The Ghost of Christmas Past

Last night I was in a bit of a hole. Not a deep one, more of a puddle.  I was slipping most of the day I was doing my best to ignore the negative voices, I went to church and tried and tried to concentrate on the sermon but I could not.  Everything was jumbled and I couldn”t make sence of it.  I know why- After the service my husband my best friend and my pastor were getting together to pray, in our mini but powerful prayer circle.   It happened last time we got together.  The Devil knows we were up to something and I was so agitated last time I shook all day.  Last night no so much shaking but garbled, and I felt my heart was breaking under the weight of brokeness, not only mine, but of some of those around me.  I came home cuddled my honey and went to sleep and I slept for a change.  I got up and could feel the weight of the day before slide off me.  I was light again, no garble, no heaviness.    My anxiety levels have been up, not to panic levels but anxious.  I think part of it is our trip coming up – things like –do the kids know what they need, did I buy enough Graval,  sunscreen, advil.  etc etc.  Packing issues.  I will take care of that this weekend and if we get there and don’t have it, well we will just buy it.

A friend asked me if I had made peace with Christmas.  To be honest it stumped me, I really didn’t know how to answer.  Will I miss my best friend, and Christmas eve Service.  absolutely they are always my favorite things.  Have I made peace with God over Christmas?   Yes– I paused before I wrote that – I don’t think I was angry with God over last Christmas, I didn’t know what was happening to me.  I didn’t know what caused the break down and what caused the deep hole I fell into.  I blamed it on everyone else my family, my Mother-in-law, the things I was involved with at church. etc etc. I had never thought about that before. but yes I did blame everyone else for how I was feeling cause I didn’t understand what was happening to me, and I thought I was losing my mind.  I was paranoid and frightened as I have never been before.  I still feel in some way I am running away from Christmas, but not God.  I am running away from the memories of desperation, darkness, fear,  and loneliness.   This year there is so much that I am not doing.  No cards, presents, tree, dinner.  It’s a relief to be away from the rush and rush of Christmas but I feel like I am being haunted by the ghost of Christmas past!  Sorry but the I couldn’t resist the Christmas comparison but it works!  Right now this week I am in a holding pattern of reoccurring events we do every year. This year we are finishing up our commitments and now starting to pack for our big trip.  I am ready to go now.  Have I made peace with Christmas the event, the traditions, and the things we do-no I am running away from it.  I am running away from the ghost of christmas past.  I am not running away from God.  God still has me in his hand, he is still protecting me, loving me, leading me, covering me over when I need a safe place to be. I believe in the Christmas story as fact; that Jesus did come as a baby the word becomes flesh.   It is becoming clear to me, I just can’t do the  “event”.

So today I pack for our trip next week.  My meds were adjusted this week so now I have been shaking again ugg! and the timing of them have been changed so hopefully that will sort its self out before we go. In the mean time I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas in the true meaning of celebrating the God Childs birthday.    …………………………..till next time


October: thinking of Christmas

I know — thinking of Christmas??? My family just booked a vacation to Mexico for Christmas break.  Just me my husband and kids.  No parents, in-laws, or any other family.  We will spend Christmas morning on a beach.  We have never done this and I am looking forward to the heat and break, and seeing the palm trees.  The last time I saw palm trees was 18 years ago.  So needless to say that I am looking forward to it.

A friend said to me “well you are going to miss the celebration of the birth of Jesus”  I said “ya but its something that everyone wants to do sometime take off for Christmas.”  Then the friend said ” True, but then again you were in a bad place last year you didn’t enjoy any of Christmas.”

I thought about last year, the breakdown I had, the deep depression I was in, the endless tears, fears, the darkness that surrounded me.  I hated Christmas last year.  Hate is a strong word but I was confused, I was scared, I truly thought I was going crazy.  When I sat in church and listened to the bible verses being read, it was like the they spoke another language.  I could not understand what they were saying.  On our Nativity night at the church where we dressed up as wise men etc. for the neighbourhood and sang christmas carols and read about the birth of Jesus, I was so angry that night.  To hear the elder read, made me want to put my hands over my ears and scream “Stop Stop, enough”.  I didn’t want to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth.  The lie had me convinced that I couldn’t believe it, and don’t listen to it.   That was last year.  This year when I had the discussion about my coming trip, I thought about Christmas Eve, how we would miss the evening candle light service; my favorite, and all the things we usually did to make Christmas special at home.  Then it hit me.  When we booked the trip and everything was said and done.  I was so relieved.  That was the feeling I felt.  Not excitement, not  “what an adventure”, I just felt relieved, like someone had taken a burden off my shoulders.  In my meditations this week it came to me;  Your running!  From what? From last year.  Last Christmas.

Running, I was in a lot of pain last year.  I suffered from panic attacks, deep depression, and paranoia.  I was being shadowed by darkness, in a way I had never experienced before, and it scared the crap out of me. This trip is going to take me away from all the usual events we do every year at Christmas.  Christmas Eve service and party at the neighbours.  Christmas day presents breakfast and coffee with kids and dinner with family.  Boxing day with the other side of the family.   December 27th is pajama day, no one gets dressed and lays around all day.  This year I was to host my side of the family Christmas and my in-laws on Boxing day.  Both events last year were very hard last year, I was so sad, and they thought I was being snobby.  They never figured that I was suffering from anything and I was too embarrassed to say anything.

So now what? What do I think of this revelation? I think its right.  I am running.  I can’t face the families, the services, the parties, the events that I couldn’t handle last year.  What am I afraid of?  I am better these days for the most part.  I have been feeling sad and lonely this week but nothing like before and I can talk myself out of it for the most part.  Being around a lot of people sometimes makes me anxious, but I am trying and sometimes I take my anxiety meds. or if I can, walk away and take a breather for a minute or two I can handle it.  Panic attacks are gone for the most part, the darkness seems to be leaving more and more.  Today it seemed closer but it’s still along way off.   I feel God is near me and I trust him completely to look after me.  I don’t feel crazy anymore.  I have adjusted to this illness and not so embarrassed anymore.  Does any of my extended family know-No but I will deal with that another time.  There are people you can tell you are going through depression, and there are people who don’t understand it at all, that is my extended family.  So ya I guess I am running.  I can’t face Christmas in Canada yet.  I can’t face family and Christmas church events yet.  The pain and brokeness from last year is too fresh.  I have come along way baby ( sorry couldn’t resist the line) but  in some ways I feel I haven’t come far enough.

So this year I will try to have some Christmas traditions in Mexico.  I am sure we can create some new ones and maybe we can find a church service on Christmas morning.  I think it maybe a time of healing and maybe next year I can cope better.

All with Gods help cause truly I can do nothing by myself. Through God there is healing. Through God there is hope.  Through God there is life.