So this is Christmas – and what have you done?



I read somewhere that 2.5m 45 to 64 year olds in the UK live alone. And it stretches to way over 6m for the population as a whole. So what you might say. Maybe a scarier statistic is that these numbers have doubled since 1990. I’m no social scientist, but that number clearly shows that families and loved ones are becoming more estranged, and I can’t see how that is anything to celebrate.

I am sitting here alone in Dubai and wishing it was otherwise. Thankfully, the date might be a watershed in that I’ve met a lovely lady and we have agreed to share our lives together. She’s a brave lady! She knows all about my condition and my past inamoratas and the pain endured – and she still wants me. I could say ‘mad fool’ but I’m staying schtum! If it’s fine by her it’s fine by me. I’m a gregarious person by nature, and it’s only my bipolar that alienates people. And there’s the rub. I am intrinsically sociable and friendly, and that is my underlying persona (who I am) – it’s just bloody bipolar that can dominate my good side like a turd in a punch bowl. Grrrr!

No magi bearing gifts!! No roasting chestnuts round the family hearth. No presents around the tree. No turkey, no pudding – but there is Hope!!

It’s important not to beat yourself up if your mental illness has lead in some way to you being isolated. And if some comfort was needed, then revisit those numbers above, and you won’t feel quite so alone. After all they are not all there due to mental illness. Some have no choice having been widowed or bereaved perhaps. But they have choices – that is to grieve and move on, and it’s no different with those of us with mental illness. We can reflect, we can mourn for lost relationships due to our behaviour, and then we can redouble our efforts to grip it as much as we can, and be better in the New Year. If you’ve read my book you’d know just how low I sank not that long ago as another love bit the dust. Yet here I am on the cusp of another wonderful relationship and hope is in the air. All I can do now is try my best to take all those bad experiences of the past and resolve to learn and not repeat. She knows I will try, and I know she will try to not take my bad behaviour personally. It may not work, but it won’t be for the lack of trying and giving it everything. Hope for me has sometimes be seen galloping for the horizon with its arse on fire, but it never quite disappeared, and seems to heading back with equal haste. It can happen to you to.

Let John Lennon’s lyrics say it better than I

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

Still miss the chestnuts though!

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