Regardless of the kind of pain you’re in, the holidays exacerbate the heartache. When I was single, I used to look at cuffing season as the time when that ugly monster known as jealousy would rear her head and I’d angrily scroll past pictures of happy couples drinking hot cocoa and wearing matching ugly sweaters to Christmas Eve dinner. When I first lost my mom, I scrolled past those photos with longing – longing to have a family again, longing for resolution, longing for a way to make the holidays feel important again.
Both take time. And a lot of anger. And a lot of patience.
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. The mall is already decked out in its tinseled garb. And there’s you: sitting there, wanting the entire holiday season to just end already.
I can’t pretend to know what hurt you. I can only assume that you’re hung up on a guy who promised you he’d call. I can only assume you’re feeling the loss of your first holiday season without someone you love – your grandma, your mom, dad, brother, or closest friend. I can only assume you’re left staring at the empty chair at the table or feeling the nostalgia over how differently things were 12 months ago.
I can only assume you’re going over the minute details of your breakup. Maybe you’re wondering if you did the right thing. Maybe you’re trying to understand how someone you love could have cheated on you. Maybe you’re trying to make sense out of your broken heart – whatever it may have been shattered from.
When you’re lost and feeling alone, hearing things that you should be thankful for feel like a knife to your gut. It’s impossible to be thankful when you’re broken. It’s impossible to feel gratitude when you’re shattered.
I don’t want you to be thankful for those experiences you’ve been through because the lesson hasn’t come out of it yet. Sure, six months from now, you’ll wake up with an epiphany that the guy you were wasting time on was a complete douche, undeserving of your time. Sure, a year from now, that empty seat won’t sting….as much. You will eventually get there. You will eventually muster up the strength to change the way you’re looking at something.
But right now, you can’t do that. It’s impossible – and that’s okay. Instead, just be thankful that you’re getting through it. Pat yourself on the back for your small victories because they’re actually big victories. Be thankful that you woke up this morning and decided to get a shower. Be thankful that you answered your text messages. Be thankful that you’re strong enough to get through the pain that permeates each day.
This holiday season can be a magical time of the year and consequently, the most difficult and tragic for those of us who are enduring a mangled heart. But, this time of year is for reflection. It’s about thinking of all the things we have; all the things we’re grateful for. The situation you endured may not be something you’re grateful to have happened. Trust me, I look at bad breakups that ended tragically and my mom’s passing as events I’d much rather go back in time and alter. But, I found strength through them. I learned what my capabilities are. I persevered, but not without the pain, and tears and utter misery that accompanied them.
And you will, too. Be thankful that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The holiday season may not be great for everyone, but try to remember that for however hard you have it this year, things could be better than you could imagine the following.
And if you’re wondering, those you lost are still somewhere with you this holiday season.
And that guy? Well, he’s a total douche monkey. Forget him.