‘Tis the season … for feeling miserable. Let’s be honest. The holidays are hard for a number of reasons. Extra parties, extra spending, extra eating, extra stress, extra expectations. The list can go on and on. If you have had an abortion in the last few months, the busyness may be a welcome change for the months prior of lonely thoughts and nights of sadness. It may feel good to be out doing things instead of stuck in your own thoughts, emotions, and even regrets. If there are years or even decades that have separated you from your abortion, the sadness can still resurface from time to time throughout the year. You may be plagued by the “what’s if” and the “if only”.
However, in the midst of the busyness it may hit you just at the wrong time and you may not know how to react. It may be seeing kids visiting Santa at the mall, a family announcement of a new pregnancy, or a return to your place of worship that you haven’t been to since your abortion. We want to be the first ones to tell you … It is okay to be sad. It is okay to cry. It is okay to leave. You do not have to apologize to anyone for your emotions. If being sad is where you find yourself this holiday season, allow yourself to be sad. Many women feel that if they let themselves be sad they will be overcome by their emotions, but the tears do eventually come to an end. The tears may return from time to time, but that is where the healing begins. The healing begins when you turn and face your sadness rather than avoiding it.
How can you embrace your sadness this holiday season? Perhaps it is starting a new tradition to help you remember. Write a letter, hang an ornament, attend a “blue Christmas” service at a local place of worship, go to your favorite spot, or simply light a candle. No matter what you decide to do … know that you are not alone.
When the last party is over, when the decorations are packed up, and when the newness of the New Year is over … begin to look for help. Post-abortion life can feel isolating. We want you to be able to be embrace your feelings whatever they may be this season, but more than that we want you to begin to seek how to heal and hope again.