Tired, emotional, fed up, over excited, bored and cold (but mostly emotional).
As we are now in December I think it is now perfectly acceptable to talk about the ‘C’ word.
No, not crisps or chocolate (although they do feature heavily at this time of year).
The season of goodwill to all and the time when we lie to our children. That second point might a bit be a bit harsh but it is true in that we all at some point have been told the story of Santa only visiting good children and if you are on the naughty list you will get nothing. This means you probably spent most of December being incredibly hardworking around the house and you were extra nice to your siblings (if you have any) so as to avoid being on ‘that’ list. The first point of goodwill can also be stretching it a little as there is always one person who you really don’t want to be nice to but ‘because it’s Christmas’ you swallow your pride and keep your tongue in check.
Christmas has always been a bit of a funny time of year for me. Looking back on my life since I have been made more aware of my mental health it seems to be the one time of the year when I have felt more alone than any. I have an incredibly supportive family who have always given everything they can at Christmas and I have never been unhappy with what I have received from people. In fact I have had amazing gifts through the years and have always been amazed at people’s kindness. I also love watching people’s faces as they open the presents I have given as, for me, that is one of the highlights of my day. For some unexplained reason I just feel like I am alone and I’m not allowed to let myself be happy.
What I don’t enjoy however, is the enforced happiness of it all both during the day and in the maddening run up to it. I work in retail so in effect we have Christmas thrown at us from September onwards and understandably I have had enough of it by the time it actually comes around. I am expected to be happy all day when the reality is that I just want to feel ‘normal’.
I don’t want a lot of fuss.
I just want to have a nice relaxed breakfast. Followed by some time with my wife and daughter opening presents before we get stuck in to preparing a lovely roast dinner for the 3 of us. Then, leaving me to wash the dishes while bouncing around the kitchen with my headphones on, my wife can relax in the living room watching rubbish on the TV and my daughter will no doubt be glued to her phone ignoring us all. I don’t want to make myself feel guilty for not having a good time while I struggle with my own insecurities and emotions. I don’t want to make myself feel like I am letting my family down when I don’t want to join in with games. Is that too much to ask?
At this time last year I was to begin the most scary part of my life so far as I descended deeper in to my depression and anxiety. I had been signed off work and was staying indoors for most of the time unless I absolutely had to go out. This year I intend to make more of an effort but to still feel comfortable.
In the weeks leading up to the big day itself I have a number of things to look forward to. One of these is my 40th birthday present from my work colleagues and I am going to be going to a local glass works and making my own paperweight. I will be gathering the glass, adding my own colours and blowing the shape all by myself (with some help of the master glass maker) and then when it’s all done I can polish the bottom (sounds a bit dodgy if you ask me) and engrave it with my name and date. I can’t wait for this and I am genuinely excited for this day to come.
The other important thing to look forward to is that we are getting central heating and a new boiler in our house. This gives us another thing to tick off the list of jobs to do in the house.
Finally, in other news, I have sold my first piece of artwork. Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have got back in to drawing. I have my own ‘style’ and while it’s not to everyone’s taste I am proud of it. So much so that I am going to be setting up my own Facebook page for my art work so that I can push it out there a bit more. It’s not going to give a me a retirement income yet.
But you never know what is around the corner………………………………..