I’ve been wanting to talk about this day since it happened, but it’s really hard to talk about it without a little bit of perspective. It also doesn’t really help that the entire season was very hard for me, even now on a good day I am still fighting to stop feeling like this, the season of grief has truly gotten me down.
The important thing is I got through this very hard day, I knew it was going to be difficult but even then it subverted my expectations, to the point where I wish I had acted so much sooner. I knew how I wanted to spend the day, but through obligation, guilt, and a sprinkling of self-loathing I didn’t know how to ask for it.
I wanted to go up into the Highlands, get a pet-friendly cabin, and really spend Christmas Day alone with my other half. Have whisky, presents, and a great deal of laughter as we spent the entire day reconnecting after a really terrible September day, another bad day in October, and my mental health state the past few years.
But due to work, exhausted, poor mental health, and a rather long wait to see a specialist about my recurrent miscarriage that all my plans just disappeared as they usually do. I started to compromise as others do, our families had expectations of both of us, and I felt like I was letting everyone down.
Then Christmas Day came, we woke up, opened presents, had fun, and ate breakfast as we watched Christmas specials. I felt really good as I expect to be in a bad place, then I went for a shower, it started as it usually does but I fought so hard for it to leave. I pushed through, got ready, got dressed up, snapped at my other half as he tried to help me.
I pushed through the lot of it, I just had to push it down and get on with it. We went into the car with the presents in hand, I felt anxiety as it sat on my chest making it impossible to breathe, but I got through it. It was Christmas, the time for family, and I will not let my mental health win on Christmas.
We drove for about five minutes until every bit of grief I’ve been trying to control, ever anxious thought I’d tried to ease, and the pit of sadness I’d felt courtesy of depression all came out of me. My other half took me back home, sat me down, made me a cup of tea, and put my mind completely at ease about what needed to be done.
I had to let go of obligation, let go of the guilt, and focus on me. I cried for about two hours straight, as I lay on the couch thinking about everything I’d lost, my other half became Santa that day as he went from house to house with presents apologising for my absence. Even as I write about it now that feeling comes back to me and I cry some more.
I forced myself to do what others wanted of me this Christmas, I moved away from what I wanted, and I ended up spending the entire day in the house. I was better for it, I would have just put my own needs to the side, pushed down the pain and the grief to benefit other people. On Christmas Night I finally admitted what I needed was to just spend time with my other half.
I felt better for crying, I felt better for not having to pretend that I am ok when I clearly wasn’t, and I felt better when I heard the understanding family I actually have. The moral of this Christmas Tale is to do what you want if you’re too sad to celebrate don’t celebrate, and if you just want time alone to grieve then that’s ok too.
Just do what makes you feel better, don’t cave into pressure.
Thanks for reading,