I suppose December is becoming notorious in our house for being a rough month. There’s all this excitement around the run-up to Christmas and I am just not feeling it; worse still, I don’t know how to capture that enthusiasm for myself. I feel a lot like we’ve just been going through the motions this year. Presents are bought, wrapped, labelled and cards are ready. The tree is up, the lights are sparkling in the window and there’s tinsel almost everywhere I look. So why don’t I feel festive yet?
Partly it’s a memory of the December I made it through last year; and by made it through I mean dragged myself laboriously to Christmas Day and beyond. I was in the crisis house for the two weeks leading up to the event, and although I decorated my room there and had a lovely meal with the other residents, it just wasn’t ‘proper’. The weeks preceding were filled with suicidality, guilt and sadness. There was a real worry for my freedom; hospital was mentioned and it was only thanks to my awesome psychiatrist being willing to chop and change things that I got to a safer mindset by the time my discharge date came around.
This year, there’s so much life-stuff happening. I don’t have a job any more, so I’m missing out on Christmas meals, decorating the office, Secret Santa and so on. Then there’s that aimless feeling that has characterised the past week of enforced leisure. I feel purposeless, lost, worried. Hopefully I won’t be out of work for too long, and hopefully I find something I really enjoy doing; until then I just have to try to keep myself occupied (really, really, really should wash the windows at least!). But, I much prefer being occupied. I feel depressed, and I’ve not felt truly depressed in a long while.
Without Nan, of course, Christmas will be different. True, she’s not been well enough to join us for Christmas in a long while now, but she’s always been there, just – there. The funeral is on the 23rd, and that feels far away and too close all at once. I haven’t really cried yet, not proper, satisfying crying that would mean a release of the sadness that I can feel in my heart. Until we get to say our goodbyes to her just before Christmas I think I’ll continue to feel in limbo; and the memories of childhood Christmases at her old house will be hanging on the peripheral of my mind.
I wish I could enjoy this time of year and find that old excitement again. I just don’t know how.