It never seems to matter which holiday it is. When you have PTSD, no holiday feels like a celebration. Feeling uncomfortable in crowds makes July 4th one of the worst. The kids all love to go to the parade, but that’s the last place I want to go! And then there are the barbecues, the relatives, and all the other traditions that make holidays one big pain in the neck. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If we bow to the fear that comes with having PTSD and worrying that something else horrible is going to happen to us, then we miss out on all the good things that can happen too. And, I really believe there are a lot more good things out there than there are bad. Sometimes it’s good to visit with family you haven’t seen in a while. And barbecues can be fun if they aren’t too big and too much work.
It’s up to you how much celebrating you want to do on any holiday and how much effort you want to expend in entertaining. While you may never want to go to a parade, or have your relatives all over for dinner, or host the neighborhood block party, find the boundaries of your comfort zone and do some celebrating within them. Don’t let the fear win! If you can’t manage the parade, then take part in a cook-out with your family. If you can’t go to the movies, then treat the kids to a special video and popcorn in your home. Don’t give up on all celebrations. Find ways to participate in the joy of the season.