Christmas is nearly here, and excitement is everywhere. People are rushing about for last minute presents. Families are preparing to gather. But for some of us the festive season is not a happy time and stress overrides any positive feelings.
Memories of past Christmases cross my mind and my body tenses. Without realizing it, I shut down to the world around me as I re-live the past. As the triggers are subconscious, the anxiety builds up before I notice it. If you are like me and wish you did not react this way, take heart, you are not alone. For many of us our reactions are not premeditated. Instead, they are our body’s reaction to past trauma and are perfectly normal. The important bit is that we realise what we are doing and work our way back to reality.
Let’s face it, we do not want to go back to who we were at the time of the trauma. I know that I am a different person now. It is not possible for me to return to my behaviour and thoughts of 30 years ago. The time between then and now is filled with different experiences, different relationships, and happier memories.
So, when you feel these physical reactions, don’t assume that you are back in that place again. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are a different person now and you can never fit in the dysfunction out of which you have grown.
Instead, find a place to relax, listen to soothing music, distance yourself from those things which trigger your stressors and remember who you are now. You have come a long way from that person who lived in the past. You have grown, you are different, and you are more like your true self.
After all, isn’t that what growth is all about, becoming more like us?
And, if you are in a stressful situation this Christmas, have the courage to seek help. There is always hope. You are worth it!
If you would like to chat, please message me.
In love, Jenny