Isolation, Your Own Jail Sentence

Yes, I have been missing for a bit of time. Yes, I was stuck in the rabbit hole again for a portion of the time. I was also allowing the world to take my time and abuse it. Isn’t it so crazy how we can walk through life being blatantly abused by one person for so long and not even see how we allow others to abuse us too? It doesn’t have to be physical, emotional or verbal abuse from someone. It can be as simple as wasting our time with the extra stuff that really is no concern of ours in the first place. Or even taking on the “bullshit” of the outside world and turning inwards to create frustration, anger and sadness that we do not need on top of everything else.

So why did I say isolation in the title of this article? I don’t know about you but for me I allow all of this extra abuse to pile on during the holiday season. Like I am the Santa Claus or the hero that can help everyone have a better holiday all the while I am the one needing saving from the waves trying to drown me. This holiday has started a bit rocky for me. First one physically alone but not emotionally alone. He isn’t here but was he ever really here for years? I keep asking myself that to feel better. I feel alone. All the traditions that I was trying to create seem to have expired. So I spent Thanksgiving with friends. A much quieter day than I was used to being at. But the perfect thing for me this year. My first instinct was to totally isolate myself from the holidays and start them off with a glass of wine and a list of movies no one else wanted to see with me. Definitely didn’t want to go out and make small talk and put a smile on my face and pretend to be okay. That gets so old. Pretending I am okay and that I am stronger than the storm around me. Some days I am not stronger than the storm. Some days I want to stay in bed and cover my head like a kid in a thunderstorm or hide in the closet like a dog. Isolation is so easy. No fake smiles. No small talk. No pretending. No being strong all the time. Who is going to know that I am exhausted and sad? My fish after swimming around their mini ocean? My hamster in between marathons on his wheel? They only notice if I don’t feed them.

I thought people would notice if I didn’t help them and would be as upset as my animals. It was all in my head. That bad neighborhood that you never should enter alone, yes that place in my head. Someone else just stepped in and helped out. I was relieved that I could take that off my holiday plate. I was feeling lighter already. And I realized it is okay to take time to mourn the loss of what holidays used to be. I just can’t live in that grief. Then I will isolate into my very own custom made jail cell. I found the solution to this insane conundrum of pain and confusion when you are surrounded by holiday joy. Take off the door to cell. I mean really take it off. Remove the hinges. Throw away the screws and bolts and then take the door to the dump. Keep the cell open. For the times when you need to regroup and isolate in a healthy way to regather yourself and reposition your feet. Then step out and give back in a healthy way. Not allowing people to abuse you more. Reach out to a friend in need with some kind words or inspirational quote. Listen to their hearts so they don’t lock themselves into a cell too. Give them a card with a simple note of encouragement and love. I did this all recently and it has made the difference in accepting a jail sentence or being free to live within my feelings without allowing them to consume me. I have also learned healthy boundaries after so many years of disconnecting my security system so he could abuse me whenever he chose was best for him. No is a complete sentence that needs no explanation to anyone. I have learned to say NO when needed and YES when needed. I have learned to step in someone else’s shoes and open my eyes to the pain of others. Supporting someone else through her pain has helped me understand mine more and more. Helping others, helps us if done to those who truly appreciate it and return that emotion.

So this holiday it is so easy for us, the empaths in this world, to want to be Santa Claus or a hero to too many people. It is so easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated by feelings of loneliness in this pursuit of giving back and appreciation. It is so easy to feel lonely around the holidays regardless of this. My recommendation is to not isolate and cover your head till the holidays have passed (yes, I have wanted to do just that). My smaller, quieter was just what I needed. People who loved me and understood what I was going through and never asked me about it. Just celebrated the fact that I could be there to share the day with them. And surprisingly found out that I helped one of them by being there as she still struggled with the loss of her mom on her favorite day. Isolating this time of the year can be a jail sentence to impose on yourself. You are not being punished and do not deserve to be in jail. You deserve to be comforted, supported and loved. And someone near you may be looking for and needing the same thing. If we are all in our jail cells of isolation then we cannot help each other and the holidays will pass without any new good memories to eventually erase the bad ones.

I hope that you all have a holiday season that is filled with hope, faith, extra strength and love instead of pretending, fake smiles and loneliness. If you ever need someone who can give you an encouraging word or remind you that you are not alone in this world. Please, send me a comment and I will get back to you.

Blessings to all for this tough holiday season and a much better 2020. Now together we breathe out the old and breathe in the new. Breathe out frustrations and breathe in the relief. Breathe out the pressure to be perfect and breathe in the acceptance of who we are. Breathe out the fake smiles and breathe in the beauty of our brokenness. Breathe out the loneliness and breathe in healthy regrouping.

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