Did you survive?

So how was Christmas? Full of fun and good will to all men and women? Or did you drink too much and make a fool of yourself? Or perhaps you argued with a sibling and you brought up a shameful family secret? Or someone in the family criticised everything you did or said?

If your Christmas was great and you are really looking forward to next year then read no further. But if you did or said something you regret then read on.

Christmas can be a melting pot of emotions and some, unfortunately, can be negative. The intensity of being with people that you usually aren’t with for most of the year can strain the most patient person. The overwhelming feeling that everything has got to be right can be daunting. So you made a mistake or two. But how bad was it really? In the cold light of the after-Christmas period is what you did or said really a life changer?

Sometimes it is difficult to look at what you did objectively. Friends and/or family can be highly critical and angry and sometimes very unsupportive. So the first thing to do is to find someone you can trust, and this may be a counsellor for a session or two, to talk to. Getting the problem out and talking about it will help put it into context. 

Then explore who has been hurt, why and what you believe you need to do to mend relationships with them - if you actually want to. And this is a good time to look at our lives and how we want to move forward and sometimes we need to acknowledge that some ‘friends’ are just not right for us. For example those who have problems around alcohol may decide that certain family members or friends are a bad influence and have to be dropped somehow.

Now comes your plan of action. You might even want to write it down. Seeing what you have to do written on a page can really focus your mind and give you hope that things can be sorted. Decide what you have to do and make sure you know why you are doing it. Moving on might not be pleasant but if you know there is a happier life ahead then this helps.

At the moment you might feel that you want the ground to open up and swallow you up but having a sympathetic ear to listen to you can really help change your outlook. And believe it or not you can have a Happy New Year. But remember not doing something and hoping it will go away usually doesn’t work.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Owen Redahan. MBACP. B.Sc.(Agr)

Owen is an independent counsellor working in Canary Wharf, E14. His main work is with individuals around self esteem, relationships and sexual addiction. He also works with couples looking to improve their relationship.… Read more

Written by Owen Redahan. MBACP. B.Sc.(Agr)

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