written by Robyn Delion
The beginning of the end is only the end of the beginning. To elaborate, the end of 2016 comes with the resurfacing of the beginning. The beginning which we had hoped and wished great things upon the year before. However, much of this year has been struck with misfortune and the painful antics of reality. Don’t get me wrong, so many great things have happened this year, but I think we can collectively agree that 2016 has seemed like an eternal struggle. Attempting to ignore the nationwide political, social, economical tension and its distress on one’s mental and emotional state in order to be somewhat amicable for the holidays is trying. The year has shocked us with newsworthy events, affecting the world just as much as it has affected people. Speaking from experience, I know that 2016 has significantly impacted my physical, mental, and emotional well-being in many ways. I can confidently say that if I were to ask if anyone has ever felt personally victimized by 2016, more than just my hand would go up. Years before my generation entered 2016, we thought Regina George was the sole terrorist of joy and confidence of our youth. Sadly, years later, we would be proven that life is hardly like the movies. Today, we wish Regina George was our only fear. Real life comes with a different script, with a new plot and an unpredictable future.
Unbeknown to many, my year was brimming with much more conflict than I had hoped for considering I had been going through some tough circumstances that would be too lengthy to properly explain. Despite the hardships however, I can thankfully announce that light has been shed on my darker days. I have intentionally invited winter rains and gloomy skies into my life, not for wallowing and crying, but for finding beauty in the days that usually bring me sadness. Sometimes one has to see the darkness before one can see the light. Slowly but gradually, I can feel the progression of my mental state. The question is: Is this enough proof that hope for a brighter future can be restored for me? And if so, can it be for you?
Always. The answer is always. There is always hope, and in that, there is always life. Even the winter, as the leaves die and fade away, their passing makes space for newness to be. Even as the sun fades from the sky, the moon has a chance to shine its light. The same can be said for us. We are much more special than we think, than even we think for ourselves, than what others may think of us. With the gift of human agency, we are more special than the leaves, or the sun and moon up above. The sun does not choose to set, the leaves do not choose to fall, but humans can choose to die or to live.
Unfortunately, I had not reflected on this advice earlier on and still now I struggle. I regret not opening my mind up to such possibilities of healing. Instead, I had allowed a sequence of unfortunate events drain my soul, shrivel my healthy state of mind, close my wings across my chest, and cocoon myself to deter from any social interaction that could lead to confrontation of the reality I did not want to acknowledge. I realize that such social suppression has hardened my heart and dulled my thoughts. The unhealthy falsities I laid before me became real, and the reality had become fake.
The build up of such unhealthy mental, emotional, and even physical lifestyle paved the way to this very moment in this month of December. In such a state, I fear for a very un-holly, un-jolly Christmas holiday. During this season, socialization is key, but I have approached many with forced greetings and half-hearted wishes. Honestly, all I want for Christmas is to be socially susceptible to genuinely expend warmer, happier feelings and thoughts I once was able to.
I know many feel the same the same way which is why I decided to write this piece. In fact, seasonal affective disorder, better known as seasonal depression, is estimated to affect 10 million Americans, especially during the winter months. But I humbly urge that you do not shut your doors and close for Christmas. Realize that you are a gift, so “unwrap” yourself this holiday season. Peel back your wings, prevent regression, and promote transformation so that all may be able to witness you. It does not have to be all at once, but even opening up parts of you is better than none of you at all. In that, you can begin to see the gift you are to encourage you to unwrap further. You are a gift, and gifts are meant to be unwrapped. And this holiday season, and in fact any day at all, know that there is nothing wrong with giving yourself a gift as well, whether it be emotionally or physically. In the words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle “treat yo’ self.” Self love is just as important as the love you show to others. Take it seriously. And I’m not kidding about treatin’ yo’ self. You deserve it.
On these grounds however, take heed: the transition when you aggress against what you have forced your body to become accustomed to will be unpleasant in a variety of ways. For instance, in order to heal, you must break down your walls and become vulnerable. Vulnerability is hard to endure at first, and even harder to obtain, but know you must go through a trying, and sometimes even agonizing time in order to heal. But I want you to realize that there is so much strength in you. Whether you believe you are an evolution, star-dust, or a creation from the Divine, you came into this world with a strength unique to every other creature, even other human beings. Confronting the year this holiday season will be difficult as 2016 may not be as you wished it to be. But find the strength in you to realize that because you are still here and your heart is beating, you have a purpose. Such strength can be uncovered by your command but it will not come easily. Open up for Christmas. Better yet,start today. In this very moment. Just don’t wait until the New Years to decide your fate.You don’t have to wait for the hand to strike 11:59 on December 31st to finally decide.Stop waiting for the right moment, and make the right moment now.
I acknowledge the road to recovery is much easier said than done, but know that I will be rooting for you, even if you aren’t for yourself. Most of you believed in Santa, so why can’t you believe in yourself? I understand, holidays can be hard to get through when you’re in a bad place, but gift yourself with hope. Hope for the holiday season, hope for your families and friends, hope for yourself. Things will get better, and you will be stronger because of this. Give the gift of love this holiday season, but do not forget to experience love yourself.
Have a Happy Holidays, Happy Healing, and Happy Hopes for this coming year.
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Keep on fighting Souldier.