I am going to be careful as to not ruin a new year's post, but Christmas seemed to bring out it's own so I'll roll with it.
This Christmas is different for a vast number of reasons. Different is both good and bad. Different is good in the sense that it's not the same, but in that same sense, it's not the same and that can bring sadness. Last Christmas was a Christmas of tiptoeing and of turbulence. It was an anxiety fueled holiday for multiple gigantic, bone crushing what-ifs & dreadful anticipations. Last Christmas held a heavy weight on our shoulders because we wanted it to be everything and more, just in case it was the last as an entire family. & it was.
The last holiday I spent with my favorite person on the planet was Christmas. My head knew it was going to be true, but my heart wouldn't accept it. Going into this holiday I felt a different weight in my heart. I am where I am in the grieving process and that's different than most of my family. I am not at a place where I can only laugh in her memory, it still hurts too much. But for you, grandma, I am trying.
This year I am opening my heart. I am trying to live out traditions and be with family even though I don't feel my Christmas joy to the level I typically do. I have been focusing on myself and all that this last year has done to me. This means I have been out of work so I was unable to get gifts and we all know that is my favorite part. I was down and felt inadequate. Embarrassed and insecure of where I currently am in life I made a joke out of awkwardness. I stated that this year my gift to everyone is my health. Then I stopped and thought about it for a moment. Yes, this is the greatest gift I could give myself and to everyone in my world around me.
Last Christmas I wasn't fully present. I was dying from the inside out and the outside in. I felt as dead, dark and cold & numb as the ice and painful cold outside. I was falling apart bit by bit. I was weight suppressed. I was scattered and frazzled and running on fumes. I was shattering like a sheet of glass dropped so carelessly on the pavement. But I was also in denial. Let's get back to the good stuff though. This year I am not exactly where I'd like to be; let's face it, its going to take more time than I would like to heal and put myself back together. But I am no longer below ground waiting for someone to toss the dirt over me.
I am not standing tall just yet, but I am starting to believe that I can. If you know me you know I've cycled through health and relapse. You know I've stayed healthy for a great deal of time in my timeline. But this, this is different. Right now I am healthy. I am healthy in a way I have never experienced. I am healthy without any negative people or vices or secrets still hooked within me. I am healthy with the full ability to truly, wholly, completely, move onward. This is a blessing and all I've wanted even the possibility for. I have put myself out there in ways typically unspeakable to me. In embarrassing, pathetic, pitiful, excruciating ways have I put myself out there in the hopes that maybe it will lighten this heavy heart within me. Though many days I've regretted it, my goodness has is helped me. There's more light, though it's dim. I never thought it would exist again let alone shine brighter.
Doing all this work has allowed me to let go of toxic energy I didn't realize I had. Letting go of negative and unhealthy people has allowed me to love differently, honestly, truly. It's allowed people to be close to me again. I have true friends again. My interactions are genuine and authentic instead of fearful and calculated. My relationships with family are thriving. They are hopeful and eager. They are proud. But mostly the gift this year to myself is me. I may not be quite there yet, but with the right guidance I know I can continue to discover and uncover & become myself again. Maybe even truly for the first time. To have even a second of being me, it's the most incredible gift every damn time.
I miss my grandma this Christmas and every day, but I'd like to think this is her gift to me, too. The gift of getting back to living. Really living. Moving through it all so I can move forward someday. This is my Christmas ramble, who knows if it made any sense. What I know now is that I've felt every emotion on the spectrum this holiday season, and my favorite is Joy. Til next holiday season, may I remind myself to find and see the joy. It's a process.
Morgan Rae Brown is a deep thinker that writes directly from her soul.