Christmas is over *pause for applause and sighs of relief*.
I mean, I’m sure it was lovely for some of you – lucky bastards – but even you must be wiping your eyebrows saying ‘phew’. No more basting, no more wrapping, no more eating carrots for the reindeer at 1am, no more countdowns, no more Elf on the Shelf, no more terrible preschool nativities where everyone solely watches their own children because the rest are shite. You have got to be, somewhere deep down, relieved?
And then there’s us who are glad for a whole other world of reasons. No more rows, no more fighting, no more guilt trips, no more travelling, no more spinning plates to keep everyone happy, no more flatness when you get bullied, no more feeling bruised and battered. I can go on. Us who suffer with PTSD, anxiety, family issues (what a broad term) it all can be such an overwhelming time. Personally I found the whole week exhausting; emotionally mainly. I slept for all of Christmas Eve because I was so worn out by it all.
But, I ain’t gonna depress ya’ll during this odd period. This strange, desert of the year – where nobody knows what day of the week it is or whether the Spar is open or not. Everyone is too stuffed up on food and booze to care about the 26th-30th. Then New Year’s trots along obediently and badaboom – people can move again.
I did have lots of smiles and happy bits of my Christmas – as I’m sure you did, if you look hard enough – and I choose to try to focus on them. Like hugging my dog and her waking me up with a lick like she always used to, like laughing hysterically with my mother until it hurt, to hearing my nieces sing and feeling so much pride I could physically burst, to cooking dinner on Christmas day with my Dad and feeling so lucky to have him – as he danced in his Christmas jumper, to sorting out my beautiful presents on Boxing Day and making my room even cosier than it already was. I mean there have been great parts. And shit parts. But, I guess Sinatra was right – That’s Life!
Anywho, I’ve been neglecting my therapeutic duties ma’lord. I haven’t done my diary cards in two weeks or tried to particularly focus on my skills (although I was very good at staying mindful and used my skills in Bristol). So I need to use this gap, this punctuation mark of the year, to get shit done basically. Therapy wise, I need to also prepare for my “health assessment” (please take the title with a rather sizeable pinch of salt) to see whether I get granted Personal Independence Payment or not. I 100% should because of my mental health problems but I get the impression from online research and forums that if you can walk and talk with energy and pick up a phone – you can work and so get denied the financial assistance. BUT apparently 60-70% of appeals get granted – that’s something at least.
Yes, the welfare system is great. No, being on it is not.
The “health” assessment is performed by a professional who is very minimally medically trained (e.g: an occupational therapist or physiotherapist – neither of whom would be lawfully allowed to treat somebody with a mental illness yet get to decide whether they get money or not. It is shite.) I repeat, parentheses aside, it is shite to be reliant on the British welfare system and watch it fall down upon you like rubble as the political landscape muddies itself further.
Anyway. A last mixed positive I will leave you with, friends, is that I am starting my second novel! No, I haven’t finished editing my first nor getting it published – BUT I just have this bloody amazing story right on the tip of my tongue and I have to write it. So, I promise you I won’t abandon ‘All the Lives I Want’ (My first book) but I am also gonna write this new love affair. Take care all!!! Oh, and happy New Decade!!!!!