I don’t want this to be a Debbie Downer post but I feel the need to be honest and admit that Holiday’s and especially Christmas are hard for me since my brother passed away. I am a very positive person and annoyingly happy 99.9% of the time but I am also human and I have real emotions and moments of weakness. I like to act like I have it all together all the time but the truth is my life is far from perfect.
Christmas often brings added stress for me because I am the Manager of a 24/7 department at the Hospital and since Trevor passed away I have always worked Christmas morning. Yes I was helping out my department but in hindsight I think it was my way of coping, escaping and not actually facing Christmas? This year I did not have to work on Christmas and for the first time I think I allowed myself to be sad. Sad that I deeply missed my brother Trevor, sad that I wouldn’t be able to see my older brother and his family, sad that I didn’t have a family of my own like my siblings do, and sad that there is so much hype about this Holiday that so many people suffer through and have no family or gifts at all to look forward to. And then even more sad that I was feeling sorry for myself when so many people were in such worse situations than me!
I am not an emotional person at all so it was weird and humbling to me to feel and actually express real sadness. I always play the role of the listener, the fixer, the shoulder to cry on, the strong one that people go to for advice and comfort. I think I can fix anyone or anything but never really slow down enough from helping others to listen and reflect on my own feelings. I have never been good at expressing emotions and for the first time in a very long time I actually allowed myself to break down a little bit. I am not really sure where I’m going with this post and I know it’s getting overly wordy but I guess my point is that I learned that it is okay to be sad and that I should not feel guilty for expressing sadness. I only expressed to one person on Christmas Eve that I was feeling down (my sister through a text message) and then I felt incredibly guilty for bothering her with my silly problems. The last thing I wanted was for her to be concerned about me on what was one of the greatest days of the year for her and her family. I felt so much guilt for telling her how I was feeling. I went to bed on Christmas Eve feeling numb, empty, and sad. I missed my brother so much and wanted more than anything just to talk to him about how I was feeling.
Christmas morning came as it always does and although I was still feeling empty I woke up to a pup that licked my face and showered me with love. A Dad that hugged me and told me he loved me for no particular reason at all other than I think he could sense that I was feeling down and a Mom that was laughing and full of joy and Christmas spirit. The day I was dreading so much was so simple and yet so perfect and just what I needed. I was able to go running with a very good friend Christmas morning and I actually opened up to her about how I was feeling. This is something I never do so it felt good to actually just talk to someone I trusted. It was a perfect run and left me feeling thankful. By the end of Christmas day I was feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, happiness, and most importantly love. My family and friends went out of there way to make Christmas special for me and I felt so much comfort and love. It was so good for me to realize that so many people love and care about me. As I laid in bed Christmas night I realized that it is okay to feel sadness and that I am not always as independent as I think. It is okay to seek help, comfort, and advice from others and not always depend on myself for everything. I am definitely a work in progress as far as not feeling guilty about burdening others with my sorrows but I am making progress.
As the year draws to a close I am feeling grateful, thankful, and just so incredibly blessed in so many ways. I have an incredible family, a great job that I love, wonderful friends, and a healthy body that allows me to run each day. I am blessed!
Thank you to my many readers and friends (virtual & real) for following me throughout my crazy life and running journey and I hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas! The new year is upon us and I am wishing everyone good health, good fortune, a new PR, and most importantly lots of shiny new race medals. 🙂