The Gifts of Peace, Simplicity and Reality this Holiday Season

“Celebration is a forgetting in order to remember. A forgetting of ego, of problems, of difficulties. A letting go.”        – Matthew Fox


I find holidays to be a real test of my personal growth. I had always been glad I didn’t have to face the holidays alone. Christmas was always spent with my best friend Keith, my sister and her partner. Until this year I was never as acutely aware of how hard as it has to be especially hard for those that have no one.  This is a good time to take care of myself and it is best to be honest, rather than jolly.  For those of us that struggle during this time of year, we can refuse to lose ourselves in old behaviors. We can focus on finding other healthy people to be around.

This holiday season has already offered me the chance to reflect on the impact my mental health issues have had on my relationships and how much sharing these special times with others really means to me.  I am also able to appreciate what I already have, and to better recognize my blessings because I have known the pain and deprivation of my illness.

Peace, simplicity, and reality all are ours this holiday season.  By letting go of expectations, and by choosing an attitude of hope and gratitude, we will soon come to know that there is much more to celebrate than we anticipated.


About Mark Schmitz

Living in Phoenix, AZ since 1995, originally from Brown Deer, Wisconsin. I'm a Gemini born on May 26, 1961. Single, GWM who is HIV and healthy. Spiritually diverse, I'm just trying to stay on the right path to learn all that I came here to learn. That's what my blogs are about - and total honesty.

Posted on December 24, 2010, in Holidays, Honesty, Life, Life's Lessons, Lying, Mental Health, Opinions, Personal Growth, Positive Thinking, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Self-forgiveness, Self-improvement, Spirituality, Truth and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. No problem at all Mark.

    Been to a place very similar to what you describe. I know feelings of despair, anxiety, and all manner of dark thought. I know what it feels like to feel like the feelings own us and that few understand.

    When I began to discover people of this kind, I whole world of hope opened up to me which has been a huge part of my recovery. So I pass it around freely. As freely as it was given. This is the duty I feel God as I understand him have given me. It is how I show my gratitude. I hope that others can benefit from the journey through hell I felt I went through. Then it will have been all the more worth it.

    I got my copy of “Feeling Good” a few weeks ago at Chapters. Should be able to find it there. It had been a best seller. And Dr. Burns has a web site am sure you can find if do search with book name and Dr. David Burns.

    Will chat some more in as we go. Always remember, you are not alone.



  2. Hey Mark…. glad to hear things are on the upswing. I have “checked myself in” a couple of times so can relate.

    I still battle depression and anxiety a bit. Gladly, I have found for me, “cognitive behaviour therapy” has begun reshaping some of my thinking to the point where the down-swings don’t hit a hard anymore. Have you ever done any of this?

    I posted about the book I am reading on this called “Feeling Good” by Dr. D. Burns. Not a substitude for meds, but a parallel approach can use while on meds to work on mood disorders from multiple angles.

    Anyway… see ya on the blogs. Glad you’re back.



    • Chaz,

      As usual, seeing your response brightened my day! Thank you so much!

      I have had some limited success with Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The success I am experiencing with ECT is to me, short of a miracle! Along with Seroquel and Depakote with a bit of Ativan for the anxiety, I feel I’m gaining ground! I’m going to set out to find “Feeling Good” by Dr. Burns; I’m in need of something to read about now, anyway. I am a believer in approaching my illness from several angles – a pill can’t cure everything and I’m very aware of the work I must do on myself and keep working on setting boundaries.

      Chaz, I love hearing from you, and I faithfully read your blogs. I’m so glad that we have stumbled upon one another! Best to you and yours…


  3. Yo Mark…. wishing you a happy New Year!

    I trust all is well.

    See ya on the blogs.

    Ciao. Chaz

    • Chaz,
      Depression and anxiety kindly saw my way to an inpatient stay from 12/30/2008 – 1/16/2009. I’ve been receiving ECT with quite favorable results. That along with some med changes have given me much to share in upcoming blogs… Thanks for your well-wishes, and I wish you all the best this New Year has to offer. Let’s talk soon! ~Your friend, Mark

  4. Yo Mark! Beautiful post. Very meaningful.

    Sounds like you are on a great pathway. Stick with it bro.

    Ciao. Chaz

  1. Pingback: The Priceless Gift of Personal Growth « Mark's Weblog

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