Christmas – Not Always Easy (Caleb)

This time of year has always been a little hard for me.

Oh, sometimes it is okay. 

Sometimes I even like it. I enjoy walking in the forest when it’s fall, and the leaves are changing colour. I love it when the leaves have fallen, and the woods feel like a whole different place than they do in the spring or the summer. I like being outside in the rough weather, and it feels like you’ve got the whole world to yourself. Sometimes I even seek the ferocious kinetic energy of a shopping mall during shopping season!

As I grow older, I find myself becoming more fond of the idea of Christmas.

I miss spending time with my family. In my adult life, the number of Christmases I’ve been out of jail tallies less than the number of fingers on both hands, and that makes me feel even more alone. Jail is a tough enough place to spend Christmas but what is even worse is being out and not  feeling well enough to be with loved ones.

During my late teens and early twenties, I struggled to be with my friends and family during Christmas. 

My family does Christmas beautifully. Very traditional and we have stuck to our traditions faithfully. The same decorations that hang from the Christmas tree have been decorating trees now for decades. The same delicious treats that we’ve been eating for as long as I can remember. Chow mien chocolates and homemade poppycock. The same beautiful nativity sets adorn the same house we have lived in for decades.

But it wasn’t always easy.

During some dark and challenging times, I felt unwanted and alone. I used to make such a big deal out of everything!  I feel ridiculous. I was surrounded by people who love me, who wanted me there and by people who are thankful to know me.

But this time of year can be so hard for some of us. I’m doing a lot better in the past few years, but I remember even the last time I was at our house I only lasted a few hours before the darkness started to creep in. I had to leave. And though I had felt pretty good for most of the night, that feeling of relief when I went was real. Anxiety can come from the strangest places. Stare ye not into the abyss, right?

Please be patient loved ones. Loners can be hard to understand, and I know more often than not we probably make all of you wonder if we even want to be there or why we act as we do. It’s not about you. We love you. It’s something inside of us, some past hurt or something about the twinkling lights or happy songs that just make it seem hard and sometimes even unbearable.

But, it’s getting better every year. And I’m thankful for that.

Merry Christmas!

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