Posted in Blog, Mental Health

It’s the Most Wonderfully Difficult Time of the Year

Christmas has been extremely difficult for me.

Filled with sadness, anger, violence, disappointment, and desperation.

This year I spent it with my girlfriend, just the two of us in our flat.

My fourth Xmas without my mother and sister. I tried really hard to get into the spirit of it all, wrapping presents, spending more than I could afford on food to cook a great (vegan) Xmas dinner, decorating the tree, obsessively buying more and more “little things” to make the flat more Xmas-sy. 

This year, I’ve also been volunteering with the recovery centre of a local mental health charity. I started a couple of months ago and it’s been an amazing experience. However, talking to the service users about their feelings towards Xmas is difficult.

A couple of weeks ago, a tweet by Sonaska a writer and designer fell into my timeline, retweeted by someone I follow:

You can also follow her on Instagram.

It was retweeted in relation to mental health at Xmas.

It’s tough being without family, watching everybody else excited to spend the holidays with family, eagerly buying loads of presents for everybody. It’s also tough when people send you messages hoping you have a great xmas with your family, unintentionally sending you back into that black hole of loneliness. 

Considering Xmas with my family was always so unbearable, if you think about it really, I’ve had a lucky escape. There’s no pressure for me to be anything other than myself, I’m spending it with somebody who genuinely cares about me and I don’t have to anticipate having a breakdown.

I also have to consider that I am blessed to have at least somebody to spend it with. Although the charity will be hosting a Xmas dinner at the day centre for the service users (and also arranging transport to the centre and back home), so that they won’t have to spend the day alone, it is still a reminder that there is no alternative for them (other than spending it alone), which is heartbreaking.

Therefore, although I spent most of Xmas eve sobbing into my pillow with multiple glasses of Bailey’s (yes I know you shouldn’t drink while on medication!), I worked to be thankful for what I do have: A home, a partner, friends, a career-plan and my sense of self. 


If you are still finding it difficult to cope, please reach out. The Samaritans are great listeners. With 1 in 3 people contacting them on Xmas Day alone you’ll be in good hands.

Posted in Blog

All I Want For Christmas

All I Want For Christmas

(Image source)

This year, will be my third Christmas now without my mum and my sister and do you know what’s weird?

It’s getting easier.

This has been an awful year, and I’ve had to face it without them.

And when I find myself in dark places, I’m no longer looking for them to come and find me; when I’m locked in dark spaces, I’m no longer looking for them to come and unlock the door and embrace me.

 

This week, I’ve been sharing a lot of stories about my family with my partner. I always used to try to make Christmas so special, because it really wasn’t. When my father was around, it was just angry and when he wasn’t, my mum and sister were grumpy, while I battled to make it anything but. 

On the other hand, there was also the year I took charge of cooking Christmas dinner, bought a turkey from Asda, but then they left all the insides in a bag and no matter how much a cleaned and seasoned the damned thing, I couldn’t get the stink of rotten meat out of the thing and it put us off turkey for life, bonding us a little bit.

We also used to have fart offs after eating too much stuffing…

Farts

(Image source)

Regardless of how much I tried, Christmas was always their least favourite time of the year, which was emotionally and physically exhausting for me (remember I wasn’t allowed to go to the doctors about my undiagnosed seizures during this time because of my mum).

And which is why this year, I’m just happy to be with people who love me, who don’t see me as “possessed”

Possession

(Image Source)

(this is what helps break the mother-daughter bond situation). 

This year, my partner and I will be spending it with one of my Uncles, his partner (my aunt), and their two sons (my cousins) – one of whom I’ve only met once, because my mum stopped my sister and I from seeing her family for over a decade.

I”ll try not to eat too much stuffing… LOL.

XOXO

 

P.S. Do you guys have any untraditional favourite Christmas songs? So mine is “Christmas Lights” by Coldplay. It’s so depressing LOL but it gets me!