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Christmas of yesteryear



  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383

    Thats the spirit girls, only you and no one else has control over you, not even the winter, embrace the seasons with a strong mind 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    If I'm totally honest my real problem is Christmas rather than the darkness. My primary diagnosis is anxiety and the depression is a reaction to that rather than to lack of light. However, I've found that taking anti-depressants improves the depression side of the equation, enabling me to bounce back more quickly from anxiety setbacks.

    The anxiety goes way back to December 1985, I can even remember the day and date - Friday 13th for those who are superstitious. That's when I had my first panic attack, sitting in the back of our work van having my cheese sandwiches. A completely normal Friday morning and then an overwhelming wave of fear from nowhere and for no apparent reason. Of course I'd never heard of anxiety/panic/depression and didn't seek help for something I thought nobody would believe.

    Its been with me ever since, on and off but never far away. I know what you mean Gemma by feeling like an alien, hang in there and keep gardening. Its such great therapy isn't it image

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    That's amazing Fishy that you can pin it down to a single moment.

    I've been pretty much the same living with the oddities of it and never really discussing it. I was diagnosed with clinical depression during a SAD episode in teenage. I was skipping school a lot so it was picked up, and I often thought that was the start of it. I made a full recovery from all the symptoms by the 3rd March!

    It has though been a rollercoaster ever since, I never know quite how bad it will be in a given year until I look back on it all. I've had a few 'rollover' years when the symptoms didn't really go at all in the spring and summer. It is only in recent years I realised I was being affected by it even as a child, before the depression diagnosis.

    Gardening has been a great therapy for me, both physical and mental this year. I've got into a totally different time frame in how I think, which stops me getting anxious about the things in life that use to bother me. I've just been sailing through them, whilst secretly thinking about what is next to do in the garden.image

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Fishy hugs.

    Christmas is built up to be such a happy festive time and for lots of people it is not.

    You cope well and have a lot to contend with, but may I suggest CBT it did wonders for me.  image or I think it did image

    Soz for high jacking your Christmas of old thread ..see you on the other one if you want to chat. 

    I'm a Feb' babe used to love having something to look forward to after Xmas until one year I got an Easter egg as a pressie image

  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    So many stories and ones that ring bells loud and clear. We always think we're alone with our problems don't we, that's one reason I love the internet because people open up when perhaps sitting face to face we might not.

    Gemma I'm so sorry your problems started so early in life. In the years since I've sometimes (often actually) thought 'why me?' But then I think 'why not me?' None of us are guaranteed an easy ride in life and some people's are much worse if not cut short altogether.

    KEF - hugs back at ya!! Yes CBT is useful I've found. The mind possesses great self-destructive potential so why not potential for the good? Its all about seeing the positive and turning the negative inside out. Somebody said 'fear is the dark room where negatives develop'.

    Philippa - I hope this is all past tense? Its strange and frightening when something we take for granted becomes an object of terror. I've spoken to various counsellors/psychiatrists over the years who have explained the fight or flight response. There's a lot to be said for it. When I'm faced by a very long queue at the post office, I can't run away nor can I beat up the people in the queue. Thus we are trapped unable to do either because we are bound by the chains of convention.

    These instincts developed throughout our long evolution from the apes. How can a few centuries change that? Parallels can be drawn with domestic dogs whose ancestor the grey wolf would howl at the moon and roll in anything that stinks so as to disguise their scent from enemies and potential prey. My two dogs do both of these things, the wolf is still there even though the necessity for such behaviour is now redundant.


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Our labrador used to go roll in a muck heap straight after she was given a bath. image

    I think it started so long ago for me I've just accepted it as being me or normal for me. Never really looked for sympathy so just live with it.

    Love this forum, people are so open and honest. It has encouraged me to post up things I had shut away and tried to forget.

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383

    Good post there Gemma, saying, its just me, years ago, before 'They' started labelling everyone with initials, these things were known as eccentricities, everyone has something different about them, everyone has something they are scared of or cant cope with, its just all labelled up now in little packages.

    We all muddle through life, (well, most of us then) living with whatever is chucked at us, its what we do, its called the survival instinct,  and every one here seems to be coping with all life chucks at them, its good to talk.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I've had a big taste of that with my son Lyn, labelled as ASD - yet he's no different to the past three generations of the family that I knew, brother, father and grandfather, and they all managed to get on with their lives themselves. They were thought of at the time as being typical men back then.. Now it is labelled a disorder.

    I think there is too much emphasis these days on the perfect life, perfect health rather than the real world that is far from perfect but makes life what it is. image 

    It is good to talk though. When my OH was first diagnosed with cancer and given two weeks to live I was in another world, running around trying to keep my career going, trying to do all the social things I was involved in and running back and forth to the hospital. People seemed to know though, I would find myself talking to total strangers at the petrol station, it would be mostly about their problems, but they seemed to sense I would understand and would want to listen - it kept me going through that rough time 'cos I knew it wasn't just me. image

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Christmas past in wartime was still the time all the extended family gathered and let their hair down. We had two years of being woken rushed to the shelter then do all the normal things the next  day, woe betide you if late for school even if the bus had to stop half way because of the damage. The Germans seemed to have a Christmas truce, no sirens, hence no loss of sleep we arose ready for the presents and the party we knew was coming. Probably because of the danger we partied harder, the uncertainty of life seems to give a love of what you have and so the Aunts Uncles cousins Grandparents arrived, we had the biggest house and we went on well into the night kids and all. We slept where we fell, breakfast next morning followed by left overs and visits from those who had their own Christmas parties and it was over for another year.

    Preparation did start early making the cakes and puddings, the pigs would be killed in September, Geese Ducks and Hens a week before so it was not the extended July to December operation we seem to have now. The expectations now are far higher than we had so I can understand people drawing back from it all. Christmas was not expected to be perfect though it always started with us at morning service, we were not allowed to forget the main reason we were having a Christmas party, it should be a time to relax with people you know and love, they know all your foibles and faults then accept them, just enjoy being together as we did in a very traumatic time, life is too short, well it is for some.


  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383

    When I was a little girl dad would get a very tall tree, they were the cheapest then, and he would have to cut a foot or so off the top.

    There weren't any electric lights to go on it, we had little clip on holders and real candles that only got lit just before I went to bed.

    I always had a new doll and found out now that mum would pay into a toy shop a shilling or so a week to pay for it. Dad always made me something, one year he made a lovely dolls cot with bars. Another time he made a high chair, all carved on the legs and done only with a penknife and smoo

    thed with sand paper.He made my cousin a pencil box with a swivel lid and 3 tiers of compartments.Being an only child, I had lots of books and board games and dad would play them with me.


    I dont panic now about Christmas, my daughter hubby and 2 boys come and stay for as long as they like and they all muck in.

    We used to go to midnight mass but havent been for about 3 years, same with morning service, since we moved here its too far to go.

    Well thats my Christmas, past and present, I may tell you about my mums later.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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