Topic Tuesday: Holidays

“When Christmas Doesn’t Feel Merry” (By: Peggy Miller)

It’s almost Christmas, and it seems like the whole world is feeling happy and loved and content. If you’re not feeling this way, the holiday season can feel especially lonely and hard.

Maybe it’s your first holiday season in recovery, and you are feeling a lot of sadness for all the holidays you’ve spent in your eating disorder.

Maybe you’re feeling a lot of fear about family interactions and food situations based on past hurt.

Maybe it’s your first holiday without a loved one.

Maybe you just found out some very difficult news.

Maybe you are deep in a struggle with depression.

Maybe you are just feeling exhausted from all that this last year has held.

There are so many reasons that this holiday season could feel sad and hard. And on top of all of it, we tend to feel shame and guilt when we don’t feel what we think we should around the holidays.

Breathe, friend. You are not alone. Please let go of your feelings of guilt for the season you are going through. Let yourself feel the sadness and hurt and fear and all the feelings you think are bad to let yourself feel.

But also, please don’t let yourself believe that since you are going through a tough season you cannot also feel the joy that the holiday season holds. Maybe it won’t be the same as other years, and maybe you’ll only feel it in short glimpses, but a hard season can hold joy.

I’d like to encourage you to leave space for your sadness and also to look for joyful moments.

Maybe it’s the lights on a house you drive by.

Maybe it’s a hug from a little niece or nephew.

Maybe it’s a Christmas movie on a snowy night.

Maybe it’s a cup of coffee in the morning.

And my hope for you, is that by leaving space for all the things that this holiday season can hold, you would know some peace. Because it’s so okay if this holiday season looks different than any of yours before and anyone else’s holiday season.

About the Author

Peggy is a college student in Nashville, Tennessee, and hopes to one day become a therapist for eating disorders. She has struggled with some kind of mental illness for most of her life, and has struggled with anorexia for several years before choosing life and recovery by deciding to get treatment. She is passionate about recovery, and hopes to one day get to help a client find the freedom and hope that her treatment professionals helped her find. Peggy absolutely loves people, deep conversations, coffee, and most of all, Jesus. She aspires to show each and every person she meets that they are loved and worth immeasurably more than they can imagine.