Another solo Christmas 

11 Dec
Merry Fucking Christmas. Billy Bob Thornton down on his luck in Bad Santa (2003)

Merry Fucking Christmas.
Billy Bob Thornton down on his luck in Bad Santa (2003)

I’m used to it, don’t get me wrong. I haven’t had a happy couple-y Christmas season since 2008. Two further ones spent during a relationship were difficult to say the least. But most of the last decade I’ve found myself sitting down with various groupings of my family, finding myself increasingly awkward and retreating into myself as the season and big day itself goes on.

Christmas for me, as it is for many others, is tough. There’s always a risk of depression hitting (I see from my notes I took a massive downer last year), and coupled with my solo status the moods can get very bleak. As everyone else in my vicinity is coupled up, and/or with families of their own, I feel very much like an outsider.

Platitudes around all the things I should be happy about, how you never know what’s around the corner, and how they’re all there for you, really doesn’t help. I tell you I’m happy alone, but I’d love to be waking up in the arms of another on Christmas morning, indulging in festivities, and draining the port after dinner and watching Doctor Who while snuggled into a lover’s bosom. Each of you that has this has no grounds to attempt to console me or those like me with words because you have what we don’t, and what we crave.

I’m set against the idea of winter affairs because they play out against the high pressures of Christmas and Valentine’s Day, skewing our expectations dangerously. But, ye gods, it’s fucking lonely out here. Everyone engrossed in capitalist overkill, making wild love declarations, and playing at fucking happy families. It doesn’t matter that it might all be bullshit, you get to pretend. And I bet for at least some of that time, being with someone else really makes your holiday.

It’s doubly hard after glimpsing the inside of a relationship again. My suspicions that it wouldn’t last til Christmas were well-founded as it turns out. But my bought of genuine heartbreak in its wake has left me vulnerable, untrusting and more alone than ever. And it means this year I’m even more likely to retreat away from everyone else.

Don’t confuse this with depression though. It’s hard seeing other people happy, or pretending to be, when you’re not where you want to be. I’d much prefer to be sitting in a field with my dog Bowie as company than sit at my folks’ with the siblings. Not because I don’t love them, but because it just reminds me of me. Makes me self-aware. If the right person offered, I’d disappear like a shot.

I’m not doing presents this year. Please don’t give me any. And I wont give you one in return. It isn’t needed. I need less stuff, not more. Give to someone else, give to charity, give to yourself.

Being rejected because of who I am – because of the way I am – has killed a lot of ego, the same ego I had just begun to accept (and once you’ve been properly replaced you know the problem was you and not them at all). I know I’m a lovely person, would make a great partner, but I don’t think anyone is prepared to put the little work in it actually needs to sustain an ‘us’. I’m a bit top heavy – there’s more work at the start as my barriers break down. But I’m not a bullshitter, I don’t lie, and I’m not going to impose my rules and ideology on anyone else because that isn’t healthy. Communication, trust and picking your battles are paramount. Why is that so hard to accept?

There’s what, two weeks to go before Christmas. I’m unlikely to have this turned around before then. No new relationship. No hook-up. Not even a date. And so the frustration of the fantasy continues. And don’t even get me started on New Year…

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