I veer between wanting to give up and wanting to fight. Neither is easy. These days, ironically, as my sleeping has improved, my mental and emotional exhaustion is coupled with physical exhaustion and this weariness makes fighting hard. But giving up means losing everything and that is also hard.
This Christmas I’m fighting. Small things that should be done without thought need effort. But I have made it home and am doing my best impression of a normal person. A lethargic one but a normal one nonetheless. And I have bought presents: I have thought about them, purchased them, wrapped them and distributed them.
I’m lucky, my family is small and there are no big gatherings. As I haven’t been working, there are mercifully no office parties or work meals to endure (or make excuses to avoid). And, just as I congratulate myself for organising gifts, I have to admit that most of them consist of money in envelopes (yes, I’ve become that aunt), traditional sweets brought back from Spain and vouchers so organisation as such is at a minimum. So the stress that makes xmas so much worse for those who are already struggling and anxious is almost non-existent. I got on a bus, I came home, I sat on a sofa and tried to occupy myself while doing as little as possible.
But Christmas, of course, also represents the end. A new year is coming and this is more problematic. My mind rushes constantly between thoughts of what I can do next year to improve myself and to improve the world – things I can do, places I can go, people I can meet – and thoughts of dread at having to drag myself through yet another 12 months, worn out and alone.
But Christmas I can do, Christmas I’m fighting for. This Christmas, I will be the personification of normal. What comes next is anyone’s guess.