Avoiding a mental health crisis at Christmas...


Christmas. 

I loathe the word, what it has become, and what it means to me and my family. Family is another word I struggle with but these issues are intertwined.

I don’t recall feeling anything other than dread when this time of year rolled around. Even though my mother says different, it’s never been a happy time. Truth be told, my brothers and I learnt very quickly how to paint the image of perfection when the need arose. Survival depended on it! No, I’m not being dramatic.

Maybe one day I’ll explain the environment I grew up in and why I am the way I am.

Anyway.

You’d think as I’m now 25 that I should be past this and be able to maybe create my own memories and happiness surrounding Christmas. The second issue with this bloody time of year comes from my past relationship. It wasn’t good. It was abusive in every sense of the word. The final Christmas I endured with him, 2008, was what finally gave me the strength to get out. It was nothing other than survival instinct and the grace of God that everything fell into place the way it did. That’s definitely another blog topic. 

So how did I cope? I drank. A lot. From the age of 17 I was always blacked out at Christmas in one way or another. 

The Christmas of 2009 is the last one I remember with any semblance of lucidity. I knew in the pit of my soul that it was the final Christmas I would spend with my best friend, Millie. I knew it. I hated that I knew. No-one else believed me because I couldn’t back it up with anything other than this intuition I have.

21st December 2010. Millie died and chaos ensued; my addictions exploded and psychologically I collapsed. I haven’t been the same since.

This is probably going to be the first time since that terribly traumatic day that I have been in the real world and it is absolutely terrifying. There is so much potential for all of these things to just resurface without warning and send me right back to that point in time over and over again.

It’s not as simple as “just don’t think about it”… I cannot control it and I very scared I won’t be able to cope and end up in a crisis situation. I have had zero therapy for my PTSD from the NHS. I’ve found a local therapist who I’m going to try to contact today but I loathe talking on the phone. Talking at all is exhausting, but she’s familiar with M.E/CFS which is a huge bonus. I’ve also arranged to see my GP on 17th December. 

I have no idea how I’ll be at that point in time but I’ll definitely need a medication booster/safety net and general check-in so everyone knows where I am mentally before Christmas hits. This is all I can do.
It’s a bizarre way to live, isn’t it? I don’t want a crisis to hit, but if it does, I don’t want to be at deaths door by the time help arrives.

I’m more than likely going to be on my own, which isn’t ideal, but a necessary evil. I refuse to go to my mothers, and I’d feel like an alien at my boyfriends’ parents. It blows my mind how normal they are; how they can talk to each other with use ease, sit around a table without feeling insanely awkward, stay in the same room for more than 15 minutes without wanting to scream or punch something/someone… They’re a normal, happy family and I have no idea how to act in that situation. I don’t understand it. I am always expecting something to erupt. At my boyfriends’ house, it’d be me, so I’m going to stay in a more familiar place with Lily.

So, how to avoid a crisis at Christmas? Disaster plan, as early as you can, and avoid as many triggers as possible if you’ve not been taught how to cope with them and be safe in the knowledge it'll all be over soon.

Bah, Humbug! 

Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

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