Hello Beautiful People,
Every year, I enter the holiday season with mixed emotions. For example, I am always ridiculously saddened by the thought of a year ending, but in the same breath, bouncing in my seat excited to see what the new year will bring.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I struggle with anxiety. Usually it comes in the form of worrying about random things until I feel like I can control whatever messed up scenario my brain has concocted at the moment and usually it is very morbid. Such as last night, my family was riding home after a lovely dinner with my grandparents. We had Christmas music blaring. We were singing off key and in order to keep my two-year-old awake for the 20-minute ride home, I had the lights on and was encouraging her to dance to the music just like mommy. Well, at one point during the merriment my brain decided to throw in this random gem “If we had a car crash right now, I’m glad this will be the kids last memory of me.”
Whoa. Right? Welcome to my mind.
Those random thoughts will sometimes just spike my anxiety for a few seconds or more often send me into a few spiraling minutes of obsessing over details, but there are times my anxiety stems from my own personality.
I write YA and love to read YA books (and more recently I’ve been enjoying a few “adult” paranormal novels). Everyone who has read the genre knows of at least one character who’s introverted. It seems to be a thing just like red haired girls and alpha males. Although, the introverted trope attached to many main characters sticks to the same “I’m a shy, loner who prefers books to people and hates being in crowds” theme who I’m sure many introverted people can relate to, it is not how I relate to being introverted.
Sure, I seriously do prefer books to 95% of humanity and I definitely can identify as a loner at times, but that is not who I am. There isn’t much that is “shy” about me. I’m quiet (until you get to know me) and I’m introspective, but I do know how to be in a crowd and will sometimes enjoy it - although how long I last before I’m ready to recede to my cave is another matter altogether.
My identity as an introvert stems from my desire to limit my time with people who don’t rank high on my importance scale and spend my limited social energy on those who truly matter to me. So here’s my Christmas dilemma… every year, I am excited for Christmas. For the family. The food. The presents. The joy on my kids (and nieces/ nephews) faces. It’s ALL super awesome. BUT I hate it all the same.
Christmas is just that time of year where everyone expects a large piece of your time/energy and you feel obliged to give it. It's the season for giving after-all. There is not enough “me time” to recharge so I can get back out there and be a smiling bundle of Christmas joy. Instead by the time Christmas rolls around, I’ve been pulled in so many directions and obligated to do so many activities that I am a veritable Grinch.
Which is another thing I hate.
So this year, I have been using my “say no if I really don’t want to” rule that I enforce throughout the rest of the year. It’s 8 days till Christmas and I’m still feeling Merry and excited for the many Christmas celebrations still waiting. It’s been a serious improvement on my mental health and I have even been able to sneak in quite a bit of writing time (unlike every December since I started writing in Junior High).
I hope I can keep this momentum going and if you struggle with anxiety or are just an introvert struggling to stay Merry this season – don’t overwhelm yourself and try (I know it’s hard) to let those worries roll off your shoulders.
Merry Christmas and Stay Awesome!