Let’s be honest; the holidays, on paper, should be a time of good food, fellowship gathering, laughter, happiness, and sheer joy. However, you and I both know that it’s more likely to be filled with dread, disaster, stress, and sadness. Having the tools and knowing how to prevent suicide this holiday season can be the most important skill set you ever learn.
Now I believe you have a choice. You can choose not to go to these family gatherings. It may feel like it’s not worth the headache but let’s consider a different option. Let’s look at ways you and I can flourish, not just survive these family holiday gatherings.
Diet – let’s be honest, how many times have you gone to a family holiday gathering and dreaded the food? No, I’m not talking about lousy cooking. I’m talking about you trying to live a particular lifestyle, and eating a certain way is going to help with that lifestyle. And you know, the second you say, “oh, I can’t eat that right now. I’m on a certain eating plan”, you’re going to get your balls busted. Suddenly the onslaught starts from everyone at the table “oh, aren’t you special,” “look who’s decided to change their lifestyle.” What do you do? You cave in and eat. Now you get resentment, frustration, and anger.
Well, my main suggestion would be to contact the people in charge of that event in advance and say, “Hey, just a heads up, I’m on a certain eating plan, so I’m either going to bring my food or here’s what I can’t eat.” Now they can or cannot agree with you. Who cares if you put parameters out there and state this is what will happen? No surprises, no headaches, no nothing. Now when they bust your balls, you can smile and be like you guys are a bunch of morons. I already told you all this, move on, and you take their power away in advance. Yes, I realize that you’re reading this going; you don’t know my family. You’re right. I don’t. However, one thing you can take away from this article is that you don’t have to put up with the nonsense that comes from other people’s mouths. Period!
Drama comes in many shapes and sizes. The drama I’m talking about is the drama of the family business. This person is divorcing this person, and this person is sleeping around on this person, blah blah blah. It is a black hole of negativity, and the misery wants to bring you in to be company. My main advice for this is stuff that I do every day when put in similar situations, tune out. You can look somebody in the eyes and not listen to a word they’re saying. If you are stuck having to listen to people’s nonsense and are unable to get up and leave, start to sing a song in your head, start to sit there and think about all the great things you have going on in life, thank God above that you are only related to these people, and you’re not living the life that they are living.
This is one of the worst ones of the bunch. Now I’m not going to talk about you drinking; I’m going to talk about others that are drinking. Almost every family has an aunt and uncle, mother, father, brother, or sister who, when they drink, become complete douchebags. I am going to say this from my own experience the moment that specific verbiage starts to happen or your eyes catch that the person that has a problem drinking has already begun and they are getting worse, leave. That’s right, I said leave because when drinking is involved, there’s no rational thought, no sensible words, and no rational behavior that’s going to stop the onslaught of stupidity that’s about to happen. You know I’m telling the truth; you’ve experienced and lived it.
Depression is not necessarily a trigger. Depression happens because of all the above crap that occurs in a social family gathering. Please remember that everything above that is happening is not about you. You can’t control other people’s words, actions, or behaviors. All you can do is be supportive of those who need support, ignore those who are being rude, and live the best life you can. I’m not saying that anything in this article is a perfect answer. The main reason for the article is wanting to show you you’re not alone and second that maybe these words will spark some insight into how you, the reader, can come up with solutions for the problems that pop up at family gatherings over the holidays.
Remember also that you have a choice if you want to attend these gatherings. Don’t let guilt force you into scenarios that you are not able at this time to create positive, healthy solutions for. They are your family. You’re stuck with them; however, that doesn’t mean your quality of life has to suffer. If this article helps you understand how to prevent suicide please consider sharing it with others. I hope you find ways to laugh, smile, giggle, and enjoy these holiday family moments.