‘Tis The Season – #2 My experience with low moods and dark thoughts during winter by @TheAnxiousTeac2

CW: Mentions of suicidal ideation and abuse in this post. Please proceed with care.

I feel as if my mind, body and soul turns into that Sean Bean #WinterIsComing Game of Thrones meme every time the season changes. As if I need to not just physically prepare myself with hot water bottles, woolly blankets and socks oh and the extra cosy thickened jumpers just to survive the lacklustre central heating at work. I also find myself needing to mentally prepare myself as well.

I remember a previous employer saying that winter turns us all into depressing monsters cause of the cold, everyone is infecting everyone with sickness bugs and lastly, it gets darker earlier. The one thing I took from that lecture? That I was a monster, yeah cool thanks! No wonder you tried to force me out of my job due to my Mental Health.

I have borderline personality disorder and I will admit I do struggle a lot with changing seasons, well change in any format to be honest. As soon as it becomes 5pm and its pitch black outside my inner thoughts just scream out: ‘Oh hell noooo!’ kind of like Kevin Hart when Jimmy Fallon forced him onto that roller-coaster. I do not like change.

Don’t get me wrong I really like Christmas, I love everything to do with that holiday, the presents, the tree and decorations, the markets, the food, the movies, the music, the television specials.

Everything else about winter? Not as much.

Looking back over the years and to even how I’m feeling right at this moment with regards to the changing of seasons, winter brings me a lot of personal pain. Last Christmas in particular as soon as the presents were handed out all I wanted to do was to hide away, I didn’t want to fake holiday cheer, throughout that winter I was constantly battling my darkest thoughts because all I wanted to do was to end it all – I wasn’t sleeping at all during November/December/January etc. and I was battling with constant threats of violence and defending myself from physical abuse at work.  

So maybe my ex-boss was right in her assumptions, winter turned me into a depressing monster.

When you don’t see or feel love or even have access to that emotion it only makes sense for the mood to disperse. I remember when having to go up to my in-laws at the time and all I wanted to do was slit my throat with the turkey carver, my mind could no longer cope or handle the abuse being said towards me. 2019 has been one pretty shitty year for me, so I feel as if I do need to prepare myself for Christmas and Winter this year.  I honestly don’t think I can survive another horrible event.

So how am I going to do this?

  1. Start Christmas shopping early, I mean I love shopping so this isn’t really that big of an issue for me
  2. Remind myself the things I previously loved about this season by watching classic Christmas movies and to not question myself or listen to hate when I decide to put my tree up at the start of November
  3. Take zero work home. Home is to relax, it is supposed to be a safe place and if I want to go to sleep at 6pm so I can be fully refreshed for the next day: I CAN!
  4. Remember to wear thicker clothing, pick out work outfits the night before that way its ok to hit snooze a few times in the morning
  5. Treat myself to a hot breakfast treat from McDonalds or Greggs on the way into work on a super cold day! Turn the chilliness into a positive
  6. Families love you unconditionally no matter your faults, sometimes it’s best to cut negative people out of your life and to focus on those who do care
  7. EAT AS MUCH FOOD AS I WANT!!!! You can always go back to the gym after Christmas, those chocolate variety boxes just will not eat themselves anyways
  8. Treat myself to something from the sales, I deserve it for surviving another year
  9.  Remember to take your meds! Something I ALWAYS struggle to do
  10. Just remember that its ok to ask for help or to just talk in general, if you can’t do it in person reach out via texting apps or even social media

So hopefully, by following those steps maybe I can survive this coming winter and to tackle those low moods and dark thoughts head on!

I hope you enjoyed my guest post and I want to say a massive thank you to Kerstin as well!

Leo x

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