Christmas has been and gone and I am relieved. All that horrendous, over-hyped build up came to its usual disappointing crescendo and instantly faded in the customary anti-climax by the afternoon of the 25th. I had thoroughly de-Christmassed my house by lunchtime on Boxing Day.
That’s all very cynical, but I think being a grinch enabled me to get through the festivities without too much trouble. I expected it to be tough, and it was tough, therefore I was ready for it. In fact, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.
We had some good friends stay with us for a few days, friends who know how I’ve been lately and have their own struggles too. They were 100% up for a non-eventful Christmas and were happy to just chill, eat nice food and binge-watch Netflix with us. We exchanged small gifts and I made a Christmas dinner. Apart from that, it was just us getting together while we all had time off.
Funny story from Christmas day; we ended up having a live game of Mousetrap. As in, a little mouse appeared under the Christmas tree in the evening and my friend and I chased it around the house, fruitlessly trying to capture it. At one point, it came and put its tiny paw on my hand, which was super cute until it bit me. Anyway, as we didn’t catch it, I got some ‘vegetarian’ mouse traps and managed to trap two that way. My wife and I took them a mile or so from the house to release them. I got this adorable photo of them just before they scampered away.
Aside from rescuing rodents bringing some light, being away from my family and in-laws really made the holidays easier. I could for the most part steer clear of the difficult feelings and Codependent behaviours Christmas evokes. I still had a hefty dose of feeling not good enough, but with my wife and friends that isn’t so powerful and all-encompassing as it is with family. Plus, I didn’t have to feel guilty about not seeing any family as they were all out of the country.
I navigated most of Christmas without getting massively depressed or anxious. I took a few Lorazepam and that helped me relax into being sociable. However, by the morning of Boxing Day I’d had enough of it. I woke up in a foul mood and just couldn’t handle being around people anymore. I wanted to isolate and withdraw but I couldn’t and that made me feel like a caged animal. I was irritable and agitated. I couldn’t wait for our guests to leave – which in itself made me feel like a horrible person.
Now I’m struggling as I am off work in this limbo time between the Bank Holidays. I’ve got stuff planned, but it isn’t enough structure for me. I hate going into the office at the moment, but I still find myself looking forward to the return of ‘normality’ next week. I’m also trying to cope with another gap in therapy and that doesn’t help. Again, I didn’t really want to go to therapy last week, but I still miss the routine of it.
I found my last few therapy sessions really challenging. J was really challenging, and it’s left me asking myself a whole load of questions I can’t find answers to. I feel like she’s expecting me to have some answers to them when I see her next week, so I’m under pressure to figure it all out by then. I need to do more writing, as that creates some order and perspective, but I’m having trouble motivating myself. I keep starting, getting overwhelmed and consequently not being able to get anywhere with it. It’s frustrating and demoralising.
Main photo: Giò, Creative Commons.