Operation Achieve Anything: Day Three-Hundred-Fifty-Nine, Dateline 12-25-2018

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Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
— Harvey Fierstein
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Good evening crickets. Welcome to day number three-hundred-fifty-eight of Operation Achieve Anything. I hope you all had or are still having a good Christmas. I just got home from my oldest sisters after two days with my family, and I am desperate to get some sleep, so this is going to be a quick one. Despite my typical issues with depression during holiday times, I think this may have been the best Christmas with the family in quite a while, where it did actually feel like it was about spending time with the family and not living up to the expectations of the event.

Usually, there is so much hectic energy from last minute decorating and the fixing of a big fancy meal that tensions often get high enough for at least one argument. Other than a few snippy moments from disagreements over board game rules, I don’t think there was a single argument this time, and it felt really nice to just hang out as a family. Not that it ever gets too unbearable during this festive time of the year, I just don’t understand how, sometimes, it can feel like the holding on to certain traditions can lead to more pressure than it’s worth.

As I said, I did get a bit bummed out, as usual, being the only uncoupled person in the house, with no kids, and feeling like an outsider to my sisters and mom who all seem to bond as a group leaving me with my brother-in-law and the kids, who all spend the day doing their own thing. Then at the end of the day after everyone is given their Christmas PJs, everyone all goes off to sleep in family groups, leaving me alone on the couch with the TV and the dog. Yes, I like all three of these things when they are in my space, but on Christmas, it can feel like a more aggressive reminder that I’ve always been alone.

This then ends up leading me to struggle to sleep as my thoughts get stuck on the topic of loneliness minus any of the comforts that usually have when feeling down at in my own place. Everyone then wakes up extra early, usually right after I just manage to slip off into the deepest part of my three-hour slumber. This can make me seem grumpy when really I’m just not awake, but it also leads to either the questioning of what’s wrong or the request to settle down and then that energy only contributes to the stress and pressures of everyone.

It almost started on that note this year, being that I got zero sleep and was grumpy and everyone’s festive energy with the couch that I sleep on in the middle of the main room, only this time, I maxed out at my usual levels of morning grumpiness that was gone with my first taste of cheese toast. I think this is because there was zero bickering the night before so none of my depression this year was external based on any members of the group and everyone else woke with a positive/pressure-free attitude since there was no extra work to be done.

We then opened presents, watched movies and played games, and now I am absolutely exhausted. This really doesn’t fulfill my assignment from yesterday, but I figured it would be more fitting to opt for this Christmas-themed post considering the fact that yesterday’s task was to explore the disguises I wear and come up with a plan to be more of myself. Since I talk about the coping masks that I wear on the regular, including the two pages that were yesterday’s post, I’m pretty comfortable with my grasp on this topic, and knowing the challenge that I have for next year, I know for sure that I’m going to explore the issue even more.

With that, I’m going to consider this Christmas post to be good and move right into introducing tomorrow’s assignment where I’m now supposed to explore the importance of my unique voice and why I shouldn’t let others silence or change what I believe. This is another common theme of my, so it shouldn’t be hard to guess what I might have to say on the subject, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s update to read what my insights actually are. Until then, it’s now time for me to sign off by saying, good day and good luck to you and all of your projects.  

Talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Wicker Breaker

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P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.