The holidays are almost upon us. Once more images of dinner parties and happy people grace our screens and papers. And as a result the societal expectations can feel sky high in the December month. Something that can make anyone anxious, but can feel especially taxing when normal life is already a challenge.
The not so good feels
As I’ve said before, Christmas used to be my favourite holiday. The lights, candles, music, Christmas movies and the get-togethers. I loved it. However in this new normal, Christmas -and the surrounding days- have turned into a minefield of preventing sensory overload. All those twinkling lights, the (loud) Christmas songs that are playing everywhere and all the social gatherings you have get to attend.
This all makes it a form of art to find a balance between taking care of yourself and focussing on how your body reacts, while trying to participate in all the festivities.
For me this often led to me ending the holidays feeling guilty and broken. Guilt because people would go out of their way to accommodate to my need and still it would be too much for my brain to handle. Broken as I just want to be my old self again. To feel carefree and to just enjoy things without worrying about how everything affects my energy level.
A change in perspective
It took some time, but I now realize that these kind of thoughts and feelings are my insecurities. I feel like I am a burden which leads to guilt. I feel like I’m less than before, which leads to feeling broken. And both of these arise from feelings of insecurity. Insecure about being good enough with my disabilities.
Having these kinds of thoughts and feelings is of course completely normal. But identifying with them is another cup of tea. When you start to believe them to be true. I might feel less, but that doesn’t mean that I’m less. I try to be very mindful of these this distinction, nevertheless I still struggle with it at times.
Life can be hard when you feel different. When you feel alone because the people around you can’t understand what you’re going through. Or when you feel guilty because you feel like everyone is always adapting to your needs. But how would the situation be if the tables were turned? Chances are you wouldn’t mind to change your plans so a close friend or relative can enjoy them as well. If someone would tell me that they feel broken or guilty for having an illness, disability or something else, I hope I can just listen and try to show them that I see things differently. So why would I treat myself any different?
A conscious effort
This year I’m going to make a change. I’m going to try to let go of my insecurities and even came up with a plan. Or plan, more like an action. I recently discover the song ‘This is me’ from ‘The greatest showman’ and this is going to be my new fight song. Every time I notice that I start to doubt my worthiness or start to blame me for being me during the holidays, I’ll listen to this song. To remind myself that I am allowed to be me, with disabilities and all. I have a right to be me. Hopefully it can remind you of your worthiness as well. You are worthy, just the way you are