Celebrations | Coping | Daily Life | Events | Uncategorized
There are so many ways to fall into the pit of despair during the holiday season, for so many reasons. Like getting holiday cards from family and friends that show off their Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, while your card summary says things like “only shit myself a few times in public!” and “beat my record of hospital in-patient days by 10 this year!” Or all the food spread in front of you at parties on rich, laden platters of cheese and meat, cookies and fudges, that will absolutely send you running for the bathroom within minutes. And, let’s not forget those intrusive questions about whether you’ve tried infecting yourself with hookworms, or doing the newest juice cleanse to cure yourself of your inconvenient, unmentionable, and obviously only-in-your-head…IBD situation?
I’m fighting back this year. I’m reclaiming the joy of the holidays. I’m bedecking myself in the coziest warm and fluffy socks and PJs I can find, lighting up little corners of the house when I feel up to it, pacing my energy, sharing my laughter, and refusing to give into the competitive misery that threatens to pull us under.
Because when you’re sick, you measure your joys a little differently. It’s okay if your joys don’t involve weeklong trips to a tropical paradise, or even if you aren’t able to do all the things that you wanted. I’m going to be fulfilled by even the little things that I can do. That feeling is infectious (and no, I don’t mean like everything the kids bring home from daycare or school, little sticky-handed contagion vectors). Spread that joy far and wide! Shared joy at this time of year is a balm for the soul. You never know who else might be struggling, and sharing something that brightened your day could be the piece of holiday happiness someone else desperately needs. We all deserve joy.
We all have the capacity to find boundless magic and joy in the season around us. In the face of difficulty, illness, pain, loss, and grief, it may feel harder than ever to muster up those feelings. But they’ll be there for you when you’re ready. Those little candles in the windows. Those trees covered with morning frost. Those rays of sunshine after a week of grey. Those evenings by the fire with a blanket and a book. Savor them, seek them out. They’re food for what ails us, for sure.
So I’m making my list, and I hope you’ll join me too. Share your little and big joys. Accomplishments, laughs, jokes, moments to savor, brightness and hope. Anything that brings you those moments of magic in this season of darkness and light.
Kelly’s list of joys of the season, so far:
What joys can you share this year?