Oh hush. I know you miss me.
Anyway, wonderful human and good friend Jaggy responded with a great, personal post about Christmas and what she has learnt about in the year between this one and the last.
My amazing friend S.M. Carrière was looking for guest posts to fill her blog over the holiday season. I figured since I've never done a guest post before, it was time to give it a go!
Today I'll be talking about Christmas time and what it means to me. Though, it is a season that I both love and hate. And to explain that, I have to talk a little bit about the lead up to the holidays.
Many in my family were born in November, meaning that the holidays is always a financially difficult time. It is a time that puts me into chaos because I'm one of those November babies.
Another reason I tend to fret about the holidays is because I write for video games media. As such, there are innumerable article possibilities and there are copious amounts of Steam sales. Christmas time also marks the time of countless arbitrary video game award ceremonies. What that means is, as a person in the media, I have the option to write about these things. Video games media doesn't stop for the holidays...
The reasons I listed the above things demonstrates only part of why Christmas is stressful. Last year was honestly the tipping point. I was in the lowest slump ever, but what I learned from the chaos caused me to realize a very important lesson. It is that lesson that I hope to impart to you readers.
To briefly recap last year at Christmas time, the relationship I was in, crumbled for reasons I still don't understand. To make matters worse, it ended the same way the most recent previous couple of relationships ended. I was ghosted. Another thing about that time was that I thought I had a serious health issue, which scared me more than anything, and as a result, I descended into the worst mental state I've ever been in. If that wasn't enough, it was around that time that my coaching group ended rather abruptly, causing me to feel lost and unfocused. And finally, my regular writing outlet was not continuing in the format I had been accustomed to. Basically, my life had spiralled out of control.
After erecting the biggest emotional wall of my life, I decided to write something that I didn't talk about or publish until a couple months later. My blog page ended up being my only outlet, since I couldn't focus on my novels or on video game news. Up until that point, I had managed to write a post every week, worked on my novel regularly, and wrote daily articles. Every week I was an admin for some online tournaments. All of this crashed. I had to find a way to keep myself stable, but by Christmas time, I was a wreck and I retreated.
Writing was the only thing I had left and so I wrote, though, I did not want to be a Debbie Downer. Instead, I pulled myself out of the horrible mental state I was in and wrote how I managed to turn life around. This blog post was actually the last 'blog' post I wrote, and the focal point was for people to recognize that feeling sad, alone, and worthless are just temporary emotions. Things can change. Good can happen out of a mountain of bad. And I was crawling my way out of my deep hole.
This year, everything changed. My outlook on life changed, my outlook on the world changed, my ability to have more compassion for people has exponentially increased, and I am finally in a decent place. As a result, I've approached Christmas time differently. Somehow, I haven't felt stress or dread, and I actually feel happy for once.
It took surrounding myself with certain people who constantly remind me that I deserve as much love and respect as I give others. And bear in mind that a large majority of these people are online friends but they aren't the only ones who impacted me.
Here's what I learned: a family member reminded me that I should never be ashamed to smile. Another friend saw me on a day I was having a complete breakdown and he reminded me that I'm loved – regardless of what the issue was. (What's interesting is I have no idea if he knows how much that one statement meant.) Another person has really changed my life and not by forcing me to do anything specific. He let me be me without judgment. It's hard to explain why or how, but every single day I feel more connected to that person, because he's always been there – even at my lowest points.
With all of that said, I'd like to remind you to take this holiday season to reflect on the important things in your life like family, friends, food in your stomach, roofs over your head, and most importantly loving who you are. And if you already do have those things, then the best gift any of us could ever give is hope and love that things will always find a way to get better. Sometimes that reminder is all it takes.
I'll leave you with a song done by my favourite artist of all time, The Cruxshadows. Every year Rogue, the lead singer, puts together a Christmas song that people can download either for free or they can donate as much money as they would like. If you are interested in checking out the variety of Christmas songs they've released, the website can be found here.
Every year I listen to this song and I find it is the most important message I've ever heard. This is 'Tabhartas De', my favourite Christmas song by The Cruxshadows. I hope you like it. (And yes, I realize it's not a style of music people tend to listen to. Officially they are classified as 'Synth-pop, Dark Wave, or Gothic Rock' depending on which songs you listen to.