) during which we took the hits.

And then there’s acceptance. Now, I realize I just mentioned refusing to acquiesce to discomfort. But acquiescence and acceptance are two different things. Acceptance is about embracing our present circumstances, as distressing as they may be. And then, of course, working toward change. Don’t you think it’s a much better approach than lamenting our immediate misery and striving for a turn-back-time miracle?

Last, but certainly not least, I believe we have to lay claim to our holiday season. It is, after all, ours. I understand children and grandchildren have to be accommodated; however, there’s no reason why the accommodation can’t be on our terms – or at least in the spirit of a mutual meeting of needs. And when it comes to family and friends, doggone it, we can only do what we can do. Expectations are a mighty force, but so is the resolve to take care of ourselves.

People! Psychological disorders, nervous breakdown, symptoms of stress. I suppose each and every one of them can be the essence of our 2013 holiday season. But I challenge you to be proactive – assertive – in establishing inner peace and comfort. Why can’t this be a year of lasting change?

“Ah, if the trauma hadn’t occurred.” “Damn, I’d be just fine, but for the past.” So what’s the old saying? “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.”

Wouldn’t that be a drag?!

Hey, are you hurtin’ right about now? I can’t fix it, but my heart sure goes out to you. I feel your pain…

Would you like to peruse some Chipur titles? Comin’ at ya’!

  • Leslie Ferris December 3, 2013, 10:16 am

    Great stuff Bill, and a great reminder to those of us who quite love the holidays – that everyone doesn’t and perhaps for very good reasons. As always, love your humor added up with very good advice for your readers, and I know a lot of people will benefit from this one! Thanks again Bill!

    • chipur December 3, 2013, 11:52 am

      Hey, thanks for the kind remarks, Leslie. And you’re more than welcome. Yessiree, this time of the year can be nasty, nasty for so many. My heart goes out to all of them. Often so much expectation, yet so much disappointment. Gotta’ be a change of mind and heart introduced into the equation. And if this piece serves as a catalyst for even one reader, I’d be thrilled. Appreciate your stopping-by and participating…

  • Patricia Miller December 3, 2013, 1:13 pm

    I absolutely love your humor and your rock solid advice on how to cope and plan. Having just battled my way through a not so glistening Thanksgiving, I am already planning on a better Christmas. Your delightful piece is perfect and so in line with my overall optimistic life view…. I do NOT expect to feel crappy just because past years have brought distress. Thank you for always bringing timely topics to us with joy and a giggle, even if the topic is a toughie! It is always clear that you understand and empathize fully, and that is special and important.

    • chipur December 3, 2013, 4:11 pm

      Boy, Patricia, the number of times I was so lost in the woods – and somehow managed to come up with a chuckle. Don’t know how I managed to pull that off; however, I sure as heck know it likely saved my life. And you know, it wasn’t about denying my circumstances, it was more about a natural leaning toward humor, and simply not knowing what else to do. I appreciate your visit and sharing – glad you survived that “not so glistening Thanksgiving.” Please keep coming back – your contributions are meaningful. Thank You…

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk December 4, 2013, 12:57 am

    Great reminder to take care of ourselves during the holiday season, Bill. I know for some, it is a challenge. Keeping things simple and the stress to a minimum helps me. I know many who just get out of town during the holidays and that works for them. The holidays can be a fun time, but I do have compassion for those who find them difficult. Great resource here!

    • chipur December 4, 2013, 12:43 pm

      Thanks for your visit and comment, Cathy. Absolutely, keeping things simple and minimizing stress are crucial. It really is all about taking care of self, isn’t it? And that’s tough to do when the expectations/traditions are so choking. Still, it’s a mental/emotional discipline that has to occur. A true dedication to fostering change. Not easy, but “doable.” Glad you continue to stop-by…

  • Lisa Frederiksen December 4, 2013, 1:56 pm

    It’s always a delight to read your posts, Bill – love your humor! And I very much agree with your point, “I believe we have to lay claim to our holiday season.” It’s so true, and when we do, we are better able to let go of pinning for what we wish it could be and settle into your suggestions of context and acceptance.

    • chipur December 4, 2013, 5:00 pm

      Hey, Lisa! Always so glad you keep comin’ back. Thanks for your participation, k?

  • Dr. Herby Bell December 6, 2013, 2:47 pm

    How do you read my mind?…thanks, I SO needed that. “Intense ick”, dint have any words for it until now, but you’ve reminded me it ain’t even so. The truth is, I LOVE when we actually get to the days we’re celebrating, the human interaction and warmth. I’m gonna keep my eyes on the prize and you’ve helped me immeasurably, Bill. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    • chipur December 6, 2013, 4:54 pm

      Back atcha’, Herby. You’re always welcome here, and I sure appreciate your visits and comments. Yeah, “intense ick.” Never was one to suffer from a shortage of words for the seemingly impossible to express. Hmmm, me thinks that’s ’cause I’ve paid my dues. Best to you and yours, Herby…