How I Survived Christmas

You know what the most stressful thing is? Juggling family politics without telling various members of the family, having breakdowns on my sister and pretending to be extremely drunk so that mum didn’t find out, becoming ‘tipsy’ and telling everyone in my contacts list that it was a placebo effect, and figuring out which presents I should take to which house based on which ones I like best.

For some reason, Christmas has always been an… Eventful time of year for all the family. On Christmas Eve, I went to my Grandma’s house and yesterday, I was at mum’s, and so I got two Christmas dinners – Swedish and English – and two sets of presents.

At Grandma’s, I was my usual anti-social moth: I was reading, shouting about memes with my cousin or bitching about some of my family members with my aunt and Grandma. I’d feel bad, but when I was speaking to my aunt, I told her about loads of my thought processes and came out to her as bi without freaking out. My aunt’s never been the most accepting sort – not like my dad – but she’s not bad at all, and I only got unbelievably pissed off with her once.

We stayed over on the 23rd and 24th, and I stayed inside on the latter day whilst my sister and dad went into town. There was my customary reading time, plus speaking with my Grandma and hugging her dog, Daphne, on several occasions. Once all of the family – and by that I mean sister, dad, aunt, cousin, grandma and dog – were in a vague state of togetherness, we had dinner.

When I was younger, I never really had much enthusiasm when eating Swedish food; it was like a chore and I complained so much that it irritated everyone. In the last three years, I’ve been much happier to try everything than I was previously. We had sill – which is sweet pickled herring; janssons – anchovies and potatoes which is the most glorious thing ever; meatballs, regular potatoes, ham and vegetables. It’s basically a part of my childhood, even if I didn’t eat it much when I was small because I was a little shit.

We’ve always opened our presents on Christmas Eve – at least at Grandma’s – because it’s what you do in Sweden. If it suddenly changed I wouldn’t be able to deal with it, but luckily, we sat down to open our presents and I would have fought with my cousin over who handed out the presents, but he was being an arse and couldn’t be bothered, and so it was me and my dad who did it.

In short, I was happy with what I got. That included two bottles of perfume +a few samples, two jumpers, a nice top, a skirt, a new hairbrush and toothbrush (my family appear to have caught onto the fact that I’m becoming more health-paranoid/conscious) and various other little items. I said on my Twitter that my dad got 6 bars of chocolate and my aunt got a Fitbit, which made me sob with laughter and my family didn’t understand why; my Grandma was obsessing over a cookery book she got and my cousin took my dad’s mini skateboard that my sister had bought for him. Nothing much happened after that, except me staying up too late and crying slightly because of my dismal excuse for emotions but that’s beside the point.

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, yesterday was more eventful. We were dropped at mum’s – going halfway and being picked up by her – and I knew the instant we were out of dad’s car that my behaviour was going to be shit. I hate how I act around my mum sometimes because I can be horrible, which doesn’t help my mood.

We had English Christmas dinner, which was delicious. Before that, I had gone up to my room and read, answered texts and replied to emails, so I didn’t feel as stressed. I walked downstairs, surrounded by the scents of cooking, and tried to tell myself that I’d be fine and that I could act happy, because I was happy, right?

With the addition of one of mum’s friends, dinner wasn’t awkward. I didn’t complain or get annoyed, but I did have a bit of alcohol because it was Christmas. After dinner, like with Grandma’s, we opened our presents.

This is when things get a bit blurry, though it wasn’t because I’d drunk that much alcohol. Mum was drunk, and I hate it when she is because she tries too hard, and gets too erratic, and just never responds to what I say how I’d want her to. As we opened presents, I was happy, the smile not quite translating onto my face no matter how I tried. My presents were great: I got chocolate, a rug for my room and a fluffy pillow, all of which were cute. However, I steadily became more and more inwardly sad, and now that it’s over, I’ve figured out why.

Whenever I have the barest hint of alcohol, my mum thinks that it’s the end of the world, and treats me like a child. She always has treated me like I’m younger, and I know it’s because she gets nervous because I’m blind, but it’s majorly messed up my thoughts about independence because I panic whenever I think about it. It’s not her fault, but that’s a thought for another day. Last night, I asked mum’s friend if she thought that alcohol tolerance was affected by size of the person – she said yes – and I told her straight out that I didn’t want to feel stupid for having such a quick reaction to it. I don’t remember it all, mainly because afterwards I chose to block it out, but I do remember my mum saying loudly that my face was becoming red – something that’s common in our family which my sister has too – and telling me I should have water, and making tutting noises which made me feel so upset that I engaged her friend in conversation. She treated me like I was my age, not laughing or acting like I was pretending to be all grown up.

Then, I cried on my sister. She’d gone to the kitchen and I followed, my head starting to ring as I drank water. I was trembling so hard then that I had to sit down, and she was there – helping me, talking to me.

I can safely say that last night was the first time in about 2 years that I completely – and I mean completely broke down about having very little sight. It doesn’t bother me usually, but everything had been building up: my mental state, my mother, my negative thoughts about myself. My sister let me cry as I gripped onto her hands, telling her how not being able to have something was so difficult sometimes especially when you’ve never had the ability to know what it’s like. She held me and listened as I told her how I felt, barely able to speak at one point as I had an existential crisis. Usually, we don’t talk about that kind of thing but when we do, she listens to me.

After that whole thing happened, I was in no mood to socialise or to pretend. I spent a little more time with my family and then went upstairs, spoke to a few friends and managed to pour water all over myself. Deciding to tell that fact to L was probably a mistake because he laughed at me, and I think I sent a few nonsensical texts to people: firstly because I had a little bit of alcohol, but secondly because I wanted to cheer myself up by laughing. It worked, thank god.

All in all, I may not have felt altogether happy this Christmas, but it gave me a break which I needed. Now, I can start pulling myself together, though I had moments over the last two days where everything got too much and I remembered I was single, etc etc, which shouldn’t bother me since it’s been 2 months. Things like that aren’t always logical, though, and I’m becoming more okay.

How has your Christmas been, if you celebrate it?

From Elm 🙂

Guest Post – A New Year, Another Chance

Hey guys,

It’s Em from LyfWithEm here. Elm kindly invited me to guest post here, so here I am!

Did you all have a lovely Christmas? I hope you did. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my family and being in fits of laughter at the table! I’m going to miss that when school starts again. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you managed to relax, have fun and enjoy the holiday.

Now that Christmas is over, I feel a bit down. All the build up, the excitement, the decorations, the music, the food…it’s all over. All I have to look forward to now is another year of hard work, stress, pressure, school, life and goodness knows whatever else life decides to throw my way.

If I look at it that way, surely I’m being pessimistic. Why should I spend my life thinking negatively? Let’s turn it around. Let us be positive and optimistic, because that is what brings happiness and fun.

You have a whole new year ahead of you. 

I don’t care what you say, you (very nearly, okay) got out of 2015 alive. You made it. Sure, it may have had it’s down moments. Or it may have been filled with joy. Whichever applies to you, you get another shot at making your life count. You’ve been granted more time to change for the better, and to look at life with a new outlook – that you can be happy and have fun.

As bloggers, we all have our own reasons for starting our blogs. Over the few months I’ve been blogging, I’ve spoken to many amazing people who have gone through more than I can possibly imagine and others who are simply teenagers trying to struggle their way through school life. Either way, every one of us has problems in some form or another.

A new year gives us the opportunity to work together as a blogging community to help one another to overcome their problems. Some of you may know that I have anxiety and panic attacks, and already this blog has helped me start my recovery. I want to give the same love and support to every single one of my followers as they have given to me.

So,

Let’s embrace this new year.

Let’s support each other.

Let’s all be kind, giving and supportive.

We can do anything. 

I’m going to leave you now, but you can check me out if you wish. If not, then I get it. I’m not as interesting as Elm is.

Just remember that we all love YOU.

Love, Em x

I Open my Presents Today HA!

Heyy,
Sorry about yesterday. Things got hectic and angry inside my head, but I’ve calmed down mostly. It really wasn’t pleasant, but I’m alright now. Still scared, but alright.

BUT ANYWAY

Merry Christmas Eve, guys! I’m going to my grandma’s soon, which is pretty amazing because we have Swedish Christmas dinner and THEN open the presents. YUP, on Christmas Eve. It’s great.

I’ll try and blog later tonight, if I have the time. It gets quite busy later in the evening, though.

I hope you have a fantastic day. I’ll DEFINITELY be blogging tomorrow, probably in the afternoon, AND I have a guest post due for tomorrow on L’s blog that I hope you’ll enjoy!

From Elm 🙂

Guest Post – No, It’s My Birthday!

Hey Guys:

My name is L (sure, don’t judge me, because it’s not my real name… Or is it). I’m a blogger (surprise surprise), and I’ve been invited by our lovely Elm (hem hem hem hem hem) to guest post on this blog. So before I start, let me just tell you that you’d get a MUCH better quality of blog if you read my fine writing, at
Consider Yourself Warned…

There is little that Elm and I have in common, although that is a complete lie; it was just a good way to start a paragraph. We’re both blind, from London (roughly), and most important, we share a birthday. Our birthday is on 31st December, and it’s been a long-standing debate on which of us owns the birthday. Of course, being the superior being, I am certain that the birthday is mine, and I kindly share it with Elm.

She, on the other hand, claims that `the birthday”‘ is hers, because she was born first. Of course, this is ridiculous: everyone knows that the first is the worst, and the second, moi, is the best – it’s common knowledge! Despite this blindingly (pun) obvious fact, I’m willing to settle that our birthday belongs to both of us, and that we are both equally as important as each other (you have to lie to these less intelligent beings you know!)

As my birthday is, well, mine, I thought I’d tell you all about my birthday, and what happens each year. I’m not one for parties, which means I was undoubtedly born on the WRONG day – New Year’s Eve is the BIGGEST party day of the year. I like to have a quiet day, sometimes shopping with my sister, using the Christmas and birthday money I have received. Also, like this year, I sometimes go out with `the family”‘ for a meal at a restaurant. I like that, because it’s quiet and peaceful, and I feel very sophisticated (which I am, of course… It’s not hard to tell). Present opening either happens in the early morning (6 or 7) or early afternoon (1 or 2), depending on my parents’ work hours that day. Cards are usually in the morning, because that’s where the money is, and if I’m going shopping, money is usually pretty hand (I know, I must be a genius… QUICK, CALL OXFORD!!!)

I do hope that this post has been an enjoyable read for you; I hope that you’ve gathered who’s birthday it is (mine, of course);,and that the best (me) was clearly saved until last (the last day of the year, if you hadn’t quite got that yet). Don’t forget to check out my blog, and I hope to write to you all again (I never said soon…)

L XX