I admit it: I am a coward.
I stopped blogging because I was too scared to face any sadness that might be uncovered as the holidays crept up. For the same reason I also avoided any time with Jesus. He always has this uncomfortable way of bringing up things that I really don't want to think about.
The really ironic thing is that there wasn't much sadness or loneliness to be worked through. Sure, my holiday spirit was only at half voltage, but now that the holidays are done and it's safe to let myself feel again, I know that I wasn't horribly affected. Once I managed to cope with the idea that my husband would be gone for the holidays, there were only a handful of short moments where I could say I was truly miserable. But I was so unbelievably scared that there might be, well, something that I went to tremendous lengths to hide from myself.
If anyone asked how I was doing, I would automatically talk about pregnancy difficulties - not being able to keep up with the kids' energy levels, having continued trouble with "morning" sickness, difficulty getting comfortable enough to sleep at night. If they specifically mentioned the absence, I'd give the standard answer I'd come up with: "Oh, you know, hanging in there; it's weird not having him around, but we're doing okay." It was true, but sounded hollow. I didn't want to dig to make sure it was true.
Worse, I missed out on a lot of good things this past holiday season. In my experience, the attempt to keep from feeling negative feelings blocks out the positive ones as well. This held true for me once again.
I used a handful of excuses as to why I had to hide. The most prominent one was: "I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, and especially not ruin the holiday experiences for my children." It sounds nice. It would be almost admirable - if it were true. But it wasn't. That was only the cover. The real reason was simply that I was scared.
One of these days I'll remember that it isn't scary to feel sad, and that I miss a lot when I'm obsessed with not feeling it.