It was Thanksgiving in the United States yesterday. People sat around their family dining tables and enjoyed one another’s company. People shared reasons why they were grateful and thankful. It was all roses and rainbows. But what happens when you’re not thankful? What happens when life happens and you are left with a bitter taste in your mouth? The holidays are hard enough, so how do you cope when you feel like you have to fake happy?
First, know that it is OK to not be grateful. You shouldn’t ever mute your feelings. I knew one woman who had a child die. She avoided going to a holiday gathering with her family because she felt like she couldn’t fake being in the holiday season. She shouldn’t have had to fake anything. People would have understood her disposition. Her family being around her would have been better for her mental and emotional health than isolating. I think we sometimes assume people will not understand our plight, but usually if we share what were going through- outsiders understand and can release more often than not.
If you have a bitter taste in your mouth this month, don’t try to hide it. Speak about the taste and why it is there. Talk through what is troubling you. Go to the events as yourself and ask family to let you bend their ears. Talk about life. Talk about the support you need. Talk about why you may feel jilted, distraught, or not like celebrating. Don’t avoid but do address.
If you want some added self-guided help, ask for it. I am offering my Burning the Candle at both ends program at a deep discount right now (less than $50) if you use the code ‘Holiday’ and I am always open to start in-person or Skype sessions with you.
Remember, sometimes opening up to others about our feelings helps us more than we think!