This time last year I had a very bleak outlook on the future. It seemed like Christmas was happening to everyone else but me. The trees and lights went up, presents wrapped and mince pies gobbled down but in my own little world, it was just a cold, lonely winter. For the sake of my family I tried to snap out of the misery I was being gripped by, but it’s hard to keep up appearances when all you wish to do is curl up and cry. The pain was horrendous and as a consequence I was under a fog of tablets to try and stop the suffering.
I watched on as my family gathered around the table for their turkey and Christmas pudding and it all seemed like a blur, like I wasn’t a part of the festivities or even in the room. It’s such a shame that I couldn’t enjoy that time; if I could go back I would make more of an effort. Christmas is such a happy time in my family and my misery must have been hanging over them like a dark cloud. Everything just seemed so insignificant to my suffering that I didn’t consider how unhappy it made my family to see such a spiral of depression in me. The truth is if I had actually tried to enjoy myself then I probably would have felt better. There were a lot of things on my mind at the time to compliment the suffering I was in physically, my relationship had broken down, I had no job and recently left the world where I worked and lived independently to return to my parents care. I honestly thought things would never get better.
I write this in hope that those of you who are in that state of suffering this year will find some comfort in knowing how much has changed for the better for me in the last twelve months. Back then I wouldn’t have dreamed of accomplishing the things I have this year. I thought my life was my bed, where I spent all of my time dwelling on all the things I was missing out on. I didn’t attempt to do any of the things I may have enjoyed. I have learnt that doing something you enjoy is worth a few days of pain or discomfort if it gets you out of that spiralling self pity. No one can tell you what to do; you have to decide this for yourself. Friends and relatives tried to snap me out of my despair many times last Christmas but I only emerged from the grip of sadness when I was ready to move on.
You never know what may come your way by next Christmas so enjoy this one right here, right now, to the best of your ability. This year, I will be doing all the things I should have done last year; being sociable with friends, enjoying dinner with my wonderful family, sharing a kiss under the mistletoe with the boy, but most of all, I will be smiling.