So it’s December and everywhere you go the commercial aspect is everywhere, shops filled with gift ideas and deals, festive adverts on TV and music channels filled with Christmas carol shows….The most beautiful time of the year so they say, but is it? When I was a child I loved Christmas and being the only child until I was eight I was spoilt rotten. Not every year was the same I remember the first Christmas mum and I had after the divorce, mum could hardly afford the rent on our rented cottage never mind Christmas gifts.
I have been through so much this past year I’ve felt emotions so overwhelming and taken me by surprised.The lead up to Christmas is now a bitter sweet experience, dad always made such a fuss, we would have a big night of putting up decorations mum and I would make mince pies and then I was always involved in the local Christmas concert in church I always sang a solo it was a real highlight of the year for me. One of my favourite Christmases was the year my sister was born, early January which was filed with concern as well as excitement, mum was sent into hospital a week before due date to be monitored due to my sister being still born a year before.
This year I just want Christmas to go away I struggle with my emotions everyday and to be forced to be in the company of family and be all festive will be so hard. I feel now that because I had to keep my feelings in about loosing dad I have to do the same now that I lost my best friend only in October, it’s just like everyone else is carrying on as normal, like nothing has happened but for me I’m crying inside I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to my oldest friend when I had to and to be honest the idea of enjoying myself whilst he has now gone feels wrong, I know everyone says he would want you to enjoy yourself and when I have gone to events recently that I wasn’t looking forward to for the same reason I did actually have a really good time.The pain of loosing someone is so overwhelming the timing of my friends death came at such a bad time because I have only recently opened up to grieving for dad on my own terms now I’m grieving for another person who meant so much to me.Somedays I feel like I’m travelling up a mountain backwards I think I’m moving forward but the emotional blows just keep punching me.I realise that I have so much to be happy about but with depression you can’t just turn on the happy switch for who’s benefit would I be doing that for anyway I hate it when I get told “cheer up” don’t be so miserable if I could change my moods like changing a jumper it would be so easy but life isn’t easy.
I learned something new just the other day about side affects from having spina bifida and hydrocephalus (water on the brain) in that experts claim that depression in people with SB is very common it’s all part of the “hidden” condition. Although I was initially surprised by this the more I think about it the more it makes sense to me. So I was dealt bad cards on the mental health front just by being born with SB…..nice one universe.!
I am learning relaxation methods which I try to do daily so I am hoping this will help me cope over the coming weeks.My family home is small and there’s nowhere really to get any space so it will be hard so there will be lots of putting a brave face on it.Theres no point me speaking out loud about my feelings only to be accused of making everyone else upset or being ungreatful for my gifts so I will have no choice but to dig deep and get through the best I can.It shouldn’t have to be that way but at least my partner who knows me so well will be by my side which I will appreciate so much. I fully understand more than ever that it isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year for everyone. Mental health doesn’t just go away on holiday because it’s Christmas it’s 24/7 365 days of the year.
My message is that you are not alone get through this period the best you can and surround yourself with people who you feel comfortable with.Make time to do the things that help, listen to a piece of music, go for walks, wrote draw do what helps you when you can..see you in 2017 I hope it’s a better one for me and for you all.