We are two weeks In to January, a time when many people give up on their New Year resolutions. But I am sticking to mine, and I'll tell you why!
Christmas this year was a real struggle for me. My mental health issues, anxiety and depression have been well documented, even my difficult relationship with alcohol. I've always had issues with food and eating, so much so that I needed a gastric bypass surgery in 2013 having ballooned to size 30.
Christmas seemed to start almost the day after Halloween this time, is it just me or does the 'festive' season go on forever these days?
My birthday is at the end of November, so I was a half excited and half anxious about that. It was my 42nd after all, not quite so much to celebrate as I canter gaily towards my peri-menopause and middle age. Since switching from total sobriety to mindful drinking in the summer, I've still struggled to drink in moderation like 'normal' people do, and I literally cannot handle hangovers anymore. Between my birthday and New Year, I steadily , without realising , increased my intake of Baileys, bubbles and mulled cider to worryingly dangerous pre-sobriety levels. My consumption of Aldi's florentines, mince pies and chocolate ensured an impressive 2 stone weight gain, and accompanying bad back and knees! By Christmas Eve, despite having wrapped the kids presents, attended all the school carol concerts, planned and prepped christmas lunch ,I felt far from proud. I knelt on my bedroom floor rocking back and forth crying and pulling at my hair. I was having a huge anxiety meltdown, I felt broken, claustrophobic and guilty.
The guilt was the worst, I was terrified my kids would see me crying or just 'not enjoying Christmas. At ages 7 & 9 it's one of the last years they''ll still believe in all the magic, and I didn't want to ruin it! They say it's 'Ok to not be ok' and 'don't filter feelings' but you can't always do that when you are a mum, and everyone is relying you. So I had to get out.
My heart was pounding, I hadn't slept properly in two weeks. I felt numb as I staggered towards the ringing church bells in town, vaguely thinking I might grab the priest and beg for help. But it was the aromatherapy shop – Intentions UK by the market square where I somehow ended up. I cant explain what he did or said, but Paul Mercer saw me, hugged me, and saved my life.
He was my guardian angel that night. I survived and even enjoyed parts of Christmas. But things have to change. I must put my health first. Back to Slimming World - not drinking ( I'm saving my Syns for crisps thank you!) , yoga and deep relaxation. Being kind to myself and others.
As the song says at the end of 'Mary Poppins Returns' The only way to go is up !
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)