Thursday, 10 December 2009

Tis the season to be jolly

Growing up, we didn't celebrate Christmas as my family aren't Christian. We also didn't celebrate New Year as my parents weren't party people. I found the whole holiday really hard as my western friends would be talking about the pressies they got, their trees and parties. As I grew older and was able to go out, I would join the mad rush to find parties and stuff to do, especially on New Year's Eve. After a few years of trekking down to Trafalgar square to be squashed and then some party or other, and a totally horrendous Millennium Year party, I was in tears and a kind stranger at Baker Street station told me to give myself a break and not feel the need to "celebrate". So from then on, pressure was off and I would spend NYE at home watching films and hopefully falling asleep before the countdown. New Year's day would involve an extremely long walk - it's one of the best times to walk around London as it tends to be empty. My best walk was one around central London into Convent Garden.
How times have changed. Now I've got the tree, decorations, pressies and the whole NYE to look forward to. But in some ways it's been a tough year, and at times the despair keeps me awake at night. I also still feel some pressure and worry about the pressies as I don't have an income but I don't want my tot to miss out and my hubby's family are Christian and celebrate the whole thing.
Tis the season to be jolly. However, for many people it's the exact opposite. The depression alliance have said that 1 in 5 people suffer from depression. This is the one of worst time of year for sufferers of depression - full of pressures whether you are alone or not. If you are alone you may be fine with that - or you may also be lonely. And this season helps people dwell on their loneliness. Or you could be part of a family (but still lonely) with the pressure to buy presents, cook dinner, entertain and so on. To breaking point.
So there is a helpful guide that you can look at:

http://www.depressionalliance.org/publications/da_christmas.pdf

If you don't want to be alone, consider volunteering on Christmas day. Crisis are looking for volunteers:
https://web.crisis.org.uk/cc2009/

And most importantly, remember that this is only a short 2 week season. People aren't always as happy as they seem so don't assume you are alone in your feelings and know that you will get through it all.

3 comments:

Steph Meslin-Weber said...

That was well written and heartfelt - it really changed my perspective on the whole festive season; I didn't even realise I was feeling some of those very same pressure - or that others did too!

Thank you very much!

Cheerful One said...

Brilliant post.

Plummy Mummy said...

Thank you - hope you both survived xmas unscathed.