Holiday hibernation

Christmas is coming in full speed and there is nothing better than transforming into a bipolar bear and hibernating from the whole world. This winter holiday is a great excuse to spend quality time with family and friends but sometimes it’s just way too much stimulation. If this is you, take a deep breath and remember that this isn’t your fault, and it’s most definitely not a failure! We all live life at our own pace and it’s not the rat race we’ve been raised to believe.

You see… the chatter, the laughter, the deep emotional conversations, and the potential triggers of familiar (and unwanted) faces can cause our heads to fall off our shoulders and bounce around like a rainbow coloured beach ball.

It shakes us up inside and causes a rush of anxiety and sometimes, for me at least, it invites a rave party of individual voices that debate amongst each other. Some of them tell me to leave, while the others argue how stupid and useless I am for being unable to “keep it together” like everyone else at the party. Even though I appear calm and composed, I’m breaking down from hosting the battlefield inside my head.

We’ve been taught to find a calm space to quiet our minds in these types of situations so we can take a deep breath and re-enter the party again if we feel ready to.

In my personal experience, it amplified my anxiety more often than not, but it’s a complete toss up! It can fuel my anxiety and the voices as well, who are really just impersonating my own thoughts. In one way or another, my rational mind dissolves into emotional thoughts like, “Dude… do you really need to make a scene out of this? You’re only asking for more attention. Oh, so you want pity then. You just want people to pity you. You’re such an attention whore.” Catch my drift?

On the contrary, I just need some peace and quiet at home with buttery popcorn and Netflix, and I’ve accepted that it is OK because I love myself as much as I love everyone else I’m at these holiday parties with.

If I’m going to attend these parties with people I care about, I’m also going to attend the party I throw for myself too, which is jamming in my p-jammies. All I ask of you this holiday season is to let go of the expectations to go to all the Christmas and New Years parties like everyone 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 year old somethin’ somethin’ should go to. Because you aren’t them and they aren’t you.

Remember: if you think you’ve got some pretty crappy skeletons in your closet just because you’re bipolar, look at the person next to you. They’ve probably got a bunch of secrets hidden in Santa’s big red sack too.

Afterall, Santa spends every day of the year judging our actions anyways but it doesn’t mean we all get lumps of coal. So hibernate away! I’ll be joining you from a distance and in complete holiday spirit. Fuzzy fleece Christmas pajamas and all.


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