The Spirit Of Christmas Remains In My Heart

A few days ago at a Christmas dinner, a lady said to me, "Argh, it was very stressful coming here. In fact, the last few months have been really bad for me. I really cannot wait for this year to be over." Then she carried on and attempted to enumerate the bad things that has happened to her. But I held her hand, tapped her shoulder and I said, "Don't worry, you have made it through (to the dinner and this year). Not quite the latter because we have a few days left before the new year starts but I am confident that she will get through it. What hit me the most during our conversation was when she said that she was going home for Christmas, but she said it will be just as bad. I begged to disagree because to me, going home for Christmas only means that she will spend time with her family- one thing that I have not done in 17 years. But she looked at me without saying a word. Her pain became palpable, I could see it through her eyes.

Or perhaps... she was just the reflection of my own pain.

The truth is, it is quite a challenge to remain optimistic when you feel like the whole world is against you. It takes a lot of confidence to go out there, face the world and pretend that everything is okay when it's actually not. I know this because the last six years has taught me how to be that person. I have mastered the art of pretending er, maintaining  "positivity amidst adversity". You are indeed one lucky soul if you haven't needed to learn this, because I am telling you- it is one of the most difficult things that you will ever have to learn.

I am only sharing this story because just like the lady at the Christmas dinner, I know that there are a lot of people out there who are struggling emotionally at the moment, including myself. For the last few months, I have been living in anxiety and fear. Fear that something bad might happen to someone I love who is vulnerable and helpless. I have been good at managing my anxiety, but it will soon be Christmas and I am not sure if my anxiety will turn into a needless guilt. This is because I will be in a place where love, peace and harmony prevail, whilst someone very close to my heart will be in a broken home and will potentially be alone.

Tomorrow, we will be travelling up North to spend Christmas with J's family which we have done in the last four years. Whenever I am with his family, I always wish that I could turn back time so that I could try harder in keeping my own family together. As much as I am jealous of their harmonious relationship, I remain grateful for the family that I had or shall I say still have, regardless of how bad things have turned out to be. J's family has become my constant reminder that once upon a time, I too had a loving family, although not as solid as theirs. I am also very thankful that J's family has accepted me unconditionally because otherwise, I would have forgotten how to have a proper family by now. And if I can be honest and I mean no offence when I say this, J's family is like the family I never had. 

So you may ask, what is my purpose in writing this? In all honesty, I do not intend to spread negativity and ruin the holiday vibes. I just want to remind you(and myself) that no matter what emotional challenges we are going through right now, that we have a choice. It is either we give in to our emotions and be miserable this Christmas or choose to turn things around and have a Merry Christmas.

I choose to be happy and I am letting the spirit of Christmas win because at the end of the day, it takes a strong person to smile like they are winning despite all the pain they have to endure. I have been that person and I remain.

So, stay strong and have a Happy Christmas.



  1. Hi,

    I found your blog via your Tweet to Pret re cockroach in your Tuna Salad:

    I agree to try and see the positive amongst all we experience. I lived through almost 4 years of trauma (lost my brother and was bullied in Pret A Manger during the worst time in my life). My story is too negative for people to want to know and most turn away from me.

    And because people turned away, my story is all I have and it's all I do to tell it.

    Don't know why I'm even responding. But thank you for a positive take on life in times of anxiety.

    I hope to return to being positive again before my world fell apart.

    Merry remaining Christmas and a healthy new year.

    1. Thank you for visiting my site. I am sorry to hear what you had to go through. I know it is easier said than done, but stay strong and positive. Hugs to you! Merry Christmas and a better New Year!


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