Nearly everyone I know has been gearing up for the big American holiday coming up this Thursday. A day of feasting, family, friends, and feelings of gratitude.
Thanksgiving for me, though, is a day that causes sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and reminders of everything I don’t believe I have in my life.
This does sound like a “Poor Lori” wah wah wah post. I hate that. I hate complaining when my brain tells me that what I’m complaining about is my own damn fault and I should just suck it up and deal.
But I am also entitled to how this holiday affects me. I am allowed to express those feelings. I’m allowed to struggle.
I am also allowed to avoid going into the specific reasons on a public platform, because most of those reasons are things that I’m just not comfortable talking about.
Everything, though, boils down to past experiences with the holiday. Experiences that left me feeling isolated. An afterthought. A burden. An obligation.
It’s always those bad experiences that linger. It’s those bad experiences that trigger the negative emotions that slam through me until I am barely holding it together.
When the people in my life learn that Thanksgiving is hard for me and they reach out – offering comfort or time or invitations – I can’t see beyond those previous experiences. I can only think of the hurt. I can only remember broken trust. I get lost in memories of Not Fitting In.
I love my friends. I love that I *do* have people in my life who care. And I know they do.
But I can’t say yes.
Perhaps next year will be different. I’ve got a couple of ideas I am thinking about that might help.
As for now? I’m just going to get through this week. I always do. And I’ll feel better when it’s over.
And for all of you?
Have a marvelous Thanksgiving. Enjoy all the delicious food. Hug those friends and family you have been missing and are maybe seeing for the first time again in ages.
Remember… we are all loved.