Today is Christmas Day in our household, as I drive back down south at the weekend to spend actual Christmas with my family so we do it early as my best friend is working the real thing.
Anyway I am known for being the Queen of Christmas, I used to love the festivities. It has always been my favourite time of year but the last 5 or 6 I’ve forced my festivity. I don’t think anyone has been able to tell. I work hard to keep up this pretence.
6 years ago, in 2012, Christmas was easy. I was high, I used to call cocaine my Christmas spirit and I’d mix it with pills and alcohol which made it go by in a flash. I don’t really remember very much of that year, I know I was working for a few hours on the actual day but the rest of it is a blur. My family are heavy drinkers, especially during the festive period, so they didn’t notice what was happening.
5 years ago, 2013, Christmas was the hardest I’ve ever had. I was clean and sober, 6months so and I worked hard to be happy. My Grandad passed away that Christmas Day, early in the morning and I don’t cry in front of my family. I never have. I deal with my emotions later once I’ve helped everyone else. So I slapped on the fakest smiles and I went about working on the best Christmas ever. My mum drank away the pain of losing her father and everyone else tried to hold back tears to enjoy the period together.
4 years ago, 2014, I had to work away in London. I only had to pretend to be festive for the 30minute phone call to them that day. I remember feeling very depressed and isolated at that time, at least when I was faking the festivities I had my family.
3 years ago, 2015, I had one of the best Christmases, my 2 friends invited me back to their flat after work. We drank and played stupid games, we ate Chicken Kiev’s and spring rolls and laughed so much. I loved it, I was still sad, but I managed to get lost in the festivities.
2 years ago, 2016, it was my first Christmas home in a long time. I worked endlessly on the Christmas menu, on choosing my gifts. I had a small present opening in Scotland which was amazing, a small care package from my best friend to get me through. I drove home for Christmas on Christmas Eve and I sang Christmas songs at the top of my lungs all the way. It was good fun, we laughed and smiled. There was always the air of sadness in the air but we forced ourselves through it and I came back on the 27th.
Last Christmas, 2017, we had a Scottish Christmas in November as a friend of ours was going back to France in early December. We opened daft gifts, drank, ate party food, played games and watched Christmas movies. It was awesome. It was so much fun and I didn’t feel the sadness once, except when my boyfriend at the time didn’t show up, but I put it to the back of my mind and I enjoyed my friends company. My boyfriend and I discussed him coming to my parents house on Boxing Day and meeting everybody. I met his mum the weekend before Christmas. He didn’t come to my staff Christmas party and he sent me a weird message asking me to come over, even though he knew I was out. I was sceptical but he promised me it was nothing. I hated myself for questioning him, I blamed my exes. I blamed myself. We exchanged gifts, his dad had died the year before and he had been trying to find his dads harmonica. I bought him one, engraved with his dads initials. He cried, he gave me a generic bath set but I tried not to be disappointed. On December 21st, he told me he had cheated on me the night of my staff Christmas party. I drove home that Christmas and everyone asked about my boyfriend, this great guy I hadn’t shut up about and I had to tell them we’d broken up. It was humiliating. Christmas was more forced than ever and there were so many people in our house that year I had a sofa to sleep on and nowhere to escape off to for some breathing time.
So Merry Christmas everyone, hopefully this year is better. The candle we light for absent friends, holds even more memories than it did last year which saddens me but I’m trying to feel the festivity. I used to love Christmas, it was a huge part of who I was and I’ve never wanted to give that up. I love the lights, the decorations, the movies and the songs. If anyone has any idea how to get through it without drugs, alcohol and sadness then I’d love to hear it. If not I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, I truly do. It’s a magical time of year when anything can happen, I’m just waiting on my magic