The Christmas Conundrum

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care! The house is full of festive! The most amazing gifts await my little and the loves of my life. We’ve baked cookies, we’ve followed Elfonzo’s antics all month! We’ve given back to our community. We’ve visited twinkling light displays, chatted with Santa, done Christmas crafts, munched on themed Christmas food! I’ve watched Hallmark movies while sipping excessively festive hot chocolate. We’ve played Christmas music throughout the days. We have the most beautiful tree standing in our living room! We cut it down ourselves and decorated it with the most stunning vintage shiny brights! We’ve had indoor snowball fights, advent calendars, nothing has been missed.

I joked earlier in the month that Christmas is my Super Bowl and I’ve trained all year but today in the early morning quiet 6 days before Christmas it just doesn’t feel right. I wait all year for this month. I prep and plan, love every sugary sprinkle of detail and magic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited! The decorations make me smile. Jacob’s wonder and enchantment with Santa made me melt but I’m struggling internally.

As my best friend would say “That’s a you problem!”. She’s right, it is me! Everything is as perfect as I could of hoped (except the lack of snow but hello we live in Vancouver!) but yet it doesn’t even feel like Christmas to me.

This lack of Christmas feeling is really causing me to get into my own head. I feel guilty for not providing Jacob a magical holiday season. But then I look around and think wow he’s not going without. The logical part of my brain is telling me he truly isn’t. The PTSD ravaged part of my brain and my being is having a harder time accepting that.

I don’t know why I feel like this this year. Is it the trauma of how my job ended? The trauma of the abuse I endured at the hands of a person who had no business treating a nurse like a piece of garbage? Is it the cumulative effect of 5 years on pins and needles trying to make life work after the accident? Why am I so tired when I’m not currently working? Why can’t I shake these feelings? Why do I feel like nothing is good enough? That I’m not enough?

When I’m ok and logical I know the answer is because of the PTSD but a lot of the time the same PTSD takes away my ability to think clearly and logically. I’ve done my research both personally and professionally. I know that scientifically PTSD changes our brains. It changes the way we react to stress, triggers and it permanently changes the way our prefrontal cortex regulates emotion.

I guess I could laugh and tell you I’m not really a fan of how my newly scarred prefrontal cortex is doing things. I could continue to put on a smile and keep doing the things I use to love. The things I still love. The things that make my son smile. Continue holding on to the moment when he excitedly wraps his arms around my neck and tells me I’m “the best momma ever!”. But honestly I’m just here to admit it’s hard.

The last five years have been hard. The last 17 weeks have been a personal struggle, a journey of confusion.

So here’s to the words sung by the beautiful & immortal Judy Garland…..

“Someday soon we all will be together if the fates allow. Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow. So have yourself a Merry little Christmas now.”

Have Yourselves A Merry Little Christmas

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