January has historically been a very difficult month for me. I know that I am not the only person who finds January hard – the dark mornings and evenings, the cold weather, the quiet after the Christmas rush and often having less money can be just a few factors that can contribute to increased anxiety, negative thinking and episodes of depression and other mental illness.
January became all the more difficult for me when my Grandfather passed away five years ago on the 14th January. He had a huge positive influence in my life, he acted as a father figure, guide, confidant and friend and I still miss him terribly.
This year for the first time in what seems like years I feel pretty together and relatively well in January. After what seemed like an impossible 2 months the depression has lifted quite quickly and I feel stable and the anxiety that had seemed like it would never go has improved also.
I am doing everything I can to stay as well as I can, I am probably being over cautious and it does feel at times like I am walking on eggshells. I am avoiding triggers wherever possible – just last week I decided not to attend a funeral in case it acted as a trigger. I am working very hard at work but having a proper break every day and eating well. I am enforcing some rest into everyday – today this is having a bath whilst listening to the radio. All this positivity isn’t always easy but I am doing my best and hoping that it is enough to keep another episode at bay.
I am enjoying things again, singing, meeting friends, planning travels, these are just some examples and yes being back in a routine helps with all these things. I am so grateful for the support I have had whilst unwell but also for the support I have now, at this moment, when I need reminding that having the odd wobble doesn’t mean the start of a downhill spiral and I need a gentle nudge in the right direction to take some time out!
I am also eternally grateful for the support of my Grandpa, who helped me enormously during some of the most difficult times of my life. Rest in Peace, love always.