As the holiday season has officially kicked off in the United States, I am just feeling this need to write about something that so many of us forget about on a daily basis.
Being someone who has suffered from seasonal depression for years, especially since the death of my brother but more intensely the last couple of years, I am finding positive relationships to be so important in my life. So many of us, myself included, will often posts memes on Facebook about how we need to get rid of the people who drain us, ditch the negativity of others and set boundaries for ourselves. All of these things are important.
Just as important though is making sure we surround ourselves with those who bring positive energy into our lives. Those friends who will be present with us. Those people who support us and encourage us to be our best. People who want us to succeed.
As I think about this holiday season, I am finding the seasonal depression I had last year, while trying to knock on my front door, hasn’t hit me. Personally, I am hoping it stays away after how I felt last year.
There are a few different things helping to keep my emotions more grounded this year. One thing is the fact that while, yes, it can still be lonely at the holidays when your family is a mere few hours away but won’t welcome you into their homes…I am in a much better place with their decision to reject and exclude me. I recognize that no matter what they may say or do with regards to disagreeing with my need to transition, their reaction to me is about them…not me.
Another piece is the wedding coming up next weekend. Knowing that my aunt and uncle support me and want me at my cousin’s wedding really does help tremendously. Also, getting to see my sister for the wedding and having her stay at my place means the world too.
Lastly, are the relationships I have built with so many of you.
I have written before about how I don’t have a ton of really close friends in RL who I can see frequently. Between my crazy work hours and all of my friends here locally being married with kids, its just hard to get together. But so many of you…despite people calling SL just some game, have had a powerful influence on me and during this holiday season, that is huge.
Whether its been Ryanna checking up on me, even when she is with her family… Or Sady reaching out and giving me her RL phone number just in case I ever need a shoulder… Or Adalynne and Raven who constantly check up on me via our group chat on Facebook… Or Rina making me laugh and sending me pictures of her kids all the time… Or Trouble arguing with me about his name just for a laugh and to be a pain in my ass… Or Nat G and our Friendsgiving Dinner via Skype… Or Hogan, Kath and Toxie who helped walk me through that first weekend of showing the world the real me, standing beside me and always just checking on me. Its hard to be depressed when people like these won’t let you be down.
And then there is Claire.
Claire and I met randomly a couple of months ago and since meeting her, she has been a great support to me. On days when I was struggling to get a blog post together, she was kicking my butt to make sure I got my posts done. When I’ve had a hard day, she has known when to just be there and when to push me to open up. Having said all that, I hope I have been able to give the same to her because whether she knows it or not, she is truly helping to make this holiday season better considering everything that has been going on.
So yeah…I didn’t write a ton about what I was grateful for this Thanksgiving and a large part of that was because I was so focused on getting some things straight in my RL. But as I think about what I am most grateful for this holiday season…
Its my friends who support me, encourage and respect me. The friends who only hope for change in me if it will make me a better and stronger person. Its my friends who love me and accept me as me.
I mean, isn’t that ultimately what we all want…not just on Christmas Day, but everyday?
See it on Flickr.
Luane’s World – Walk Beside Me – BFF Series
Optional Prop – Taxi
holiday garland bottom arc . flocked
holiday wreath . flocked
Soho Build -snow version-
BACKDROP – Dickens Street