I don't remember a holiday dinner, though I must have made something for my family. I don't remember my children's joy... It's all blocked by my memory of that excruciating pain. I cried, I moaned, I raged...but mostly I howled with the overwhelming suffering I felt.
If that's where you are, please know something that I didn't know then: This suffering will pass. Not today. Not tomorrow. But soon.
In the meantime, this is NOT the year to dazzle everyone with a gourmet meal, fabulous decorations or getting together with anyone who isn't 110% your cheerleader in life. This is the time to turn inward, to tend to your wound, to cocoon.
And please know something else I didn't know. I thought this was bigger than I was. I thought this sort of emotional pain was simply more than I could bear. I honestly had moments when death seemed a viable option – when I simply couldn't imagine a day when I wouldn't be crippled by the hurt.
But the human spirit, even one that's barely breathing from being trampled on, is an amazingly strong and resilient thing. We've seen that in others. People who've survived unimaginable suffering who've risen from the ashes to live and love again. They're not special, they're human. Humans who understand that all we can do is just keep showing up and trusting that we can be better. Treat ourselves better. Insist that others treat us better. One step forward...toward healing.
May your holidays offer you a measure of joy (knowing that joy feeds on itself), peace and self-love.