Tis’ the Season…or is it?

By Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse Member

The season of both secular and religious holidays will soon be upon us and in the tradition of the season – these words from this holiday song will be one of the many that will be sung with furious repetition. Of course, the next three words of this song are “to be jolly”- which begs the question what does “jolly” mean and why should we be so, especially if the holiday season presumably provides us with a paucity (lack) of reasons to be jolly? For many who suffer from mental illness this is uniquely the case – for the holiday season tends to bring only the trappings (decorating, buying of presents, etc.) of this jolly thing and not the substance. These trappings can even exacerbate our symptoms. So, where is this true jolly of the season and how can we find it? Well, although, it may sound trite we can, indeed, find it in ourselves. For it is in ourselves that we can give to others. Giving of ourselves, even if we do not feel like doing so, will sometimes, ironically, come back to us and diminish the symptoms of our mental illness and, dare I say it, may even bring us closer to this jolly (happiness, cheerfulness). Also, we can reflect on happier times and hope and dream that these past reflections can become new future realities, which may give us pause to be jolly. Thirdly, faith in our various religions and secular traditions can often be helpful in finding the dream and, therefore, the jolly. For many, core tenants of these faiths include the belief in a higher power from within and without, in which we can turn to in order to furnish us with this hope, this jolly- this dream. For example, my faith tradition tells me to help others and, in doing so, I step out of my own ego and become concerned about the needs of others; therein lies the irony of this jolly. Going beyond our needs will, often, miraculously, fulfill our own need (the need to be happy- aka this jolly). Personally, my adopted family (Dreams Unlimited  Clubhouse) has provided such hope, such jolly of the season. It has given me true friends to which I can wish a happy jolly holiday season. Also, my family (DUC) has reinforced my faith in the  any times I have received the “giving of others” by their love and concern, which does make me jolly (cheerful), thereby, giving me hope perhaps to dream of better times to come. So, yes “Tis’ the season to be jolly, Tis’ the season to hope, Tis’ the season to dream”- and the season is always.


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