Surviving the holidays one leg at a time


Surviving the holidays one leg at a time



Surviving the holidays one leg at a time is difficult but not impossible. The holiday season is stressful without an amputation. This is a time when the strength and resolution you built from your physical and emotional recovery get tested.  Attitude is the key. You will be assaulted by your expectations and those of the people you love. Ask any psychotherapist and they will say that your family is one of the few relationships which you have no choice over. You can try to divorce or sue them for harassment but it will not resolve the holidays. You are stuck with your family but it doesn’t mean you can’t set boundaries and remind yourself that it is not your fault.

Disengaging From The Family

Learning to disengage from family ties is important. Picture yourself as an observer and you will be less entangled. Falling back on perspective keeps you away from infighting and entrapment by others. Notice when you feel pressure to join one side or the other in the ensuing war after the sides are drawn up. Strained family dynamics can wreak havoc on your mental health unless you can establish your neutrality. You must dodge the minefield that family members lay hoping you will step on them. Surviving the holidays one leg at a time. If family conversations seem to be heading in the wrong direction, you can politely and assertively suggest a different subject, such as what everyone is grateful for.

Setting Limits

The holidays bring a new appreciation for eggnog. Keeping your witts about you enables you to steer a middle course. You must know if alcohol has become a problem for anyone in your family. You must set a loving and kind boundary with an inebriated family member. Just as getting back on your feet was a matter of balance you are finding a path between being an enforcer and taking care of yourself. Surviving the holidays one leg at a time. You must set limits and use enough force with someone who is out of control. If you know someone who has strained familial relationships, you must provide support and understanding, and this can be a real challenge.


Personal And Practical Issues

There are personal and practical issues to deal with. If you are spending the holidays away there are a lot of things to consider. For instance, sleeping on an air mattress may be impossible with an amputation. How will you bathe when there’s no shower chair? Will there be enough hot water because there are too many people gathering at your grandparents’ house? What do you do when an obnoxious family member fixates on your missing limb? Ever feel that the stress you feel is an appropriate reaction to the uncertainty? Surviving the holidays one leg at a time can be recognizing the things that stress you out. You may not be overreacting because the stresses are real.


How TO survive The Holidays One Leg At A Time


The holidays have their downside. Even if you are surrounded by your relatives you may feel lonely. The media set a high bar that you must feel joyous because of all the gifts you have been given. If anyone has died in the last year they may be missed. Grief is like a fog. It creeps up and clouds your vision, keeping you from seeing all the magic happening around you. If you are a recent amputee you may have strong issues about your body image.  If you aren’t feeling ready to celebrate the way you once did, please know that you aren’t alone in your grief. The best gift you can give everyone is your kindness, patience, and understanding. 

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