I found last Christmas exceptionally hard. It hadn’t been long since my husband and I had parted ways, and he had only recently left our marital home. I coped relatively well to begin with. I started this blog. I began having casual sex, which was something I wanted to do. I wasn’t ready for a relationship by any means, but wanted to have some fun and whilst reflect on things, I didn’t want to sit and dwell. I even encouraged my ex to join Tinder and when we matched, (neither are so mean as to swipe left); I suggested some better photos, as he wasn’t doing himself justice. He met his girlfriend of now over 12 months shortly afterwards, so really in terms of the break-up, I was moderately ok. It was sad, yes, but it would be ok.
What I worried would make Christmas difficult was the change in routine, but again, this wasn’t too hard. My ex and I had spent the last few Christmas meals apart due to family constraints and then the evening together. A friend invited me to hers after lunch so it wasn’t as if I’d be on my own.
My mental health was triggered late December. A friend fell out with me. I’m not blaming her for my mental health, that’s my illness, but over the last year and a new diagnosis of Boderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has helped me realise I know that’s what my trigger was last year.
I can’t cope with abandonment. My breakup was mutual, so I didn’t feel abandoned. When my friend decided she no longer wanted to be in my life, I had no choice in the matter. And it hurt.
I still don’t understand why this person did this thing. Why they said they “had to be selfish” and didn’t want me in their life because of the way I had behaved (joining Tinder and having casual sex as far as I was aware was the “behaviour” in question). I have no record of the conversations anymore, I had to delete everything as I was too upsetting to see it and dwell on it, but I remember there being a lot about my behaviour being raised. This person was someone I communicated with via whatsapp mainly as they live miles away; so said behaviour certainly wasn’t affecting them. I’m now even more upset by it, as a lot of my obsessive patterns are explained by my BPD. What’s the big kick in the teeth is I’d opened up to this person more about my mental health than anyone else before, yet when it was raising it’s head, I was told to stop acting like this and go away. This was only when I actually asked what was wrong, in their mid thirties, their initial reaction was to ignore me for weeks, then upon me trying to start conversations (so talk about things I’d done), was told I’d been selfish.
My best friend (whom I see in person) noticed I wasn’t well. She was my rock and I really don’t think I would have made it through Christmas without her and the NHS. My GP was incredible, she saw me daily until she was happy to reduce this and referred me to a mental health unit. I was sitting in a mental health crisis centre on Christmas Eve; it was one of the lowest moments I’ve felt.
I got through Christmas with my friends and family. On New Year’s Eve I felt like I was ghost walking. I went to a party at my friend’s house with literally the best people in my life. I looked great and I was smiling but I was a fraud. I went out to for a cigarette some time after midnight and wandered off down her cul-de-sac. I had no idea where I wanted to go, I didn’t want to be anywhere. There’s a bench at the end of her road and I just sat there for a while. That’s the first time in my life I’ve ever not wanted to be alive, and with such intensity that it scared me. I wanted to close my eyes and the world to stop around me, or me to freeze there in time until I was myself again and everything was ok. My friend came out and found me, so I re-joined the party. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, despite having had several rum and cokes. I lay on a pull out sofa bed next to another friend who slept peacefully; willing the morning to come round so I could get up and sleep walk through another day. I felt like a corpse.
The next day, I was dropped home. I don’t remember much of the day at all. I simply remember going to A&E. I think I’d phoned 111. I hadn’t slept for days at this point, and I didn’t trust that if I couldn’t sleep that night that I wouldn’t do something I knew deep down I didn’t want to. I know at one point I got all my medication out (painkillers I have for migraines) and sat there looking at it, contemplating how easy eternal sleep could be.
I was prescribed two Zopliclone to get me through until I could see the mental health team and my GP again. The rest of the week is a bit of a blur. I got my first tattoo with my best friend on 7th January, and somehow something changed after this. It now makes sense to me that depression with BPD isn’t as constant as classic depression, for me anyway it seems to be more erratic.
I was still hurting from the departure of my friend. Two mutual friends of the departed appeared to have ceased speaking to me also. One never started again, I still don’t know why. I don’t know if it was influenced, but it was exacerbated by being accused of being vacant (and therefore selfish) at a Christmas get together with them, one of which I struggled beyond words to attend as I didn’t want to let people down.
The remaining mutual friend I still see. I love her to pieces, but every time she sees them it tears me up inside as I feel my mental health had me rejected from a group of people. Perhaps it was something else. I actually don’t know. I don’t know if the person knows how much it has affected me. They told me to “get over it” at the time. I just laughed as I typed that, how I react to something (and feel) is intrinsically linked to my mental health. You wouldn’t tell someone to “get over” cancer. I don’t want to see this persons face and well up, particularly knowing that they clearly don’t care one bit for me. It’s hard to move on from something when you don’t know what you did wrong, and seemingly were fundamental chosen to be outcast as an individual from not one, but two people’s lives. I’ve done all I can to move on from it. Deleted a blog, stopped using Twitter and Instgram accounts I’d had for years and made connections with people on, though whilst we have a mutual friend they will always be there. I know I’m better off, but it’s still a bitter pill to swallow.
So here’s to a better Christmas. With no judgement and no hatred. There will definitely be tears.
If you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or suicidal this Christmas, reach out. I’m glad I did. The Samaritans 116 123
NHS Direct 111
Mind 0300 123 3393
You can walk into an A&E if you feel suicidal, they have teams there who will help.
It does get better.