Holidays are happy times for some, but for many, they can cause anxiety, panic, and guilt. One of the hardest things I have done lately was tell my family I was not going to be going home for Thanksgiving. If you cannot handle certain things this holiday season, that is a-okay. It does not make you weak--it makes you strong for being able to admit that to yourself and to take the steps you need to take to stay safe, no matter how scary those steps may be.
You are not weak if you can’t stomach the idea of spending time with an abusive family member. You are not obligated to see them because society says holidays are a time when we put aside our differences for the sake of togetherness and family.
You are not weak if you are afraid of going back to your childhood home. Whether there is danger there or not, it is okay to not want to be reminded of things that happened when you were younger.
You are not weak if you are worried about being around so much food. You are not obligated to eat anything that makes you uncomfortable. You are allowed to stay with your safe foods even if someone keeps asking you why you aren’t trying something.
You are not weak if you don’t feel safe being yourself around your family and make the decision to keep a part of you hidden. You are no less valid and you are not lying. Your safety and comfort is a priority.
You are not weak for worrying about things like this, and you are not weak because your heart feelings heavy. You are allowed to take pride in taking care of yourself, and you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody. Make yourself a priority this holiday season, and don’t feel obligated to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Your feelings are valid and I am proud of you.