I didn’t expect the first Christmas without him to be easy. Any first occasion spent without someone you have loved and lost is understandably difficult. Old feelings arise, you wonder if they’re happy, and more than anything, you miss their family at this time.
For me, the first occasion without him was my birthday back in July. The day was bittersweet. For the first time ever I was overseas, and experiencing my birthday in the summer months, on the beaches of Santorini. But another part of me wanted to be able to call him up and tell him about all the wonderful things I had been experiencing. Deep down, I was still hoping for a happy birthday message. But of course, it never came.
I was feeling like I was in a good place a couple of months ago. I wanted to jump off my medication but my GP advised me not to as many people tend to relapse over the Christmas and New Year period. My therapist advised me of the same thing. Looking back now, I’m glad I did not stop the medication when I initially wanted to. Over the last couple of weeks, I have experienced a range of confusing emotions. It amazes me that a particular time of year can evoke such feelings of longing, hurt and grief. But at the same time I’m thankful. I’m thankful for my friends who have stuck around – the old and the new ones. I’m thankful for my family who have supported me throughout the entirety of this year. I’m thankful for my GP and therapist. I’m thankful for my cat and my dog, who always seem to snuggle up to me when they sense a melancholy vibe from me. I’m even thankful for him – he taught me to stand up for myself and acknowledge my self worth. But most of all, I’m thankful for myself – for not giving up despite wanting to, for taking care of my best interests and for trying to move on.
If you’re feeling down this time of year, my best advise is to surround yourself with those who do love you. Your worth and happiness is not dependent upon one person, even though it feels to be the case at times. You might be hurting, and the pain may not ease right away but you are certainly not alone.