As I attempt to empty myself of me, I also turn off all distractions so they won’t influence how I think or feel. I want to see what comes out of my brain as I write with no other intentions except to regulate and track how I feel.

If I try to deny my feelings by blocking them out and distracting myself with something else, it just delays the process of healing. I end up seeking to fix my temporary displeasure, which ultimately causes a longer season of pain. I don’t want to continue on with this cycle any longer. I need a better plan, a better me.

All of these things take time. I have wasted a great deal of time trying to find shortcuts and quick fixes, but the end result isn’t as pretty as planned. Kind of like when I lost a bunch of weight but didn’t exercise, I ended up with a smaller frame but had excess skin and flab from not toning my muscles. These daily activities that will lead to change need to be worked out like a muscle if I want them to make a lasting impact.

If I were to get a quick fix for my problems, I may not appreciate or be grateful for whatever I end up with. Even though sometimes thinking of doing work seems like a major struggle, once I actually do the work I feel so much better about myself. Though some remedies take shortcuts and may lead you on a fast track to success, worldly success is not all that I am going after. I want inner peace and hope for the future. I don’t want to live a life of dread as I have been.

I used to ask myself what the remedy for dread was and concluded that it must be alcohol, which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth thinking about. If one uses alcohol to get by, we all know what can end up happening, so rationally I know it must not be the answer. The fact that I don’t drink also comes into play, because for one, I would be breaking the rules when it comes to my medication, and also, I would probably blackout and ruin the situation worse than if I would have just sucked it up and went.

As the holidays approach, the sense of dread I feel is more mental rather than physical. As a holiday gets closer, the waves of anxiety rush in; flashbacks of previous holidays, and dread I felt revisit. I don’t want it to be this way this year. I want to actually enjoy the holidays, and cherish the time I have with the people I love.

Since I have a touch phobia, this is one reason I start to dread any type of get together. It’s worse with the holidays because I have to interact with more people than a regular family event. Visions of unwanted entry hugs plague my mind, multiplied by the number of hugs I will have to give when I leave. Double hugs of dread!

Last year I didn’t even decorate, and completely skipped most of the holidays. This year I want to not only change my perspective for my family’s sake, but for myself. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not stressed about.

Looking beyond the commercialized aspects of holidays, and focusing on relationships and the unconditional love we should have for each other needs to be more paramount in my life.

The gifts will fade away over time, but the memories will remain. I want this year’s memories to be genuine, not a show. I want to truly enjoy the people around me with no stress. I want this life to be more of a song rather than a drag.

For the first time in a long time, I see all of these things as a possibility, and that, in my mind, is a very hopeful thought.

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