Tis the season and all…

So the festive season is in full swing huh. Typically this is never the best time of year for me and probably where I struggle the most. The stress and expense can be to much at Christmas, and add mental health in the mix this at times can be a little over baring.

Friends will all be out at the Christmas markets enjoy the mulled wine and festivities, whilst I prefer to avoid these at all costs. Crowds and the fear of the big wheel tumbling down, or someone coming flying off the star flyer is just too much for me. My anxiety goes through the roof.

The expense of Christmas is just silly. It is not what it is about. It is about spending time with your loved ones and enjoying food and games together. For me having the family I do this can be tough. (no connection or contact with both parents) Last year I opted for volunteering on Christmas day as I was living in a hostel homeless, and what better way to spend the day than giving back. I found it better than spending time with people your forced to just because it is Christmas. This year I will be celebrating on Xmas eve with family raising a glass (juice for me) to our little rocco who passed last Christmas eve. I will spend Christmas day tucked on the sofa with a Chinese ordered with my kitten rainbow away from stresses and Christmas movies. This may sound all bahh humbug but it is up to you how you feel you want to celebrate the day. Not what society tells you to do.

Christmas without loved ones who are no longer with us is the hardest thing to come to terms with. It can be a sad day for many. Always remain mindful of the people without and the families are who struggling when you take to social media with all the presents you have over spent on people. Not everyone has that luxury. Try donating the old items you will be throwing out to make way for the new ones.

I have decided to give up alcohol and have done for a little bit now. Mixing alcohol and medication can cause all sorts of problems. For me I learnt my lesson on this. I see everyone out in sequins and Christmas jumpers on work nights out and feel a little sad to not be involved. I mean I can go out there is nothing stopping me, however I know my limits and boundaries and rather not be around the temptation.

The money side of the season always stresses me out. Perhaps more so I run my flat by myself and get the bills paid. People end up going into debt to please others rather than being honest and saying look I am struggling. My family have agreed no presents this year and I still feel a little stressed out. I know I love buying gifts and have been known to spend way to much, so cutting back and trying a new way is different to say the least. We all know we love each other and don’t need gifts to prove that. For me every year I wished for my own place and this year was blessed to be given it. I need nothing else. I have shelter, food, and amazing people round me I need no more.

Coming to the end of a year is always a good time to reflect on the year I have just had and although it started out shitty midway though it got better when I got offered my very own flat. I then went onto owning my first pet. Who has been a great help with my mental health. Talking of mental health that took a few knocks this year but got the help I needed to be where I am today. I spoke once again on stage at sleep in the park where I also announced was my last event with social bite as sadly I am leaving next week and starting my new year with a new job and career opportunities.

To say I am thankful for everything this place has done for me would be an understatement. They supported me when the going got tough. They held my hand through it all. They never made me feel inadequate in anyway. They believed in me when I failed to believe in myself. The team of people from the shops, the customers, head office and drivers are all incredible people. They have all played a key part in my life and I am thankful I have made friends who will remain friends for life. There is one special lady who I will miss the most and that’s my boss. I always well up when I put into words how much this lady means to me. When I say she saved my life she honestly did. Through suicidal days to good days she was there through it all and has watched me grow. She encourages me and believes in me. I know she will always be a part of my life. So if any of the team at social bite are reading this I am truly grateful to have been a part of such an incredible team and journey. I am so excited to see what they do next.

I have had the pleasure of being on work placements at citadel youth club and the Edinburgh Remakery. I have enjoyed learning about myself on these placements. I have learnt how to up cycle properly and so so much more. Both of these placements have been incredible and I am grateful to both places for the opportunities they gave me. The staff all made me feel so very welcome and part of the team. So I would like to thank you all for being incredible people and for the work you all do.

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