Well here I sit, back in Australia, the day before Christmas. A Christmas different to most others – this one will see me in a new situation where the anger, frustration and stresses of previous years and hiding my condition no longer exist. Yes, the condition is still there being managed but no longer under the surface. I can get out and be myself and enjoy the time with family.
The last few weeks in England has also given me greater perspective on what Christmas is all about – not anything religious (although that is the historical reason for it) but about community, family and a positive atmosphere (emotion). It’s about a state of mind where other pressures and stresses can be forgotten and we can all enjoy a little down time. What really brought this home to me was hearing the carols and pop songs played everywhere when in the UK, seeing the trees lit up, houses with lights and people smiling and dashing about in the cold and the rain. But most of all – what really showed me how much fun Christmas is, was going through security at Heathrow airport and seeing one of the bearded security guys wearing a Santa suit.
This was joy enough but as a got closer I noticed that under the hood of the suit the guy was wearing a turban. As far as I am concerned this chap has been the greatest influence on me of how there is hope for our society as long as diversity and inclusion go both ways. He will never know the effect he has had on me but I thank him so much for what he did.
I also stop and think a little nowadays about the people who wont enjoy their Christmas because of their personal circumstances or as a result of some trauma they have experienced around this time. All I can say to those people is to remember that depression, anxiety and PTSD are a state of mind – while it is natural to mourn of be wary after a trauma it is important to sometimes refocus your mind and enjoy things for what they are.
Those of you who have been to one of my talks will remember the example I gave about flashbacks, this also applies to memories of bad events, no matter how much you think about them, you cannot change the past- The past is stuck there forever unchangeable but you can affect your future and how you relate to the past. It comes down to how you take control of your brain and make it do what you consciously want it to do rather than what it subconsciously wants to do.
Take the time to mourn or remember the event – allocate a time to do that – then file it away as best you can, get on with the tasks of the day and enjoy your down time.
Merry Christmas to you all.