The 5 Christmas Presents I'm Giving Myself This Year

There are a few gifts I want to give myself... for my mental health.

It’s Christmas time, and I’ve been asked what is on my “list” quite a few times by now. Honestly, we have so much and I don’t really need anything. Now, don’t get me wrong… I love gifts and shiny new things that I like. It’s just hard to remember what those are when asked. 

However, there are a few gifts I want to give myself... things I need to let go of and stop allowing to clutter up my mind. I thought I would share them with you, so if you hear me talk about them, you can remind me that I gave those up as my Christmas present to myself.

I’m giving up:

Feeling guilty about taking anxiety meds and being okay with taking them for the rest of my life.

I have been really lucky that I have gotten amazing support from everyone who has heard about my anxiety. However, many say “oh well, you can take meds for a while, and then go to therapy so you can stop taking them.” While I know that works for many people, I really believe that mine is a brain chemistry issue. I have been anxious my entire life, through happy, sad, stressful and unstressful times. It’s not a coping thing. It is a brain thing.

Feeling guilty about waiting so long to talk to my doctor about my anxiety.

I made my family miserable for YEARS because I didn’t even realize what it was. Every now and then, though, I am consumed by guilt for what I put them through. I have to let this go, because I truly didn’t know, and I can’t change it no matter how much I want to.

Trying to be the “perfect” mom.

Even typing that is laughable. I suck at motherhood a good portion of the time. I’ve figured out that that is okay. I have also learned to pick my battles. Evan is having a hard time lately because his appetite is decreased by his ADHD meds. We have figured out that the only thing that he will eat consistently is Chef Boyardee. Though it goes against my “perfect mom” instinct (and my foodie one too), I pack it because if he doesn’t eat he suffers in the afternoon. Eating is more important than me being a perfect mom. Period.

Feeling guilty for treating my child for ADHD.

Some may question me mentioning this here, but we are very excited that Evan’s meds are working and that it is helping him be MUCH more successful at school. Much like anxiety, ADHD is a real medical issue that has real effects on the person who suffers from it and those around them. I can’t even begin to explain how miserable Evan was and how hard school was for him. Now he still has trouble, but it isn’t the all-consuming, makes-him-hate-school trouble that it was before. It isn’t a parenting problem. We tried everything. We punished, we rewarded, we charted, we kicked butt and we gave in (not all at the same time of course). None of that gave us the help we needed. AND we told Evan exactly what was going on at every point. ADHD is NOT something to be ashamed of. It is what it is, and he is AWESOME!

Feeling like I need to give up gluten, sugar, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, or be thinner, or work out more.

I love you all, my fitness friends. I truly do. However, I’m fine. I am okay with how I look and how I feel these days. I love to walk and get exercise that way. I am also right in the middle of the “healthy” BMI range. For those of you who have given up all these things and are kicking ass while living the lifestyle without being preachy, you are an inspiration. For those who feel the need to to tell me what to do… well, you can go preach somewhere else.

I guess you could sum all these up with “I’m giving up feeling like I need to live up to to other people’s expectations of me.”

Yep. that sums it up nicely.

Previously published at Merry About Town.




RELATED: Anxiety Makes Me Think and Say Funny Things

Merry is an American living in Canada as a mom, stepmom and lifestyle blogger. In October, she will be shaking it up by leaving her home behind to hit the road with her son, Evan, and dog, Cooper, to explore the USA in her Shasta Airflyte. Find her at Merry About Town.