Let's face it -- Father's Day is not great for everyone. A strained or non-existent relationship with one's father can leave us with lots of mixed emotions on Father's Day. For some, Father's Day brings out feelings of resentment, guilt, anger, or even shame. For others, particularly those who did not have fathers, or whose fathers were absent, today may be a reminder of the loneliness felt growing up.
Whichever group you may fall into, it's important to remember to be gentle on yourself, and take the time you need to acknowledge your feelings. While everyone's relationship with their father is different, there are tools and techniques you can use to get through this difficult time.
For example, making an effort to surround yourself with supportive friends will often provide a sense of comfort and distraction from the day's events. Many of my client's report that having friends they can spend time with on difficult days can often make the day go by much faster. They may be also able to lend a sympathetic ear to emotions that may come up throughout the day.
Staying active can also help limit the amount of negative thoughts that might enter your mind. By finding something that keeps you engaged, you can make good use of an otherwise difficult or non-productive day. Everyone has a personal to-do list of items they've been putting off; today can be spent checking those items off.
Above all else, avoid behaviors that will ultimately make your situation worse, such as drinking alcohol, or using substances. These can often feel like quick and easy fixes, but will always work against you in the long run. We're all human and want to make the hurt disappear during times like this, but drugs and alcohol aren't a good solution.
If you, or someone you know is struggling please feel free to give me a call to schedule an appointment. Together, we can begin your path towards healing.
Ginger Poag, MSW,LCSW