Hard Times & Holidays (MindYourMind.ca)


If you have been following along goneawayboys for anytime, you’re well aware that holidays sometimes are a little difficult, and I am otherwise known as “The Grinch”

In my latest contribution to Mind Your Mind, I talk about the holidays, and what this year might be like…  Hopefully different.

The direct link to the blog is here…   Don’t forget to check out some of the other folks with amazing writing on the MYM Blog! http://www.mindyourmind.ca/expression/blog/holiday-hard-times

I can remember as a kid how excited I used to get for Christmas; I’d lose sleep over it all the time.  I think it was more than anything; just that one time a year our whole family would have the chance to be together, in happiness and in joy.  We used to do the traditional Christmas, once everyone gets up…  in your Christmas pajamas and head to the tree and hand out gifts.  I can remember today, so vividly the smiles, and the laughter we’d pass around throughout the entire day.  During the holidays, when we were all together with our family, everything just seemed like it was all… OK.  Everyone reveled in sheer joy. Together.  There was nothing better.  Absolutely nothing.  I used to think to myself, I never want this to end, I can’t wait till next Christmas.

Then…it ended, and there’s not a “next” Christmas.  Since my sister passed away six years ago, Christmas has not yet been the same, and it never will be the same. It’s not that easy, enjoyable holiday we used to enjoy so much with each other.  In fact…now it’s become just downright fucking hard.  I hate it.  It is one of the hardest times of the year for me.  I went from bouncing off the walls in excitement for Christmas, to completely loathing, and fearing everything there is about it.  It reminds me of all the Christmases we used to have, and the vivid memories I have of our family, and Jen, and just knowing, we will never have that again.  Ever.

I cherish these memories so much, but it can be so hard going through the holiday season every year.  Trying to put on a smile for others, trying to share that same level of joy, and of happiness.  But, I can’t.  I seriously fight each Christmas to keep it together.  A certain part of me wants to disappear every time it turns December 1, and I’ll return Jan 3.  And, I have…  I’ve booked holidays around that time, and it’s been the only way I have safely escaped Christmas.

Last year, it was just my fiancé and I…which was about the only other way I’d survive Christmas.  I can remember, I wanted to just treat it like any other day.  I demanded we not have a tree, and we not have lights, or anything else Christmas-like around the house….and I know it devastated her.  Christmas is her favorite time of the year, and I truly feel like the Grinch because I know last year, I selfishly took that away from her.  I can remember, in the morning I headed out to Starbucks to get us coffees…and on my way home…I completely lost it.  I parked my truck along the street in our community and I cried, I completely broke down for a good hour.  I remember Amanda texting me if I was ok…and I just replied…it’s hard.  Christmas is hard.  She knew…and, she was so supportive.  She really is my rock.

This year…I already fear Christmas, I see other people gearing up for it, talking about it, and it hurts.  I’ve lost all connection with Christmas since we’ve lost Jen.  I can’t even try to understand that level of excitement, and joy people experience throughout the holidays.  I can’t.  It’s almost as if I expect everyone else to avoid it, and skip it too.  My fiancés family is extremely tight, which I admire fully. And they are planning to come here for holidays and “do” Christmas, and I am already trying to find a hole somewhere I can lay in over those couple days.  I love her parents, as if they’re my own.  They’ve been so good to me, as has she.  But, It’s just too hard trying to fake it through Christmas when no one else gets it.  And, I don’t want anyone else to get it…I want people to enjoy the holidays, I just can’t anymore… and nothing is worse than trying to enjoy them, and truly “doing” Christmas.  This year will be the first year since Jen passed away that there is going to be a true Christmas celebration that I will be present for, and I want to go through this experience like I want to be hit in the head.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do Christmas again, and I have accepted that, as hard as it still is.  I think the only way I can do Christmas, or at least survive it… is to be with my family just like we used to in Victoria.  In my reindeer pajamas, I wake up in the morning because I only slept two hours, and I run to the kitchen, throw some marshmallows in my hot cocoa Grandma made me, and I ask where everyone else is…of course they’re still sleeping, so my Mom I will go and wake her up, no problem…but, Jen, I don’t want to upset her… so I will just mutter around outside her room until she gets up.  Then, once I’ve finally accomplished waking everyone up.  I’ll run back downstairs with my hot cocoa, tell Grandma we’re ready, everyone’s up…  We’ll sit by the tree with Christmas, next to one another in a circle, while Grandpa hands out gifts.  We’ll laugh, we’ll smile, we’ll celebrate, and we will be family, together again.

But, this will never, ever happen again, and knowing that… hurts.

But, I can’t steal another Christmas from my rock.

The next few weeks are going to be hard.

– See more at: http://www.mindyourmind.ca/expression/blog/holiday-hard-times#sthash.LHTvjsjQ.dpuf

Winter Woes – Mindcheck


Back into the swing of writing things!

Visit the Mindcheck – Speak Up website to check out some other great things they have going on.

Here’s my article!

I think that everyone in their life has experienced at some point a case of the “Monday Blues” or “Summer Blues”… Or, the “Winter Woes”… As I call them. It may sound silly, but it’s true. Maintaining your mental health can become more and more difficult as seasons change, especially as you go through winter months, in the dark, and in the cold.

I have up’s and down’s all year long, up’s and down’s that aren’t relevant to the weather, and seasons outside. But, without a doubt, those seasons outside can play a huge part in my recovery, and ability to snap out of those downs. In the summer, it’s warm; it’s bright, alive, and vibrant. Making it a little easier to go outside, go for a run, be active in sport, or enjoy the simplest things outside, like fresh air. Chances are, you’ll be able to come out of that funk that you fell into. The winter brings on a bit of a different challenge. It’s harder to go outside and enjoy those simple things. It’s darker. It’s colder. It’s less alive and, far less vibrant. Not too mention, that you’re neighbor or colleague probably has not stopped complaining to you about it being winter outside, and cold.

For me, personally… There are times I really struggle to stay balanced and even keel throughout the winter. I find sometimes I can just become so robotic, and isolated. I go to work, go to hockey practice, and by the time I come home at 7:00pm, It’s already cold, dark and still outside. Leaving little to no motivation to do anything further. I find I get tired quicker, I get lazy, and I just get… stuck. To combat this emptiness, I try and stay as busy as I can… giving myself lots of things to do. I stay busy with hockey, and try to stay busy writing, and finding other things. At the moment, I am trying to find some way to work out at home, so I can stay warm, and away from gyms, and I want to start reading more.

The best tip I can give, is before winter really hits, and before you get sucked into it’s woes. Plan ahead, and know that it’s coming. Know that you fall into winter lulls. Think of some things you’re going to do to stay busy, and stay active. Go swimming 1-2x a week, have a movie night with a friend, spend lots of times with friends and when it is one of those warm winter days. Take every single opportunity you can to embrace it. Ski. Snowboard. Snowshoe. Build a snow man, snow fort… whatever it is. If you’re able to get into a routine of activity, it’ll keep you busy, keep your mind off the winter woes, and then leading into spring, you won’t find yourself trying to get out of a slump for a month or so, which I know I often find myself doing.

Winter is beautiful, there are many, many things about winter that should be enjoyed, and cherished, but there are also many traps that come with winter that can be so easy to get stuck in. Plan ahead and stay out of those ruts. Be prepared now, so that when it is dark, cold and dull outside… You have options, and you have a plan. A plan that allows you to stay happy.


Don’t forget to check out Mindcheck!