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It’s All In My Head

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A Happy S.A.D. Non Christmas

30th November 2017

I haven’t liked Christmas since I was a kid, when you grow up and realise that your life doesn’t get better from any gift no matter how amazing or expensive, as it doesn’t change anything else and how others treat you the other 364 days of the year or how you feel inside.

Then you have kids and sort of get sucked into it- the you have to trick kids into believing a mysterious man gives them presents by their bed and the fact you ‘have’ to celebrate Christmas or it won’t be fun for them otherwise- and the implication of how can you ruin that for them by not doing the same? Comments everywhere, from family to every commercial on the planet…

Yet it’s me that buys all the presents every year, (even those supposedly for me!) works out the best we can afford with finances we have (I have never understood the paying back the credit card all year theory of Christmas) so that everyone gets something ‘they deserve’. Trying to work out what to buy to spend the same amount of money on each child, buying the presents for the family who don’t need them (well not now anyway- I can think of times of the year I could buy a gift and it be much more wanted, needed and appreciated), orders and buys the food, the wrapping paper, the tape, the cards. Puts up the tree, the decorations, the lights (and packs them all carefully away each January)…basically exhausts herself for one supposedly ‘special’ day. For a religion I don’t even belong to or believe in.

And I won’t mention the expectations on this day having to be ‘perfect’. The perfect family day that you can’t ruin (with your stroppy redhead temper!) Every year I don’t know if it’s the darkness, the coldness, or Xmas which makes me feel S.A.D (Seasonal affective disorder)?? …so bollox to all of it. I don’t have the perfect family and I certainly don’t have the perfect attitude.

And then I had a brain tumour…

Last year (7 months after it was removed) I didn’t do much- apart from bought a few gifts online and then sat in my newly gifted onesie all day, thinking ‘fuck it, I’m alive- what else matters?’ We didn’t have a tree or lights as I couldn’t get them down from the loft even if I wanted to… and I didn’t. Dave cooked as he chose to. I sat on the sofa bed in the lounge for much of the day reading a book while others watched TV. (yes we were so lazy we put the sofa bed down!) Just sitting in peace, the more ‘normal’ the day was the better.

But I still felt I was lying to myself, saying this crappy saying. I don’t wish someone a ‘Happy Christmas’ – I want them to be happy inside always, all year, be true to themselves, authentic, loving, understanding… not just a fake ‘aren’t we all happy’ bolloxy day.

So this year this is it. I am not doing any Christmas. I do feel a little guilty that ‘should be doing something for Roan our 11 year old, but I have decided the gift of him seeing my authentic self will be better than any present I can buy him. I am not buying cards, or presents, or putting up any decorations. I have said that I don’t want gifts for Xmas. If anyone feels the need they can buy me something any other time of year. Give me a gift when I need it, means something or not when you are ‘supposed to’! If my family want to do anything, I am not stopping them, just I don’t want to.

I feel like I might somehow celebrate the winter solstice on the 21st December. I have internally celebrated it for years- that shortest day which means light can only get brighter again. The darkness is at its worst and is going again from the increasing of healing sunlight. This slightly took on a different meaning last year when I lit a whole tray of candles to celebrate the darkness of a brain tumour fading from my life, as I sat and cried in a candle lit room.

This year I will give Roan a present that day, to stop my guilt that I cannot just do nothing for him. I might decorate a few candle holders. I might not. I’d consider putting lights up, but I can’t be bothered to get them, and know they would be then up until new year… So my salt lamps and candles will do.

And it’s the 1st December tomorrow- and I’m not dreading it! I’m just partly hibernating, slowing down, wanting to keep warm and rest and counting down the days until it starts getting brighter again.

Next - “Crying in the Rain”