Friday, December 20, 2019

Coping at Christmas

Dear Darlings, 

It’s been 3 months since I looked at my blog and it’s like I’ve blinked and Christmas is here. A time which I throughly enjoyed when I was younger but now, it’s a completely different story. Ever since my diagnosis of mental health problems, I’ve found Christmas more and more difficult to face as the years went on, more worry, dread, pressure and I have became completely overwhelmed with this. The main one being that I put so much stress on myself to be happy, just like everyone seems to be doing because its “the festive period” so I want to look joyous, excited and do so many things so I can meet other people’s expectations of happiness because of this time of the year. 

You don’t give yourself a break, you’re rushed off your feet and it’s the worst for social anxiety because there’s so many parties, social events and in general just seeing family and friends. It can be extremely tough. You over commit yourself to do things, to get a good enough of sense of what it feels like to just let go and have fun like those around you. But then you spiral into a guilt absorbed mindset, beating yourself up because you think you’ve let everyone down, because you don’t feel happy. You overanalyse situations, overthink your actions and question yourself ‘why can’t I be happy?’ ‘why can’t I feel normal?’ These questions fill your mind, nagging at you, demanding you to doubt yourself because then it’s won. You can call it a shadow, a dark cloud. I call it a bully. An internal bully who just wants to bring you down, until you believe that you’re not good enough for anyone. You lay in bed and you scroll on social media, your friend going to a Christmas market, a family member going on a Christmas night out and you think to yourself ‘they’re all having fun and what am I doing?’ Another attack from the bully, making you think what you’re doing isn’t okay, you should be having fun like these people. Why aren’t you having fun? You probably don’t deserve it otherwise you would be out doing these exact things, if only someone liked you. These are just few of the other million, racing thoughts that pounds in my head. A constant headache that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how much attention you give it. But ask yourself this, who told you this is what everyone expects from you? That you should be doing these things in order to ‘be happy’. Whatever you’re doing right now, or in a weeks time. It’s okay. There is no right or wrong and if you want to stay in bed, sit in your room, read a book then that’s okay. Nothing should ever interrupt your version of happiness by laying an expectation of what you should do. 

Because if there’s one person that will, it’s the internal bully. And you can’t let it win. Because bullies love sucking out your energy, it feeds on their own ego. Alternatively, find something you love and it doesn’t have to be just going out. Go downstairs, watch a Christmas film, listen to music, talk to a family member. You can do whatever you like as long as it makes you feel calm and doesn’t worsen your mental health. 

So take this as a reminder. To just...

Breathe.
You’re doing amazing.