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With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90  days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.

08 December 2014

Holiday Strategies

I've been having a rough time -- migraines have been bad and the occipital neuralgia is back after the final treatment 8 weeks ago -- and several people I love are struggling, too. But it's December. Part of me still believes I'm supposed to be and act happy for the holidays. I know I'm not the only one that can get stuck in that I'm-supposed-to-be-happy-but-I'm-not, yucky feeling.

I thought a series of posts about holiday strategies for people in pain might do us all some good. And if you have thoughts, ideas and strategies of your own, email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com. I'll include them in posts.

It's December, but physical pain still hurts. It's Christmas, or Hanukkah, but being unemployed is still awful. The holiday season approaches, yet depression, mental illness and addiction don't
magically go away. Families don't suddenly become functional. Loved ones that have died don't come back. Disease and illness stick around for the festivities.
 
Photo by William Marsh
Those are facts. I just needed to state them up front. Because this blog is not about pretending everything's fine when it isn't. It's about being honest with ourselves and one another. It's about acknowledging life's difficulties and tragedies as a first step to opening that smallest of breaks in the misery to allow our spirits to soar. If only for a moment.

This is the backdrop for this series of posts: the reality is that, holidays or not, life can be very, very hard.

From here, I'll just ruminate about that reality, offer strategies for cracking open the misery a bit, and welcome your ideas. 

Thank you for reading my blog You can leave a comment below, or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com.

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