I wasn't sure where to post this - so I will put it here unless the mod wants it moved. I have been thinking ALOT about the approaching holiday season and just wanted to share my thoughts. The holidays can be extremely difficult for many people for a plethora of reasons. Suicides are more prevalent during the holidays. More people experience depressive episodes. Of course, stress is often off the stress-o-meter. Four years ago, my daughter was not home for Christmas as we had placed her in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Around the first of December the song "I'll be home for Christmas" came on in the grocery store. I had to leave. I went home and had a meltdown. It was the most helpless, horrid, inescapable emotion. The next year she was not home for holidays because she had run away from home. These situations were difficult in and of themselves. But, when you throw in the 'holidays' - they can be (were)unbearable. I have often pondered what makes the holidays so difficult? Is it the unrealistic Norman Rockwell pictures in our minds? Is is the unreal expectations that marketing feeds us from October 31st? Is is that we envy those who are having those 'perfect' family holidays? I really don't know. I just wanted to remind myself (and others who may not have experienced difficulty dealing with the holidays) that the time approaches. I want to be emotionally prepared to deal with whatever life brings my way. God bless those of you have have a child in jail. Or treatment. Or on the streets. For those of you who may not even know where your child is. For those of us who whose nest is empty for the first time this Christmas. May we all find the joy in the holiday in spite of our difficult situations. Hugs.