Xmas can be a really tough time for people suffering from depression. The jollity and good cheer can exacerbate our mood if we feel left out of it. Since my divorce and the early death of my parents I have often spent Xmas on my own. Sometimes I have received well-intentioned invitations from family and friends to join them, but usually being on the fringe of other people's enjoyment only serves to emphasise the exclusion.

Not being a christian I went through a period of denial: no dinner, decorations, cards or anything. (One memorable Xmas dinner was beans on toast as I couldn't be bothered to do anything else!) However in recent years I have embraced the concept as a traditional mid-winter festival and resolved to recognise it. I remember telling a friend I was going to spend Xmas with someone I was really fond of, but who I had neglected recently. "Who" she said, reeling off some names. "Me" I said, and she laughed.

Nowadays I do the whole Xmas day thing just for me. I buy a duck, walnut and orange stuffing and the full range of vegetables and trimmings (including pud!) I also have stollen or panettone, bowls of nuts and dried fruit and sometimes a selection box of other sweets, together with beer, malt whisky and wine. I get up at a reasonable time, open any presents, then start cooking the meal (having a beer or two while cooking.) I have wine with dinner followed by a flaming pud (whisky is just as good as brandy) and settle down with a glass of malt to listen to music/radio/watch tv feeling very satisfied.

There is usually a mountain of leftovers which take some days to consume (duck soup anyone?), and a huge washing-up pile which I do in shifts, but the satisfaction of doing the whole works "just for me" carries me through.

So if you are worried about being alone at Xmas this year, why not lavish time and attention on your favourite person?

A Moodscope user.


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