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Christmas and loneliness December 21, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Family, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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I love Christmas. I love the snow, and the crisp coldness. I love sitting in front of the fire, watching the flames dance in the grate and the coal spark and crackle. I love the travel, watching a DVD on the train as I wind my way along the stunning Devon coastline. I especially love the smells of the spices, the fruity tang of mulled wine, the sweetness of Sloe Gin, and the delicious buttery goodness of Christmas lunch cooking in the oven.

However, despite all the wonder of the holiday season, it is also a time for people to be alone. I find that in the build up to the big day I start to feel lonely, start to realise just how much of my time is spent alone. What is silly is that I will see friends, I will even run out of time to be myself, and yet still I will somehow manage to feel slightly down in the dumps. I suppose it could be that the SAD kicks in around about now, the darkest time of the year, when the long nights stretch out well into the day so it is dark in the morning and dark at night. However, I think a certain part of it is to do with the fact that  Christmas is a time for love, and if you don’t have anyone to love you then you become more aware of it than you ever have before.

Please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t actually a mopey grumpy post about isolation and misery. I have so many friends around me, I am wildly happy being single – but sometimes at this time of the year it would be lovely to snuggle up under a blanket with someone special. Hearing all the plans of the couples that surround me (I am the only single person I know around here at the moment, a particularly strange feeling!), I am bitterly aware that my plans worry about me and me alone. Freeing, most definitely, but not perhaps the most conducive to the Christmas spirit!

Still, a few weeks of feeling slightly lonely has actually shown me that I made the right decision ending my relationship. To be fair I have never doubted that for a second, but it is nice to know that in months of singledom I only really get lonely at extreme times like that, and also that this loneliness is nowhere near as bad as I felt when I actually was part of a couple. In comparison, this sort of mopeyness is easy to deal with, but when you look at someone and all you feel is regret and guilt, then that is a worse place to be.

Of course, I have to be careful not to forget all the good bits that were part of my relationship. Certain lies, events and bitterness post-breakup have given what was a loving relationship a sour tint, and sometimes I look back and wish that none of it had happened. I can see it brimming, this feeling that I have changed so much since it happened that I can’t understand it, that I have to battle to keep the fondness and good memories alive. Perhaps if there is anything I learn from Christmas alone it should be this – relationships past, present and future are all a major part of what makes me, me. The opposite of rose tinted glasses (muck tinted?!) is just as bad as over-optimism.

Hmm, did that post make any sense at all? It was a bit of a verbal splurge on the page, clearing out the cobwebs of my mind! Apologies!

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1. Elementalgrace - December 21, 2010

SAD for me started hitting a peak about 3 weeks ago. Brutal is not the word *reaches for light box*

It wasn’t that I spent a Christmas with only very close family that I realised how much tension comes from family (in a Bridget Jones fashion) asking after my love life and having to come up with excuses or justifications for being single, when I’m actually perfectly content with the life I’m living.

While it’s kind of ironic that at a time of love and appreciation, we can be made most aware of the holes in our lives, I actually feel genuinely sorry for people who do actually spend Christmas alone.

The weather this year means that for a huge number of people that is actually a genuine possibility. I can’t imagine anything sadder.


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