My Christmas Traditions

While not everyone celebrates Christmas, most religions and spiritualities celebrate a winter holiday right around Christmas (which is right after the winter solstice). Everyone celebrates this time of year differently. Because of that, I wanted to outline my Christmas traditions a bit more so you will know better what to expect from my Blogmas posts – but first, I want to share some traditions I’ve heard about through the years. (Check out my Blogmas Kickoff so you know a bit more of what to expect from me.)

For anyone not familiar: Christmas Day is December 25th, and the winter solstice is right around December 21st (it’s the shortest day of the year so it changes a little).

christmas 2015 signed

Christmas 2015 pictures

 

Traditions I Know About

Two of my friends celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Their mom is Christian, their dad is Jewish, so they do both! I thought it was really cool that they were able to come to that agreement and that it worked out so well for them. I also love how unique their holiday season is!

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Valentine’s Day: The Day to Celebrate Love

I love holidays, all holidays! My mom always made a big deal out of them when I was a kid: the entire dining room would get completely decorated (every bit), and there would be other small decorations scattered about the house; there would be some sort of present, even just small little goodies like some candy or fun socks, to open with breakfast; even special meals, like green eggs at St. Patrick’s Day or pink pancakes for dinner on Valentine’s Day. The holidays were some of my favorite times, and not just because I was a kid getting presents. Each holiday was special, just the excitement of family time! (Every time I test for my “love language” I flip flop between being word based and action/quality time based. ) My family would play games or watch movies together, and I loved that. Because the holidays were always so special to me, I do my best to continue the celebrations now that I have my own house and husband!

valentine-594389_1920

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A Different and Deep Depression

Looking on the “Insights” tab of my stats, it’s clear to see how little I’ve been posting. It’s also extremely clear when you look through my archive. I was looking through my archive the other day, because I’m planning out a blog overhaul (keep an eye out for changes!), and made a startling realization: my posting frequency dropped off significantly with the passing of my grandmother.

Grama and I were extremely close. She was, by far, my closest relative. Since then, I’ve been having an odd kind of identity crisis. I’ve also been struggling with a deep and different kind of depression than I’m used to… I’m used to depression, I’ve been struggling with it for most of my life, but this is somehow completely different. I didn’t even really realize that it was happening until I made the realization about my blog posting and started thinking about it.

wedding us with g&g square

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My New “Niece”

One of my best friends just had her second little girl yesterday! I’ve know K.C (the mommy) since I was 14, and we’ve been very close ever since. I am so very excited for her! I am doing everything I can to figure out my health enough so that I can hopefully go visit her at the end of July, because she lives in another state.

chism family

(watermark is purposefully very intrusive so you cannot steal the adorableness)

At least they’re one little burst of sunshine in this horrible pain cycle I’ve been stuck in!!!! I’m so happy! I cannot wait to go see them all again, it’s been far too long and her older daughter has grown so much!!!!

Obviously, I put “niece” in quotes in the title because K.C and I aren’t related by blood. However, since we’ve known each other so long, and we’re so close, we do think of each other as sisters. She does consider me to be an aunt to her daughters and I will think of her as an aunt to my children when I have them ❤ I love her and her little family and I just wish they were so much closer so I could spoil them as much as I want to!!!

Update About “Internal Struggle”

Previous Post: Internal Struggle

My mom decided to unfollow my blog. She wasn’t upset, but she didn’t want me to feel like I needed to hold back. While I’m kind of relieved, because now I can be completely honest without stressing about the tenuous relationship I have with my family… I’m unsure about how communication is going to work regarding my illnesses and such now. Oh well, I guess we’ll see. Maybe now we’ll actually talk.

I do have a post I’m trying to figure out how to structure. It might turn into a series of posts. Recently, I’ve been struggling at coming to terms with my Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) (potential EDS). Why have I been struggling? Because it’s a condition I was born with and that means I have had it my entire life. Why is that a struggle? Because I didn’t get diagnosed until just recently, even though I’ve had symptoms and very definitive signs my entire life. Yeah. So I’m trying to figure out how to structure the post/series properly and how to make it informative and therapeutic. It’s been a major part of my thinking lately, which is why I haven’t really been posting.

Well, I also haven’t been posting much because I’ve been in a pain and Tramadol induced haze for the past several days due to my back. Stupid back.

Hopefully, things will start to come together soon.

Internal Struggle

Part of my extended absence has been due to a massive internal struggle I’ve been dealing with.

I started this blog, in part, to journal about all the aspects of my illnesses. This includes all of the aspects of my physical symptoms AND my mental symptoms. This journaling is to help me deal with what is going on in my life, and to help anyone else that is struggling not to feel as alone.

Now, where is the struggle? Well, I have found myself holding back and not being completely honest with you. I’ve been leaving things out, under-telling symptoms, playing down physical symptoms, and just not touching on the mental aspect at all.

Why?

The answer to the why is where the struggle comes in.

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Little Pieces – Graduation

12901538_10154706395515898_1444598571851996100_oThe death of my grandmother has left a massive void in my life. There were many milestones I never imagined my grandmother missing. Some, I naturally realized she wouldn’t be around for, but others I just assumed she’d be there for.

Right now, I find myself struggling the most with my upcoming graduation. I always assumed Grama would be able to attend my college graduation, and I was already struggling with the fact that she wouldn’t be able to physically be in Colorado for it… but I figured I’d be able to call her that day and be all excited and be like “Oh my gosh I did it!” and then show her pictures and video and my diploma. At least I’d gotten a chance to tell her I’d officially applied and been accepted to graduate and the date, but that is it. She hadn’t even gotten to see a picture of the cap and gown.

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Sometimes Simple Explanations are Best

Yes, it’s from PBS Kids. I did have an odd time accepting that I was getting information from a site designed for kids, which I told Dan. However, Dan read through parts of the site, and said that it definitely wasn’t “childish” in any way. It really is a site with good information, and it seems to have really helped me process some things.

PBS Kids: Accepting Death

I read through all the relevant portions of this site before bed the other night, and woke up feeling a little better. At night (as you sleep), your brain does work through things at a subconscious level.

Today, however, I am having a little bit of a rougher time. I had a really odd dream. We picked up my grandparents (both of them) and we were taking them to my parents’ house for a party. Tons of people were there: my whole family, all our friends, people I can’t remember now that I’m awake. Once we got to the house, no one could seem to get Grama out of the car. She was also shrinking and was really fragile. I finally crawled into the car and managed to squirm myself under her and then carefully shuffled out of the car and we got her into a wheelchair, but she was tiny and almost just skin and bones. It was really odd. Then I got called into the house. Suddenly, people were disappearing. I went back to find my family members and they were gone, then my friends were gone. I was panicked and suddenly I was all on my own. I was standing in my parents’ backyard (but of course, it was just a little off) surrounded by lots of giant, loud frogs and wondering why I was suddenly all alone. Then I woke up.

Obviously, that dream is full of potential symbolism. I can definitely see why it made me a little emotionally shakey. Overall, however, I’m definitely doing better than I was a few days ago. I have a better grasp on how I’m feeling now, and I can slowly start to tackle my emotions one small piece at a time.

Intimate Link Between Body and Brain

It’s interesting how, in this time of intense emotional pain, the link between brain and body can be so tangible. I’m in intense emotional pain and it’s messing with my body. I’m getting random aches and pains that shouldn’t be happening, my IBS is acting up (which is definitely something that can be emotionally triggered), and even then I know my headache medication is working I’ve suddenly gotten a bad headache going again. Ugh. Maybe my brain knows I can kind if handle physical pain and is trying to “help” by making it more “manageable” or something? I don’t know. But the link is interesting to notice.