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