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Surviving the ‘Big 3’

Surviving the ‘Big 3’Not everyone looks forward to the holidays. Deborah Culp reveals how a series of personal set backs made her dread the ‘Festive Season’. But with a positive attitude, help and friends she now no longer finds it a depressing time of year.

We’ve all had experience of surviving something in our lifetimes, even the big three.  Surviving the Big Three (Holidays) that is… 1. Thanksgiving,
2. Christmas and 3. New Years. For most it is the happiest time of the year with gatherings small and large spent with family and or friends.  But unfortunately this is not the happy occasion for everyone; some of us simply dread the thought.  Sad but true, the ‘Big 3’ can be the ultimate nightmare experienced while being awake in the daytime. Why? For each person dreading the holidays their are a variety of reasons.

For this writer it started during childhood but improved later in life when new people infused  my life, together with support groups and therapy. Later as an adult, the loss of a child, spouse and mother in love, literally back to back; instantly set me back.

So nowadays, how do I survive the holidays, or any other event that may lead to hopelessness, despair or depression? I’ve got a giving, “hands on” spirit and I learned the elements of selfless service to others first hand. Volunteerism literally helped to save and restore my life. Helping others defined a clearer vision of who I am.  How it would be a waste of human resources for many, if I had carried out my suicidal mission a few years back.

Seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel was not solely in my hands; a series of “Earth Angels” latched on to me and stayed by my side. My blood family did what they could to help, but in the end it was strangers or people that I would have never expected that came to my rescue. Humor still plays a dynamic role in my quality of life. I like to have fun and recruit others to share in the fun and laughter. Taking part in group activities was something that I rarely would have done before, but do now. Be it a group of you’re choosing or joining a specific organization, it can make a difference in getting and helping to keep out of your isolation shell. This includes, but not limited to, a good church. Depending on what you are looking for, visiting or joining a church is a great survival tool for the holidays and year round.

If you are an animal lover and can afford it, get over to the Humane Society and adopt a pet. it can be just as valuable as a human family member. The love and loyalty from this route is a win win opportunity: The pet rescues you and you rescue the pet. Last of all, treating yourself to a movie, dinner or other life quality resource at least once a month can be priceless in many ways. Once you’ve pulled yourself out of the isolation route to depression – “Stay out!”

Keep doing the things that got you back on track. It’s not only good for you, but great for others who may be in the same or worse situation.  If you’re dealing with a specific illness, check into the nonprofit support organizations that are available. In my case it’s Lupus so I support the annual Lupus Walk, or the suicide hotline and I stay in touch with my city’s chapter. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays, pace yourself . Wishing you all the best in general and for 2018.


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