Surviving The Holidays- 2013

The winter holidays are fast approaching. I am Jewish, and our holiday season begins in September with high holidaysthe high holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippor, the Jewish New Year and Day Of Atonement- holidays that set and shape our year. Jimmie and I always hold a private service at home, practicing the customs and traditions long followed by my ancestors. Alison joins us when she can.

thanksgivingWe used to gather at my house in Mt. Lebanon, every Thanksgiving- my sisters and mother on my husband’s side, the husbands, and our darling nieces and nephews. Then we’d trek downs to Mom’s for Christmas, braving the Pittsburgh cold and snow- menus were always extensive, including roast leg of lamb, potato salad, yams, greens, and corn bread to go with turkey, stuffing, and my famous brownies and lemon bars, and Gorgonzola stuffed figs which are brushed with olive oil, roasted, and plated upon a dob of honey, with fresh rosemary sprinkled on top. Now in L.A., I cook a smaller fare for whatever rag tag crew shows up, and make sure my neighbor Caroline gets a plate.

The holidays can be difficult and stressful for even the most stable of us, and especially if you have no one to share a meal with. There are of course, a lot of other depressedreasons why, when the holidays come, they represent pain, grief, regret, and loneliness, or even just a mix-up of emotions. Since this is deemed a ‘family’ time, if there is distance or separation (figuratively or literally), this can exacerbate the depression. Addicts have it especially hard over the holidays because many of them have either lost most or all of their family members, with only a few stragglers hanging in, and these loses are felt heavily. I, am a straggler.

Here is part of a previous post, that I feel should be mentioned again;

Can we be generic when we talk about how to deal with a variety of disturbing emotions during the holidays? Yes, somewhat, and here is your toolbox…                                                                    fix1

  •  Fix yourself up– doing your hair and make-up and putting on a pretty outfit can actually give you  a lift. I can tell you from personal experience, this is an essential ‘first’ to lifting yourself up out of a funk.
  • Ignatia amara– this is the classic grief remedy covering shock, depression, and sadness. Other remedies on the table may include Apis mellifera for rage and bottled up emotions, Gelsemium sempervirens for sensitivity and tearfulness, Natrum muriaticum for intense sorrow, and Aurum metallicum for the feeling of hopelessness and suicide.
  • Bach Flower remedies– these all deal with emotions. They are gentle and cannot aggravate your condition. Try Willow for bitterness and difficulty accepting injustices, White Chestnut for over-active and exhausting mental chatter, or Gorse for hopelessness.
  • St. John’s Wort and Ginkgo Biloba– these are considered natural depression medications. St John’s wort is particularly effective for depression, particularly for mild to moderate symptoms without the side effects often associated with drugs. Ginkgo Biloba improves neurotransmitter production in the brain and helps bring oxygen-rich blood to the brain to improve functioning and also may help fight feelings of despair.                                                                            phone
  • Eat right– avoid processed foods and eat high in omega3 oils.
  • Reach out and call a family member– perhaps one you have been feuding with or one you may have neglected. Put your pride aside and be humble.
  • Give of yourself– one way is to volunteer serving those less fortunate than you- giving is one of the best ways to get off the pity train and ‘loose yourself’, and the rewards are immeasurable.
  • If you are a recovering addict suffering lows during the holidays, attend a meeting for strength and fellowship, keep busy and well fed, and choose from the following remedies- Lac humanum for feelings of isolation, estrangement, and detachedness, or try either Tobacium or Aurum metallicum, both for cravings or all kinds. Try Agrimony, the Bach Flower remedy of choice for people who put on a brave face to hide their inner struggles, even from themselves, and most often given to those who suffer addiction.I also strongly suggest you make yourself a glass of water that has been charged with the Sai Sanjeevini pattern for addiction, and sip on it. It should mellow out your day.

I know it is easy to say, but, let go of the past. Hanging on keeps you in a cycle of despair. Come on, you can do it. Let go.let go


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