Family isn't always blood

This is another holiday adjacent post. 

For us, and for many, the holidays come with an increase of many things. Junk food, shopping, and snow are a few of these things. There is also way more social engagement than during the rest of the year. We always over-commit, and I always wind up not wanting to go but then having a great time when I am out there. You know how it goes. 

I do find though that everything gets overdone. Too much food is eaten, too many drinks are had, too much money is spent. More importantly, too much of yourself can be given if you're not careful. 

We tend to seek out family this time of year and it is sometimes to mixed results. We might allow people to be around us that we normally avoid. Or enter into conversations we normally wouldn't. It's ok to leave if you feel uncomfortable. In fact, it's probably better than feeling bad about yourself or the situation if you stay too long. The kindness that you are giving others should be extended to yourself. Putting yourself and your mental health first is not a bad, or selfish thing. You only answer to yourself. 

Families are complex things, full of love and landmines. Frequently the groups we are born into are the sources of our greatest traumas. "Getting over things" is not an option sometimes, and not healthy. The things that are "swept under the rug" multiply and grow under the rug. And they come out. Usually at the worst possible time. You can't always deal with these issues the way you want to. It's ok then to walk away or to set boundaries. If you don't want to talk about something, say so. If the talk doesn't stop you can walk away. Whether it be to another room, or from the gathering altogether. 

Your greatest cheerleaders will be found, and as I have said before family isn't blood, family is action. Family is who you can be yourself with and who makes you feel loved. Chosen family is valid. 


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