thoughts on holidays and advice to others with mental illness

It’s Christmas eve and I’m hanging out in my double room (most everyone has a four person haaaaah) with my bestist friend/ roommate/ adopted (I wish) sister. I have my stufties in my jamas with fresh water. I couldn’t be happier.

Well I could. If I had Lucky my cat. But will skype with him tomorrow. Talked to my family who are all ok though my sister has strept and had to go to the hospital last night.

Feeling settled. Thinking about Christmases over the past few years.

The ones at Friedman were very good. Both of them. I remember the first we skyped while I opened presents with my family. I forget the second one. Well I think that second year was actually when I was hospitalized because it was 2013. I came to Albany care right before thanksgiving. By Christmas I really hadn’t moved out of the dark place I was in. I hated hated myself. I hated life. I was enraged enough at people for selfishly keeping me from peacefully dying that if I could I would have blown up the whole well whatever I could get my paws on!

But deep down I was just lost and empty and didn’t want to do a thing. My parents had sent a package to FP I somehow found the energy to reroute it so it got here. But refused to open it and had staff store it. I think I slept as much as possible that day I just wanted to hide from it all.

Last Christmas was awesome! I had connected with Jess and we were both doing really well in this room! We opened presents and had an awesome time. I hope to never have a lonely depressed Christmas again.

It’s given me real insight into how overwhelming the holidays can be if you’re extremely depressed, anxious, greeving the loss of a loved one, a job, relationship ETC. Or if you’ve had trauma around the holidays and are experiencing PTSD triggers. If you use substances, self injury, eating disorders or other behaviors it may be overwhelmingly tempting to resort to those.

There are no easy answers and each person’s black hole is different. I know with me there was no pulling me out until I got enough meds in me. And even so it took Jonathan literally fighting my illness, which pretty much had me entirely in its grip, to get me climbing out. Knowing you’re not alone doesn’t fix anything and life still sucks. I guess all I can say is it’s ok to not be ok. Even though everyone around you seems insanely fake happy with all the music and special TV shows. I hated that music OMG! LOL.

Just be you. Try and be with people who get it. Who can stand by you through your anxiety, triggers, self-harm urges, greef or whatever. People who won’t try to cheer you up but will just be with you. Just have a low key day. If the only way you can get through it is to sleep or treat it like a normal day that’s fine. There’s no rule that says you have to do specific stuff on Christmas or you’ll be arrested by the holiday polece. Just getting through is an accomplishment in itself.

You never know when mental illness might get the upperhand. I can’t say for sure that one Christmas I won’t be back where I was sleeping the day away. But I’ll have much more support than back then and that would help me get through the hard time faster.

If anyone wants to talk I’m here.

Nelsonsam68

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