“It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer…” Okay, cut! All good for singer Andy Williams in 1963, but likely a bit of a stretch for many who happen-by here. Fact is, our inner demons may be howling right about now. So what are we gonna’ do about that?

When you learn to love yourself, and are content within your own space, you again assume control of the events in your life.

Hey! It’s guest-post time. A couple of months ago, JessiRae from Harbor Village Florida graced us with Self-Harm and Substance Use Disorders: Need-to-Know Connections and Facts. Well, she liked writing for us so much, she asked for another go. And I was, and remain, all in.

JessiRae has an engaging writing style; however, her work is especially meaningful because it’s grounded in her very personal experience. Don’t know about you, but I respect self-disclosure and find it to be powerful.

“‘Nuff said, Bill.”

You’re right, so let’s hear from JessiRae…

Top 3 Ways to Silence Your Inner Demons this Holiday Season (and Beyond!)

This year is the first in many I was able to go to Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s not that I was banned from family get-togethers. I just did not have it in me to be with my loved ones in the face of the terrible anxiety ascribed to feeling absolutely wanting in occupation, deficient of personal accomplishment, and dwarfed in conversation with people I liken to giants.

I barred myself from going under the false pretense of end-of-semester projects, work obligations (I actually went in on my day off), or the development of a feigned flu. It’s not that I didn’t want to see my family, it is that I could not live with the shame of myself and present it to them.

And then I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The symptoms listed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – a carbon copy of the grocery list of my life…

  • Problems with regulating emotions and thoughts
  • Impulsivity
  • Unstable romantic relationships, friendships, or family connections
  • Frantic reaction to abandonment
  • Distorted or unstable self-image
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Manic mood swings
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom
  • Inappropriate or intense anger
  • Feeling cut off from your own emotions

You get the picture.

When I sat down in front of my psychiatrist I wasn’t sure what to expect – I figured it was a mild case of depression, since depression is no stranger to my genetic lineage. But, no, it was something I was not expecting at all. And it scared me.

But then, it didn’t.

I finally had an answer to the chronic mood swings, rage, and debilitating sense of dread in all things. It was because of this diagnosis, and subsequent medical care, I allowed myself to receive; which gave me the strength to again be graced in the presence of my loved ones.

This holiday season can be different from the last if you can embrace how to be comfortable in your own skin, and accept those around you love you more than you love yourself.

I want desperately to pass on this peace to you, because I know what it is like to writhe underneath your skin. Without further ado, here are three things I wish I embraced sooner…

Accept Yourself

Until you can love yourself as you love the people in your family or your closest friends – you will not be able to look beyond the shadow of your doubts. You are the foundation of your support system. Lack of faith in yourself maligns every aspect of your life, and will undoubtedly hold you back from conquering all of the monuments you are meant to triumph.

Learning to love yourself for who you are right now does not eliminate the possibility of becoming who you wish yourself to be in the future. Loving yourself now does not signal the demise of growth to come. In fact, self-love will only foment this transformation.

Define Your Own Happiness

When you learn to love yourself, and are content within your own space, you again assume control of the events in your life. Don’t wait for happiness to drop itself on your lap! You have to seek it in the things you know you love – pursue it relentlessly in every passion you’ve ever entertained.

Creating environments conducive to growth must include cultivating happiness – the deficit of joy strips us of all wanting to embrace the next sunrise. Without joviality we are bereft hope, and without hope we cannot contend with the poison we speak to ourselves every day. Know you can create happiness by surrounding yourself with the people you love – they are not ashamed of you.

Rail Against Complacency

Do not allow yourself to become comfortable in misery. Stagnation is bred from complacency, and it is only when we anchor our resolve against the notions of ourselves that we are able to hoist above the pits of self-odium. Do not accept your life to be measured in self-proclaimed failure. Learn to celebrate your victories, be they small or large – and appreciate yourself for the beautiful spirit that has been neglected by her host. Love yourself the way you would love a kitten, and you will learn how to transform your energy entirely.

For me, seeing a professional was critical to embracing these measures, but you can start little by little implementing these things into your life every day.

How many holidays or family events have you stayed away purposefully?

That’ll Do It

Appreciate you, JessiRae. You’re so willing to share openly and honestly with us, and that makes your message relevant and powerful.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Eh, for many – maybe not (and that may well have included Andy Williams). But we can sure go a long way toward comfort and peace by silencing those inner demons of ours.

Hey! Would you like to review more Chipur titles? It’s easy as pie.