One of the side effects of my depression that lingers still is that I struggle with too much… too much noise, too much pressure, too much busyness, too many people. Christmas as you can imagine is just too much….
I can manage it, I can cope, I can look ahead and know which situation I am going to be in where it will happen and minimise these as much as I can but sometimes it still feels like failing. When I really want to enjoy being around a lot of people, when I really want to party and when I really want to get on and make plans, I’m always limited with what I can handle at once. It’s very frustrating.
So how do I cope? Well the first thing is to acknowledge it. I try not to anticipate it as I am pretty sure that if I anticipate it, it will happen, whereas I prefer to try and think positively and feel it won’t but thinking about that I guess my unconscious mind is therefore already anticipating. So can I forget?
If I do find myself in overwhelm, as that is what it is at the end of the day, I have to make sure I can take myself out mentally, not necessarily physically. I have taught myself to take my head to my garden, my haven of peace where no one else enters unless invited. I fact I went there this mornring and the only one there except for me was my man at the garden gate, my sanity, my voice of reason, my friend who is happy to just stand by my side in silence. I can be in a room full of people but it’s like they are behind a glass window, sound proofed, opaque and I’m untouchable until ready.
Afterwards? I praise myself for coping and remind myself that these are moments I control and are few and far between these days. I celebrate that I know what overwhelm feels like (so I understand my clients) and am grateful that these occasions are rare and short lived.
Christmas is a time for many when it all gets too much. The noise, the hustle and bustle, the need to be happy, the need to be the life and soul of the party, the hostess or host, the planner, the provider, the one in control and on top of all of that you are meant to enjoy it too. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. It’s okay not to enjoy. It’s okay to tolerate. It’s okay to be thankful when the days are done and everyone has gone home. However you feel, know it’s okay.
You know this will come round again, to feeling, this noise, this chaos, these emotions that overwhelm so what are you going to do to make sure that next time it’s all just that little bit less than before?