Christmas: It’s Okay To Be Sad

Hospital_Inpatient_Psychiatric_Mental_Illness_Health_psychology_Christmas_Tree_Merry_Christmas

One of the hospital’s many Christmas trees.

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting in my hospital bedroom typing this post. I was admitted one and a half weeks ago, and in that time I’ve made many positive changes.

I’m well again. I can think clearly. I can make decisions in line with my values. I’m talking, not avoiding. Life is back on track, but I’m sad.

It’s Christmas tomorrow. For me the day has no religious significance, although I do understand it has significance for some. It’s a day I’d usually spend with family or friends. We’d make delicious Christmas food, eat until we were full, and spend the day relaxing, laughing, and playing.

This year is different. This year I’m spending the day in hospital. A couple of friends will visit in the afternoon, but the rest of the day will be quiet and low key. No plans aside from taking my medication, chatting to nursing staff, eating the delicious food the kitchen staff prepare, and resting.

There’s no escaping the sadness that lingers. Complex family dynamics mean that I won’t be spending the day with the family members I adore. We celebrated Christmas last weekend, and did all the gift giving then. It was enjoyable. I enjoyed playing with my nephews, and spending time with other family members, but Christmas Day?

There’s sadness. I’m satisfied with the decisions I’ve made about how to spend Christmas day. I understand my choices, and family members support them, but I’m still sad.

I’m not the only one though. So many of my fellow patients are struggling with Christmas. There’s a huge expectation to present as being happy and well, even when you’re not. I won’t doing that this year.

I’m feeling sad about the holiday. I know that, and I’m okay with that. I know I need to sit with the emotions, and not run from, or avoid them. It’s okay to be sad. Feelings are valid. I’m choosing to spend the remainder of Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day being kind to myself, and treating myself with respect.

What will it looks like? This afternoon I’ll curl up in bed and watch a movie I enjoy. I’ll eat dinner, and chat with other patients, then spend the evening quietly reflecting on the day – sitting with the emotions, and exploring them gently.

I will treat myself with understanding, compassion, and respect. I hope that you will also be able to do that for yourself.

Merry Christmas.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Christmas: It’s Okay To Be Sad

  1. Thank you for sharing this post. It gives me comfort even though I wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas because I’m Jewish. I will be by myself and have recently been going through upheaval again. May the day and year ahead bring balance, insight and healing xx

  2. Im sorry to read that you are in hospital but I am glad you feel ok about it and I hope you had a lovely christmas even though you werent with the usual people this year. XX merry christmas.

  3. Pingback: Choosing To Spend Christmas Alone | Life as a Committee

Leave your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s