You're sitting in your home, alone, looking around and wondering why you're not feeling the holiday spirit, like everyone else.

We are all struggling with something and when the holidays approach, it's like we get hit with this wave of anxiety.

At least, that's what happens to me.

I often remember when I was younger and would think about all the people gathered around our family table in Pennsylvania. My Yia Yia would be dancing around in the kitchen, preparing everything beautifully. My Poppy would be sitting in, "his chair." My Godmother and Aunt, Joanie, Aunt Cheryl, and Mother would be singing and dancing around in the living room to music playing out of the vintage radio. My sister and brother and I would be visiting with our cousins and watching our parents be incredible.

The memories make me so happy but also very sad. Most of the people that I loved more than anything are no longer here with us. So as I sit and plan my Thanksgiving and look at how my table is much smaller with fewer people, I get terribly sad.

I miss them all so much. Every single day. I know that you are dealing with this too. Thinking about family and friends that are unable to be with you because you've lost them in some way. It's not easy and I wanted to write this to share that we are all missing someone during the holidays.

The pain we are feeling when the season sends us that reminder of how "it was" is so hard to deal with.

But, this is when you reach out. This is when you put your shame aside and tell someone how you're feeling.

This time last year, I was struggling to fight for parental rights for my son. Holidays were very hard to celebrate, but we continued to be grateful for what we had and the strength to continue to manifest our dreams.

Don't ever stop sharing your heart with others. Don't ever feel like, you are the, "only one." It is also never too much, nothing is impossible, and I believe I am living proof of that.

When things become unbearable, reach out. Talk about it. As hard as it may seem, it will help you realize that life is worth living and that you are worthy enough to live it.

If you are feeling depressed during the holiday season and need a professional's help, please visit NAMI Maine and take a look at the endless options they have for you.

From my little family to yours, Happy Holidays, and I love you,

Lizzy Snyder

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