Monday, 22 December 2014

Coming up again

The ride through the year hit the lowest point yesterday with the shortest day of the year, and today feels like we are beginning to climb up, like a slow, long climb on a rollercoaster, back up and up to the top of the year in June when we have the longest day.  As the days slowly and almost imperceptibly lengthen, spirits lift and the mood is brightened.  Thank goodness!

I spent several years being quite miserable at this time of year, and into the early spring. Depression was diagnosed and compounded with my mother's death one cold February. With her death remembered in February, Mother's Day not completely celebrated in March, and then trying to get through her birthday in April, spring days were hard for me.

Mum loved daffodils, and I always think of her when I see them

I don't suffer like that any longer - and I don't really know why, except that I decided not to one year.  Not that I had ever made a conscious decision to be miserable, but I do remember making a huge effort to be cheerful - it reminds me of that saying about "fake it until you make it" which is what I guess I was doing.  Mental illness is never easy, and I am not trivializing anyone else's experience of it, but I am incredibly thankful that I no longer feel that way.

The New Year for me is now a huge opportunity to look forward to a brand new year, and a new chance to start afresh.  It's clean, unsullied and full of promise. I love to write lists and plans at this time of year, and fill myself with fresh hopes.  It's looking up, looking forward and looking outward.

By the time the schools go back in January, we will have lived six months without the FH.  Six months.  It seems like so much longer in many ways, but I still remember it all like yesterday.  We are stronger.  We are asked every so often if we are "coping".  "Coping" to me implies just getting by. We are doing so much more than that - we are living, thriving and moving forward, just as he wanted us to do.  The EFG is doing really well at uni, the YFG is moving her life on towards GCSEs and Sixth Form, and I am working, and doing all the other things I do!

(image from

And so our ride, which hit the bottom of the rollercoaster last July, is climbing up and up again.  I have no idea where we will be when we hit the top of the climb, but I know that the ride is exciting and we're enjoying life again.


Frugal Queen said...

Thinking of you x

sweet blondie blue eyes said...

I am so pleased to hear that you and the girls are going forward into your new lives.

OH and I wish you a very happy Christmas and everything you wish for yourselves in the New Year.

Love and hugs.


Mindo said...

I was so pleased to read that you are all enjoying life again, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Helen Graham said...

Thank you for your words, they are very encouraging for me as I think I've been suffering with depression for a long time but have only just sought help with it. I think in my case its due to staying strong for everyone else through their difficult times and not taking time to look after me. Pills did not agree with me and I'm not finding couselling much help, but like you I am looking forward to the new year and have made up my mind to get off my backside and make my life better. I'm also a list-maker and planner but tend to not stick to those plans very well (full of good intentions that rarely get carried through to conclusion), but I have decided to join a local craft group and maybe do some more studying...anything to get me out of the house and into company even though for a big part of me that's the last thing I want to do as I just tend to sit and wallow in misery. It's scary after years of cutting myself off from everybody except my family to think of taking that step towards socialising again, but I'm sure that unless I do it things will only get worse. Sorry, that's so long-winded...I just wanted to let you know that what you've written has encouraged me on my road to self-help, so thank you again. Hope you have a good Christmas and a hope-filled and peaceful New Year. Love, Helen XXX

Dc said...

I know what you mean about other people's perceptions of what they think you should be feeling on any sad occasion. I am usually feeling the complete opposite and am therefore deemed to be not grieving or bottling it all up. Nothing could be further from the truth yet they struggle to believe me/us!

Angela said...

Thinking of you - your Pause was lovely, and you too display much courage. God bless you, and the girls, as you enter this new year together x

Cheapchick said...

So very glad to hear - Happy Christmas to you and your family

veeknits19 said...

So glad to hear that you are all making such positive moves in your lives. I've also been waiting for the shortest day & can now console myself that the days are getting longer, albeit almost imperceptibly, it's a heartening feeling. Likewise for the longest time I really didn't like January, because of a bereavement, but have learned to move on and to smile again. Thinking of you all, enjoy your time together, Happy Christmas, Vee xx