When I started this blog, it was after the death of my father and just in the infant stages of Covid-19. I was trying to process my father's death and also had to go into self quarantine as I became really ill. Was it stress? Was it Covid? I'll never know as they were not testing at the time and the only recommendation was that one would self isolate. So that's what I did. And I started this blog. I really wanted to share my story so that perhaps it could help others to not feel so alone in their personal struggles. I also wanted to motivate people to grow; to sit with themselves and truly discover who they were. So far I have not revealed much to the outside world. I know the chances of anyone from my family discovering this blog are extremely minimal and yet I hesitate. I've been struggling lately. December has always been an emotional month for me. My most favorite childhood memories stem from Christmas-helping mom decorate the house, our family drinking eggnog and listening to Christmas music and decorating the tree, my brother and I getting our Advent plates with goodies, the presents under the tree, the Christmas Eve traditional spread and then unwrapping our presents, Christmas day spent lounging around and reading books and listening to music. Glorious days that filled me with love and, for me, what family meant to me. I cannot remember at what age everything fell apart. Post trauma for sure. I have been working hard at trying to figure out the timeline and realized recently that I was much older when the molestation started. I've also realized that I likely tend to put a great deal of importance (and pressure) on Christmas probably for the simple reason that it captures a time in my life when all was good and I felt loved and part of a family collective. This is a hard time of year for people, especially this year with so many not being able to spend the holidays together. Loneliness is going to be a prevailing mood for some, perhaps for most. But I have decided that it is okay to be sad. It is okay to embrace all the feelings right now and it is just fine to shed some tears. Getting to those depths and questioning why you feel the way you do is an important part of growth. It may feel like a setback, but in some of my darkest moments I have had the most beautiful realizations that have helped me analyze situations and let go of things that no longer serve me. And it is a work in progress. Some days I digress into old behaviors or patterns. I wallow. I do not love myself. I play the victim. You know what? That's perfectly fine. Not every day is perfect. Not every day is love and light. Some days are real and hard and a struggle. Be gentle with yourself. Tomorrow is always a new day and everything is temporary. And the most important thing to remember? You are not alone.