Rest Your Weary Head: Uplifting Advice for the Heartsick

Auntie Linda Dear Auntie Linda,  I will be alone again this Thanksgiving.  I am estranged from my toxic family.  I don’t have the warm memories most people associate with holidays.  Holidays at our house were just another day for my parents to drug, drink and fight. My only brother died of a drug overdose three years ago after years on the street.  I’ve never been able to make real friends because of my mental illness, so there’s no need for me to expect an invitation.  I barely get by on my minimum wage job, so I’ll be eating Ramen Noodles, again.  I get so discouraged this time of year seeing all the Happy Holiday hype knowing I’ll be alone again while everyone else celebrates.  Alone Again

Dear Alone, Even if you aren’t invited to a family dinner, consider working at a community or church outreach.  Serving side by side with other volunteers would give you a feeling of community and give you something to share.  You might strike up friendships and wouldn’t be alone.  Holidays are really hard on people who are discouraged and lonely.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, We get so much pressure from our families at Thanksgiving and Christmas spend the holidays with them.  There is no way we can see everyone.  We don’t have the time or money to travel to visit both sets of parents.  When Joe told his parents, they offered money for plane tickets.  We are arguing over this now.  In the first place, it is not fair to spend extra holidays with them just because my parents can’t afford to make the same offer.   Besides that, it’s not just the money.  Travelling on holidays is so hard.  I would rather visit some other time.  I definitely want to spend Christmas at home so we can have our own family traditions.  How do you make families happy? Pulled Like a Ragdoll

Dear Pulled,  The family you need to take care of is your own.  Decide what you want to do and let people know.  “We have decided to spend this year at home and visit you in June.”  “We will spend Thanksgiving with Joe’s family this year and you next year.”  “It’s too hard to travel at Christmas and we want to have our children at home for Christmas from now on.” Stick together and don’t expect everyone to be happy.  They won’t die and if they do, it won’t be your fault.  Auntie Linda

Address your problems to