Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mixed Feelings About Christmas

Going through a divorce and changing churches and remarrying and moving really messed me and my kids all up on family holiday traditions. Haven't been able to really get anything consistant going.

I also changed jobs along with the other changes--more than once, so building friendships has been very difficult. Thus, I have few non-family parties to go to.

My husband is also a loner for the most part so haven't been able to build couple's friendships either. One friend from church left the church suddenly. Another is now working 70 hr weeks and I believe I offended her so she ignores any overtures.

I'm also in a very wierd way caught between the black world and the white world. Hanging around black people so much at work and somewhat at church has made me no longer fit the white world very well, yet I'm not fully trusted and accepted in the black one either.

Being ADHD also can get in the way of friendships. I can be too frank and impulsive in what I say and too self-revealing. Scares people away.

I used to have a lot of friends in Alanon and we did fun things together, too. But when I remarried, my new DH didn't drink and making meetings became less of a necessity.I was also in a singles group where I was developing friends and that's where I met my DH which then took me out of the singles scene.

All the things that have gone wrong with my house, as well as having DS and DDIL and baby living in my house before that really put the kabosh on entertaining, though I was part of two church community groups in a row, both of which eventually fell apart. I did have them meet at my house sometimes.

Wierdly, the work I've done on myself in Alanon and in counseling and in reading tons of self-help books, as well as the work I've done bridging the gap between black and white, and the fact that I'm a much more independant thinking and behaving woman than most church women have all combined to make me not really fit in any group and to make it hard to find issues in common with other women. I can get by superficially but I haven't made deep friendships for a long time.

I tend to avoid really needy women because they bring out my own codependency issues and I get angry at them finally for not doing what they need to do to improve their lives. Other women are so busy rescuing the needy women that they have no time for relatively healthy friendships. They let these people suck up all their time and energy. I see so much of that in women in my church.

Also, so many events revolve around food and I think I've avoided those situations in order to keep from weighing even more than I eventually did.

I'm also uncomfortable in big group social settings--and that includes family ones. I invariably stick my foot in my mouth and end up over-eating to medicate my nerves and shut my mouth. When I was a kid I would take a book and read at family events. If kids wanted to play outside or run around inside and play actively, then I participated and had a good time.

I still will frequently find a relatively quiet place and talk to the one or two people who stop by, but I often wish I'd brought a book. So many people have nothing interesting to look at or read in their houses. Or they put it all away to straighten up the house for visitors.

At my daughter's on Christmas Day there is only one room for all the adults to be in, and it'll be crowded. I think I'll play with the kids except for when we're all together opening presents.

Christmas Eve won't be so bad. My sister-in-law's house has a room or two I can wander off to and get away from the crowd for a while. They'll also have booze, and booze, sad to say, does help. However, I never have more than two drinks. I really don't like the feeling of being even the least inebriated.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the holidays. We were so ultra-religious growing up that we spent a lot of that time in church. Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services. New Year's Eve and New Year's morning. Nobody drank at all but there was always food at family functions which occurred after church, mostly with my mom's family.

We didn't really believe in Santa, but we opened presents on Christmas Eve.So I look forward to but I also dread the holidays. I allow myself more freedom to medicate with food at parties and try to not eat the days before and after. I'm sure I'm not the only one with mixed feelings.

So I'm writing about it to acknowledge and hopefully deal with these issues at this time of year. But I mostly am concentrating on the good things.

Abe Lincoln said, "Most people are as happy as they want to be."

This holiday I'm trying to concentrate on the good things, the noble things, the pure things, the lovely things. There's a lot of brain research that shows if you want to change your life, you have to change your brain. To change your brain and create new ways of thinking you have to deliberately work on changing your thoughts. The Bible got that right 2000 years ago.

Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.