Fri. Dec 6th, 2019

Anais ForReal

Straight No Chaser

Therapy Session 7: Reinventing Your Holidays After a Loss

3 min read
Photo by Ashley Lucia Torres on Reshot

Photo by Ashley Lucia Torres on Reshot

As I was driving to my 7th therapy session today, I flipped the radio station as I often do when some crappy auto-tuned nonsense that folks call music comes on. Today, I flipped the station, and it landed on Christmas music. I immediately changed the station, and I thought about how early it was for Christmas music. Christmas music is a sign that my least favorite time of the year is upon me.

Holidays for some are a time for family, food, and joy. However, I never particularly cared for this time of the year, even as a young child. Thanksgiving leads to my birthday, which leads to Christmas and then melancholy. Halloween is always the last great holiday of every year for me.

After the progress, I made last week with the dream, my six months of grieving, and six weeks of therapy I felt as if I was in a good place. I talked to the therapist about the good path I felt I was on, and how my fogginess related to the grief was finally over. I walked into this session feeling great based on those things.

We went on to discuss the good and bads of the week, which led me to talk about the holiday season. I mentioned how I never cared for the holidays after Halloween. “How would your ideal Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year look?” Once again, I was at a loss for a bit.

I thought about two of the best holidays I’ve had. Some of the better times were when my son was a little guy, and another was last Christmas. Last year I spent the holiday with my maternal family. They are just lovely and very fun-loving.

My reimagined holiday would involve my maternal family, if possible, spending time laughing, and generally enjoying each other’s company. Although it is too late to plan for it now, I would also love to spend my next Christmas in Key West.

Christmas reimagined this year will involve days spent on vacation getting reacquainted with an old love and building a new relationship with said acquaintance. So, I will be spending my time painting because it’s something I’ve always loved doing.

So many things that I am doing now is a part of finding my new normal, after the death of my father. The death of my father was also the death of the idea of what his family should have been but never was. So, my new normal involves me embracing something totally different, starting with the reinvention of the holiday and starting new traditions.

Instead of dreading the holidays as I did earlier today when I turned on the premature Christmas music, the therapy session opened my mind to seeing the holiday differently. Therapy has a way of giving you perspective and painting a different view of things.

Thanks to this therapist and giving me perspective, I will not spend this year bogged down with holiday melancholy as I have since childhood. Therapy may not be a lifesaver for me, but it certainly is a life improver.

If you are on a therapy journey, I would love to hear your story. Check me out on FB, IG, and Twitter. Until then, Happy Healing!

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