Another year is slowly coming to an end and you guys know what that means?
Bring on the “Christmas Cheer” bullshit.
I was wanting to upload this (god awful) video I made which is basically 20 minutes of me trying on different Christmas accoutrement to try and coax myself into being more…festive. It didn’t work. I just got more and more angry. Imagine “The Hulk” but Indian and a woman. Yup that was me.
Anyway it seems my bad luck is on a roll because I can’t upload the damn thing. Apparently the file is too big to fit on to my website (story of my life – things not fitting both figuratively and literally) so after about three billion hours of trying to make this file as small as possible with as much free software as I could download on to my laptop, I can safely say IT ISN’T GOING TO WORK. Andddd I’m pretty sure my laptop is infected with all kinds of viruses.
My laptop is probably riddled with more viruses than an 18 year old virgin on a drunken lads’ holiday to “Shag-a-luf”
But the show must go on and on I shall go.
I hate it. I used to love it. You know, before I started to “work on myself” and deal with the mental illnesses and trauma I had been repressing. Back when I was a little kid, I used to get excited at opening my gifts (but not too excited because my mum always used to say: “don’t laugh too much you’ll cry”) having the Christmas dinner and being with my family. I had this underlying, nervous feeling that I was going to die at any second but I used to soothe that hellish voice with copious amounts of chocolate. (Last year it was vodka and marijuana)
However, as the years past and my god damn memories couldn’t be repressed anymore, any and all family related holidays became harder and harder to deal with.
Not to mention my ex-fiancé (let’s call him “Mark”) also hated Christmas so he whittled down my Christmas cheer until it was pretty much non-existent. Our Christmases, the 6 arduous years we spent together, consisted of him complaining about the money we had to spend, me complaining about seeing his depressive and downright rude family and joint arguments about how he wanted to work through the holidays and I didn’t want him to. So yeah, I don’t think that helped.
We split around November last year so you’d think last year’s Christmas would have been better but no. I stupidly fell for my rebound (let’s call him “Alex”) and jumped straight into a horrendous toxic mess of a nothing-ship (I can’t even say it was a relationship. It was a shit-ship – read my breakup blog for more info) that being said, NYE wasn’t too bad cos we spent it together but the 11 months that followed after that were fucking atrocious so I think it all got cancelled out in the end.
So this year I’m properly alone. And it sucks – because I can no longer hide away from my traumatic past and mental health disability and use men as a welcome distraction. Granted I could use alcohol and drugs if I wanted to but I’ve been very good over the last few months and I reaaally don’t want to “fall off the wagon” as it were.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bloody tempted though. As the days draw closer and closer to that “big day” the more I keep dreading what’s going to happen. I’ve already had one breakdown over it and I’m not sure I can handle another one.
That’s the thing about Christmas. To me, it feels like forced fun. It’s like your expected to automatically be happy and fully embrace yourself into the festivities when all you want to do is hide in your woman made fort and wait for it all to blow over.
I tried to get into the “right frame of mind” (something I was constantly told to do when I was younger) and really wanted to feel happy that this amazing holiday was upon us and it was all about giving and sharing and receiving (lol friends reference) but I just couldn’t do it. And because I couldn’t do it I beat myself up even more.
I berated myself for being miserable for (what I thought was) no reason. I have a roof over my head, I have friends who love me, I have money in my account, I have a job, a car and a family. What reason to I have to hate this holiday? Because of what happened to me in the past? Because that’s exactly where it is the past..
And do you know what I realised after hours and hours of crying and just full on raging arguments inside my own head? I realised two things.
I do not need a reason to feel the way I do. I am entitled to feel exactly the way I feel regardless of what day it is.
If you don’t like Christmas for whatever reason, mental health disability or not, you don’t have to pretend to like it. If you’re struggling to get into the swing of things because you are battling depression, anxiety, BPD, bipolar disorder or whatever it is, then that’s okay and you’re not a terrible person for feeling this way.
Christmas is stressful for most people and you’re not a “Scrooge” for not wanting to partake in the festivities. Like many charities say..
“It’s okay to NOT be okay”
Even though what happened to me is now in the past, it is something I carry with me every day. It is something that, at the moment, affects every decision of my life. It is what gave me my mental health disability and if that isn’t a good enough reason to some people as to why I struggle on family related holidays and holidays in general then I seriously don’t know what is.
Living with a mental illness or disorder is traumatic enough as it without the added pressure of making sure you’re “trying your best” on what supposedly is the happiest day of the year.
So what can we do about it?
Embrace the fact that you feel like shit. Look in the mirror and say: “Okay, it’s Christmas time and I feel like shit, but you know what, I fucking showed up. Despite everything, I am here. I am present. And for that reason and that reason alone; I am awesome and can feel any god damn way what to feel”
Don’t let anyone pressure you into engaging in anything you don’t want to. This is just as much your Christmas Day as it is theirs so if you wanna stay in bed all day watching Sex in the City re-runs then you do that. You’ll find no judgment for me.
Be and stay safe.
Try to recognise when you’re heading down a slippery slope; whether that be using again or hanging out with toxic people (ahem…”Alex”) and try your best to steer yourself away from those things. Open up your self love list (or use mine!!!) and try those out or call The Samaritans or Mental Health Matters for a free chat. And if you do slide down that slope, forgive yourself. We are all only human and can only do our best.
I know it’s hard & I know you feel like giving up but it is just one day (two if you count NYE – fuck sake 😂) and even if you think you can’t do it, I know you can.
Happy Holidays Everyone – Never forget we are all in this together<<<<<