I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be tapping on the keys once more. Without writing, I cease to be a writer; and when I am not a writer, I cease to be fully alive. Writing is my passion. This is where I tap into my flow. This is where my psyche unknots itself and my muscles relax themselves of their previous tension.
I am alone. I am upstairs while the family are downstairs, but I have been with them all day, so they are content with me slipping away for a short while. This is my self-care for the day. Some time alone to write and reflect.
If I could push the tears back in right now I would…that is how I feel; like tears are forming uncomfortably behind my eyes, but I am fighting them back because it’s Christmas. Not a tear has been shed today, but I have felt emotion a plenty and tears have been behind the scenes forming. The pressure hurts the back of my eyes. The back of my eyes prickle, pins and needles style. Keep it in summer. It’s Christmas. Well, it’s actually Christmas eve technically, but we have all sat down as a family and tucked into a Christmas eve celebratory supper so it feels fairly Christmassy to me.
What actually are we celebrating? Well I’m not sure the family are all celebrating the same things. My daughters’ will be celebrating the fact that tomorrow is their most exciting day of the year and there will be presents and indulgent food, and festive films and crackers and all kinds of typical Christmassy stuff going on. My hubby will be celebrating how he doesn’t have to go to work for a while and can just chill at home with us and a few beers. I am celebrating something different in my mind, but I choose not to share it with them because what I’m celebrating is on a very different plane.
I am reflecting on my basic aliveness and the miracle of that. It IS a miracle. I still cannot believe that I’m alive; but I must be as I’m typing this and as far as I know I’m not a ghost. I’m a living breathing human who has been through so much shit that I won’t even start explaining. But despite all that; despite my suicidality and attempts and hospitalisations, I’m alive.
Not everyone who has a mental illness remains alive. Fact. Not everyone who has a mental health problem, whether diagnosed or not diagnosed, remains alive. People die from this everyday. The word is suicide. And they die from this with good reason. Mental illness, in it’s severest form, is pure hell on earth. And yes, I will say to you, my illness is towards the severe end of the spectrum. People say don’t compare, but that tends to be the people with milder conditions, so I will compare because I know what my history is. You don’t. I know how bad it was. You don’t. I know I have had a level of life shit to deal with that would have killed most people. Blunt but factual. My aliveness, given my illness and past IS a miracle, and Christmas for me is not about crackers or cards or the exchanging of presents or the passive watching of crappy telly Christmas specials. It is a celebration, and a marvelling that I am still somehow here.
I AM STILL HERE.
I HAVE MANAGED ANOTHER YEAR WITHOUT SUICIDE.
I AM ALIVE.
I AM ACTUALLY ALIVE.
That is what dominates my thoughts, but I am not aiming to be macabre. My preoccupation with my own imagined death is my sole coping strategy. The tantalising potential of suicide is what gives me hope, paradoxically. I cannot live without a sense that I have an opt out clause if things get absolutely and one hundred percent unbearable. Suicidal ideation sustains me and comforts me. Suicidal fantasy is the best escape my mind can offer me from a life saturated with psychological anguish and pain.
Yes. I am writing about pain here on Christmas eve. Yes I am writing about suicidal thinking. Yes I am writing about the pure misery of this illness because I feel it today just as I do everyday…….except today, I am less permitted to feel it, BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS.
“Because it’s Christmas” is a statement bandied around by all and sundry, but mostly by non sufferers of mental health conditions. It is a statement that essentially means,
SHUT UP MOANING, STOP SPOILING CHRISTMAS WITH YOUR DEPRESSIVE RAIN CLOUD TYPE AURA, SMILE EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE SMILING, HUG AND KISS PEOPLE YOU DON’T EVEN FUCKING LIKE, ACCEPT SHIT BADLY CHOSEN PRESENTS GRACEFULLY, BE PERFECT, BE FOREVER SOCIABLE, IMPRESS EVERYBODY, GET ON WITH EVERYBODY, AND FOR GODS SAKE DON’T SHOW ANY REAL EMOTION OR SADNESS OR PAIN OR SPEND ANY TIME DURING THE HOLIDAYS DOING WHAT KEEPS YOU SANE OR HEALTHY……
………BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS”
My friends, that’s bollocks if ever I heard it!
Christmas doesn’t have to be like that! I have done enough smiling for today so I shan’t make myself smile anymore. I have been sociable and loving as a mum and wife enough, so now I’ll enjoy my temporary recharging reclusiveness. I do feel pain today. I do feel pride. I do feel triumph. I do feel amazement that I managed to fend off the crisis that nearly sent my spiralling and under the care of the crisis team. I am proud that I have got back on my feet again after a nasty and hurtful shock which cut me deep. I am alive. Just WOW. Wow summer. You did it. You got to see another Christmas. You stayed alive. YOU STAYED ALIVE and you should feel proud of it my lovely shiny blogger person. You did it. Not everyone with your sorts of problems did. BPD has the second highest suicide rate of all psychiatric disorders. You have that. And you are alive!
One extra candle sits proudly on the birthday cake. Lots more lovely people have entered my life and heart. I have genuine prospects ahead of me. I just need to keep doing this thing called crisis management aka. staying alive.
I will have the courage to do my own thing at Christmas and feel whatever I feel, because yesterday I was at a serious point of crisis and tonight I am just home from walking the dogs round the village with my youngest looking at the magical twinkly Christmas lights in people’s homes, feeling so glad I am able to do that with her. They need their mum and I intend to do everything in my power to stay alive. Every year I will celebrate my success for making it here in one piece, slightly scarred but unscathed, into a fresh new Christmas.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE! :)
TO EVERYONE WHO FOLLOWS MY BLOG AND LEAVES SUCH BEAUTIFUL COMMENTS; YOU ARE WHAT MAKES ME WANT TO KEEP WRITING! YOU ARE WHAT LIGHTS THAT SPARK AND MAKES ME KNOW THAT WHAT I SAY MIGHT BE WORTHWHILE TO YOU WHO READ IT AS WELL AS ME WHO WRITES IT.
I WISH YOU THE SHINIEST CHRISTMAS IMAGINABLE, AND IF YOU DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS YOURSELF, REST ASSURED I’LL BE BACK TO WRITING MY USUAL SUMMERSHINES POEMS AND WRITING AND DOODLES ASAP………
BUT FOR NOW, MY FAMILY NEED ME, AND I WANT TO BASK IN MY STATUS OF CHRISTMASSY ALIVENESS AND THE WHOLE GREAT MIRACLE OF THIS.
WITH LOTS OF LOVE xxx