woman wearing grey sweater and black overall pants while holding brown bag

Read This If You’re Alone On Christmas

This is for you, but also for me.

The holidays are upon us once again, and with it, my recurrent, painful memories of a supposedly happy time of the year. I’ve listened to the world bemoan the prospect of isolation on Christmas. All I’ve responded with are a soft smile and some quiet words of encouragement because, for me, the idea of isolation on this classically joyous day is nothing new. I’m familiar with the pain of loneliness that so much of the world only just recently discovered this year.

You may not be, though. You may have a lot of different reasons for an unfamiliar holiday season this year.

You may not have a family to look forward to seeing this year. Maybe you experienced death or another form of tragedy in your family, and you now no longer have your familiar source of safety to convene with. Maybe you loved your family in the past, but recently, dramatic events fundamentally shifted your relationship with them. Maybe you no longer have a sacred space in your heart for your family because the traumatic occurrences of this calendar year, combined with your omnipresent, intrapersonal conflicts, affected your mental energy to such a significant degree.

These are all valid reasons. They don’t detract from you or your value. You are so worthy, so beautifully unique, and so capable of love.

You may not have friends to spend the holidays with this year. Maybe you felt, even within your dearest friend group, the inarguably detrimental effects of a consistent lack of intimacy caused by seemingly infinite days of social distancing. Maybe you experienced inconsolable rifts in your closest friendships due to persistent, interpersonal disagreements that were historically managed but are now erupted. Maybe you uncovered the heartbreaking fact that the friends who you thought would be there for you through thick and thin aren’t.

These are all valid reasons. They don’t detract from you or your value. You are so worthy, so beautifully unique, and so capable of love.

You may not have a significant other to share warmth with this year. Maybe you decided to end a long-term, problematic relationship and are searching for the individual, idiosyncratic spirit that you are outside of it. Maybe you have been unsuccessfully looking for someone to fill your emotional emptiness with, despite the fact that you know that you have to fill it yourself first. Maybe you experienced genuine, devastating heartbreak and are still yearning for the person that you thought that your ex-lover was (or at least could turn out to be).

These are all valid reasons. They don’t detract from you or your value. You are so worthy, so beautifully unique, and so capable of love.

Whatever the case may be, please remain gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best that you can. You’re giving it your all with the emotional tools that you currently have and the embattled experiences that you’ve gathered up to this point in your life. I, and so many other empathic souls, resonate with your troubles and are beside you in this trying time. You’ll be okay. We’ll be okay.

Read this if you’re alone on Christmas. I’m alone, too.

About the author
Justin is a physical therapist-turned-writer based in Chicago, IL. Follow Justin on Instagram or read more articles from Justin on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.

Related