Christmas – a time filled with wonder and joy. Chocolates and wine. Gifts and family. Christmas – also a time filled with depression and anxiety. Loneliness and heartache. Bitterness and suicide.
I’ve had good Christmases, and some not so good ones. Christmas 2011 was particularly crap. Many mothers would be filled with extreme excitement at the thought of their child’s first Christmas. Planning the gifts, dressing them up in some kind of Santa themed ensemble. All I could muster was a few wrapped bits and bobs and an elf suit. I can’t even remember what Moos first Christmas gifts were. I didn’t keep the gift tags and I certainly didn’t cherish every moment.
It was all part of the blur that was the first year of her life. Admittedly, 2012 was to be a better year. But at the time I was frantic with fear that my life was completely and irreparably ruined by this baby girl that had been sucked into my life via ventouse. Christmas festivities were the last thing on my mind.
This Christmas feels different. I’m in a much better place. I can cope with day to day life (mostly, there are some not so great moments) and can even manage the extras, such as planning gifts and food and events. I made Moo a nativity costume (granted, I cut up a table cloth, no sewing involved) and I even remembered to buy different wrapping paper for the gifts from Father Christmas. I’m now looking forward to the years of Christmas tradition to come, rather than viewing them as a lifetime prison sentence.
My thoughts are with those that don’t want to be alive this Christmas. I’ve been there, it’s fucking awful. The whole world is celebrating around you while you peer up at it from your ever deepening dark hole. Please know that it won’t always be this way. When you’re that low, the only way is up, right? Hang in there, it’ll be over soon. 2014 is right around the corner, and with it comes the possibility of a better future.
Christmas is most certainly a two sided coin. Which side are you on this year?