alcohol free, christmas, holiday, mental health, sobriety, vulnerability

Last Christmas…

I was mostly drunk. This year, to save me from tears I’ll give it a try being sober.

No, but really…this year is going to be different for so many reasons. Clearly there’s the obvious festive corona in the air but that’s actually not having a massive impact on my Christmas.

This year not only will it be my first ever sober Christmas since I was 17 years old….a whole 23 years ago! But it will also be my first Christmas at home with both my Mum and Dad since 2008.

I really do feel for all the people who won’t get the Christmas they planned or hoped for but I’ve not had a Christmas like this for a while so I can’t bloody wait.

But I have been there, Christmas alone, family miles (and miles) away, mental health wavering and a very sad looking Christmas tree with maybe one or two presents under it. Some years I got through it okay, some years I got through it…but only just.

It’s a weird one for me because there were years when I loved being able to do Christmas my way. No schedule to stick to, no pressure in the kitchen and being able to watch whatever I wanted on tv. But there were other years where I was really flat. I’d miss my family who were been celebrating on the other side of the world, I’d struggle seeing all my friends on social media enjoying the day with their loved ones and even though deep down I knew it was just another day, sometime years Christmas alone was really shitty.

So for all of you NOT spending it completely alone this year hear me out for a second. Because you can make somebody else’s Christmas a little less shitty. Maybe you can’t have everyone you wanted over for the day. Or maybe you’ve had to cancel your plans and it’s going to be more subdued then you’d originally hoped. Whatever changes you’ve had to make just take a few moments to think about someone who will be alone. Completely alone.

They might not need an invite. They probably don’t want a fuss. They will most likely tell you that they’ll be fine. But just a few messages or a quick phone call to check in on them can make a whole world of difference. I remember that I would get a fair few invites the weeks leading up to Christmas Day. But then on the actual day, nobody really sent anything more then the blanket ‘Merry Christmas’ text. I didn’t really want to be part of someone else’s family Christmas so personally I chose to be alone. But, that didn’t mean I wanted to be forgotten.

Loneliness is tough at the best of times. But over the holidays it just hits harder. And this year…well, I can only imagine how some people are going to be feeling. I think the best thing everyone can do this year is to be mindful. Be mindful of your actions, your thoughts, what you post on social media. Be mindful of what others are doing, feeling and saying.

So yes, that’s my message…

Have a mindful Christmas everyone.

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