Let’s take a break here and this week, talk about what is going on for us all currently, because we all know it has been an emotional roller coaster.
First, I’ll start by saying that these last few months have been WEIRD! This is the first time in my 29 years of life that I did not spend Thanksgiving with my family at my grandma’s house. My grandma canceled her usual Thanksgiving meal because of Covid. My husband’s grandma decided to still have hers, so we planned on going to that. However, my husband woke up Thanksgiving morning and said he wasn’t feeling well. Sure enough, he tested positive for Covid. He stayed up in our bedroom isolated for almost ten days. He had every symptom possible and it made for a rough and scary week for both of us. Thankfully, he is doing great now!
Fast forward ahead to Christmas time: It’s in two days! It feels like we were just in March, trying to figure out how we were going to get through the pandemic and now here we are nine months later. The time goes by so fast and while this year has been crazy, I have loved everyone’s ability to keep pushing forward, one day at a time.
Usually for Christmas, we have a million parties to go to. Work parties, three parties on my side of the family and two on my husband’s side of the family. This year, though, things look so much different. Both of our extended families have canceled our usual Christmas celebrations. We won’t be waking up on Christmas morning running from house to house to see everyone. We won’t be spending Christmas Eve with my grandparents as I’ve done every Christmas Eve for the last 29 years.
Instead, we are having small gatherings with only our immediate family. Don’t get me wrong, that in itself is an incredible time that we are greatly looking forward to, but it is definitely a change of pace.
Maybe it’ll be nice, though. A little less chaos running from house to house; wondering if we spent enough time with everyone; wondering if we stayed at each party long enough; being exhausted by the time we get home. Maybe the calmness of less rushing around will be a good thing.
My daughter is two now and is actually understanding what Christmas is. She has been so excited for Santa to come. We’ve been doing Christmas crafts every day, singing Christmas songs, driving around to see Christmas lights from our car windows. I’ve been doing everything I can to make her feel the holiday joy and spirit that I always did as a child, in spite of the weird time we are currently living in. Thankfully, she is too young to know otherwise.
I wanted to share this little bit of information this week just because I feel like it is important for everyone to know that it is okay that things are different this year. It’s weird and sad and confusing and scary, but like I said, here we are nine months into this pandemic, still pushing through.
My heart goes out to the families of those who have been greatly affected by Covid; those who have lost a love one; those who have been suffering in hospital beds alone. My heart breaks for those in nursing homes and long term care centers where they have not been able to see their families. I am forever grateful to all the medical staff working day and night to provide the best possible care for these patients.
One of the many reasons I went into mental health is because I am always amazed at the will people have to keep going. When life gets hard, and we all know it has been a special kind of hell this year, people continue to get up and strive for greatness. Even my patients who have been hit so incredibly hard by this pandemic, learning to cope with a mental illness while dealing with a pandemic, have proven to me time and time again their strength and hope.
Please enjoy this holiday season. Make new traditions. Breathe. Remember that you are loved and that we will get through this.
If you are struggling with depressive symptoms, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide, please reach out to me, a friend, a family member. You are not alone and I promise you, I will help you get through this incredibly unpredictable time. You are worth it.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!