My dears, hello. There may be some fellows out there who have noticed my blog has been rather inactive as of late, for indeed, I have not been posting anything. Cutting all short: I lost the will, well and truly. The past several months have been incredibly difficult for me – I’ve been sprawling in sludge, really – and it came to be that I could not face anything at all. I have had nothing to blog about recently, anyway, and creative inspiration flew out the window. Besides, I have been frustratingly busy, especially in December. Curse that month and all its holiday obligations.
I have had a particularly severe case of Ebenezeritis (that is, Scrooge Syndrome) this past Christmastime. I am a yearly sufferer of this, but this Christmas was something else, quite frankly. I don’t think I have ever been more Scroogey in my life. Even looking at wrapping paper infuriated me, seeing merry Father Christmases and gaudy font, and snowmen and reindeer and sparkly stars and all the rest. Ugh. I always find it quite amazing how low I become on the brink of Christmas – so 22nd, 23rd, 24th. It is almost as if someone – or something – flicks a switch in my mind that turns off any hint of light in my eyes, and I see nothing but obscure shades like in the night-time. No wonder I turn into Scrooge. As a result of this internal darkness, I seek nothing but isolation and personal reflection around Christmastime, which I appreciate is the complete opposite of what is accustomed for the festive season. But, fear not, for my Christmas Days never turn into antisocial affairs, no matter how much I may want it to be as such. This year, I saw wider family on the day, which is not a typical Christmas for me, and it seemed like everyone in the household was plagued by a hideous cold that has been lingering around. And so, I spent the day recoiling from the endless splutters and spewing from those around me. Gotta love family, right? 😉
I hope everyone else had a more merry time of it, though. Not that I had a bad day. I didn’t. It was fine.
But, I have a question:
Do you believe in miracles?
What about Christmas miracles?
I said earlier that I have been having a tough time of it for the past few months. Truth be told, I’ve been having a tough past eight years, but the last few months really have been something else. Certainly something different, anyway. Cutting it short again, I fell back into depression quite badly (I never actually left the merciless grasp of depression to begin with, but I had slowly been climbing up that very slippery slope. I guess I lost my footing and took a plummet downwards). Not only that, but this time around I developed panic disorder, leading to ridiculous agoraphobia and I basically did not step out the back door for a month or so, and if I did, it was with my wonderful mother who basically held my hand the whole time like I was a young child again. She came to my rescue, most certainly. It had been a long time coming, in a way, and I had finally grown wise enough to realise that I cannot help myself without admitting I needed help. I had known I needed help for years, yet never acted upon it, for admitting it is through an entirely different door whose key is terribly challenging to acquire. But it is situations like these that call upon our inner valour, and it is up to us find that key, unlock the door, and reveal our strength to both ourselves and to the world. Upon my admission of needing help, I have ended up on anti-anxiety medication (which are also anti-depressants) and I am in the process of therapy – it is a nightmare, really, but it must be so. I am only several weeks into my therapy, and I have basically spent every single session staring at the clock on the wall, at which my therapist believes it is apt to make jokes. The other week when I was with him, I looked to the wall for the clock, but it wasn’t there…
“Oh, there’s no clock,” I said, secretly quite mortified by this. I had my watch on, though, so catastrophe averted.
“Yeah, I told them to take it down,” he casually replied.
“Did you?!” I could not contain my surprise.
I mean honestly.
Anyway, panic attacks have been a problem over the last few months, but thankfully things have improved for me dramatically and I haven’t had a panic attack in many weeks, and since my anxiety has lessened I am now able to walk out on the streets alone. As inconsequential as that may sound, it was/is actually a huge breakthrough for me considering how bad I was not too long ago. Any other panic suffers out there will understand. But on Christmas Day, I experienced something which I can only pin as being a miracle. It was. It really was.
I had a terrible accident with my horse over a year ago now, and part of my panic disorder was suffering from delayed shock from the situation. As a result, even seeing horses on television occasionally causes the beginnings of a panic attack for me – not a full-blown panic attack, you understand, just a mini one, as I like to call it: I feel my chest tightening with a sneaky pain creeping amongst it, my heart starts palpitating, and my stomach flips and knots and nausea floods me. So. Understandably, seeing a horse in the flesh amplifies these ‘mini’ panic attacks into full-blown ones.
I live in a small town (12,000 or so people), and it only takes a few minutes to walk to all three of the linked Anglican churches from my house. The church that was holding Christmas Communion happened to be the one in the town square, and as I was walking down the road which leads onto the high street (basically the only main road in my town which also happens to be ‘town’ itself), I saw something I really did not expect to see. This just sums up where I live completely, to be honest, rural and slow-paced as it is, but I saw two horses with their riders walking down the high street. I was taken aback, halting my movement, and watched for a moment as the horses clipped on by. And that was it. Then I continued walking, with not a care in the world. Not one ounce of panic filled me. Not one bit. I couldn’t believe it!! Truly, as baffled as I was to have not collapsed in a panic attack, I was also awestruck, and I decided not to dwell over the mystery of the situation; instead, I smiled to myself more than I did at any other point that day, frolicking with inner joy. Because I am not alone in this. Alone, perhaps I would reach the end of the road in time – who can say how long it would take, though? But with God, I can hold His hand all the way, and if I stumble, He is there to pick me up again.
But isn’t Christmas Day a miracle in itself? The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, hmm? That’s what it’s all about, and if it were not for that miracle Christmas would not be celebrated in the first place. I think we all need to remember that. There are people out there who believe miracles to be a far-fetched concept, but I believe there are miracles every second of every day. Watching the sunrise is a miracle. Seeing the ever-changing hues of the sky is a miracle. Laughter is a miracle, tears are a miracle. Love is a miracle. Music is a miracle. Birdsong is a miracle. The seasons are a miracle. Blossoming flowers are a miracle. Life is a miracle.
And so we should love every second of what time we are given here on Earth. Even if it brings you depression. Even if it brings you panic disorder. For there are still miracles to be found, to be seen, to be heard. In fact, when you suffer from depression or any other mental issue, miracles are even easier to find. It is as though God leans down to you amidst your suffering to say, “Hey, I know you’re struggling, I know this is hard, so I will bless you to see the beauty in the smallest of sights and to know the strength in the simplest of situations. You will get through this. I am here.” Only in our darkest hours do we clearly see the light within ourselves.
I am sure your Christmas was blessed with many miracles. Did you see them? If not, no worries, for they will all be there tomorrow, too, just waiting to be found.
I should probably mention something that I should have mentioned a good while ago, but, as I said at the beginning of this post, I haven’t been able to face anything recently. My next post will be about Ilimoskus (though I have no idea when that will be) and I shall mention this ‘something’ then. I doubt I’ll post before New Year, so I wish you all a peaceful transition into 2015, and may joy and glee greet you on the other side. Let us reflect on all the positive 2014 gave us, and learn and gain strength and wisdom from the negative. Shine in your light, and in the light of the world.
See you on the other side, my friends 😉