Saturday, 15 December 2007

Boxing Day Eve

When I reflect back on the past several Christmas Days, I remember the overwhelming sense of loneliness and isolation. Christmas Day was a sad reminder of just how ill I was. I would spend that special day with my son's Jack Russell, she was a bit of comfort in a very uncomfortable day.
I tried to find some solace by going for a long walk with the dog. All around me were people doing 'Christmassy' things. The excited little children with their brand new shiny bicycles. The friends and families gathered in their cosy homes celebrating the Festive Season. I observed this 'normality' and longed for the Christmas spirit to embrace me. Wandering aimlessly, nobody paid any notice of me, I was the 'invisible man'.
This year I have finally decided that enough is enough. I dreaded the thought of spending Christmas Day, strolling about, going back inside to an all-consuming quiet and discussing the meaning of life with the dog. As my positivity began to grow, I knew I had a choice. I would challenge my solitude, I would try to socialise. Maybe, just maybe, people would accept me and allow me into their lives.
What kept me going during Christmas Day was by trying to have a bit of a laugh about my situation. So Christmas Day became affectionately known as 'Boxing Day Eve'. Oh yeah and before you ask...December 24th is 'Boxing Day Eve, Eve'. So despite Boxing Day Eve being a time of sadness, I did manage to have a chuckle. Even during those times when dark thoughts tried to completely destroy my morale, I just knew that Christmas would eventually be a time of joy. I clung on to that thought, for I would perservere.
I think of all the sad and lonely people, who are only spectators, whilst those around them, rejoice in Christmas celebration. For these sad and lonely people crave social interaction. In this often, all-too-hectic, indifferent world, we can easily overlook the lost souls who need love and understanding. See the tears in their eyes and know that one moment of kindness can mean so very, very much.
I am fortunate, I am blessed. For one Christmas Day, I spent feeding and hopefully comforting the homeless of Stoke on Trent. I witnessed decent people, who through a series of spiralling circumstances, had been sleeping rough. I was truly touched by that experience. For despite my battle with mental illness, I could take comfort in the knowledge that I had a home to go back too. I focus on that Christmas, it has made me more determined to be grateful for what I have.
This 'Boxing Day Eve' will be different. Yes Christmas is tough because my family is so far away in Vancouver. However, I am so thankful, that through challenging my fears of society, I have met people who sincerely care. I respect them, they respect me, and perhaps, most importantly, I respect myself.
May you have a peaceful and positive Christmas.


  1. Dear Klahanie
    The road to recovery is a long and painfull one, filled with sore reminders of what our illness is all about. But they are things of the past, some we hang on to where they give us hope of a better brighter future others are best left where they are in a distant memory.
    The decision you have made that enough is enough is a momentous one, time to move on. Somewhere in your head I know it is going too sink in, you are a great guy with a lot to offer the world, way more than acceptable.
    Time perhaps to stop being a spectator, kiss goodbye to Boxing Day Eve and say hello to Christmas Day

  2. Kind my a..e!!! There is no kindness in it!!! Only genuine, sincere feeling for whatever you write. And a real belief in you.

  3. Hi Klahanie, you are a genuine nice guy. You seem to have met some nice people you repect and they repect you. I feel alone sometimes to. Make the most of every situation when you are with people. Be positve, be yourself. You are a worthy good soul.

  4. Klahanie

    Thanks for your post. Christmas can indeed be a miserable time if you're separated from loved ones. I find that beyond the Christmas smiles and wrapping paper and expensive gifts, many people feel the same way, lonely inside though they may be surrounded by family on the outside. You're certainly not alone and while people are clinking glasses round an overladen table, they's all connected by the same question: why? I often ponder why people in shops suddenly start smiling at complete strangers at this time of year when they wouldn't look twice any other time. One such man made the mistake of throwing a kindly glance my way recently. I don't think he'll make the same mistake twice, I was in a stinking mood.

    Anyway, beyond the hype you should hold on to one thing - you showed the true spirit of Christmas by helping the homeless and it's something much more real than sitting round a table with family you can't stand and friends you wish you didn't have to see again.

    Unbelievable I know, but there aren't any rules to celebrating Christmas - just take care, be good to yourself and take the day as it comes.

    Look forward to more of our little chats next year...

    All the very best

  5. Yo dude another sincere and heartfelt, moving blog! You going for the Nobel Prize in Literature or what? In all seriousness though i have a great family and good friends such as yourself, and i tillfeel so lonely at timesi could cry. I know you have felt unworthy of 'imposing yourself on society' in the past, but i hpe this last year has shown you what a load of bollocks that is! You are loved and respected by many more people than you can imagine, and your kindness and consideration for others does not go unnoticed. Dare to socialise and let others know the warmth and humour you bring to all your encounters with people! Have a brilliant Christmas and take every opportunity to socialise, just leave my bitch alone! Take care my friend, and remember, "who loves ya baby",
    Simon :-)

  6. Happy Christmas Klahanie! Here's to 2008 with positive anticipation. Thank you for all your kindness, support and encouragement this year. You are an inspiration to me and to many others. Enjoy - really enjoy it. You deserve happiness. Emma.

  7. Dear Klahanie,
    Oohh, I think I've come over all Dickensian! I think your blog reflects the true spirit of Christmas and like others I would just reiterate what a great and witty bloke you are.
    I also greatly appreciate your comments on my own blog.
    Have a great Boxing Day Eve (or Christmas).
    With Very Best Wishes,

  8. Wise words indeed me old fruit.

    Despite us all having people around us and in our lives, we all are lonely somehow or solitary.

    It's just the wanting of company that many crave and get or just surround themselves with the ones they love.

    I suppose we all socialise and mix with others in our own ways - and even a person like me who is surrounded by 600 individuals each day often feels alone or wanting to get away from people.

    Facing people takes a lot of guts and the overcoming of anxiety and even an outgoing person faces anxiety when facing new people - hell it even happened to me last night when I was about to go to my weekly Changes meeting and saw new cars there. Oh how I dreading things and going through the door.
    My comfort zone would be changing once inside, I'd have new people to face and I just didn't want it. But I did it and felt better for it.

    As for this moment, I'm Christmassy, glad work is over for a week or so - and I'll see you next week!

    Till next time.


  9. Dear Klahanie,
    Just a quick note to say thanks for your comment on my short blog. You seem always to be the first to comment.So a big Thank You.
    Also, I am very glad to hear that you will be spending this special time with your son. I myself have just come back from visiting my niece, nephew and brother and his wife, and I can only say that despite feeling disconnected from them for so long due to mental ill health it was still a special time. I can only say that spending time with your son must be doubly special and it just shows how much people might appreciate your recovery. Hope you've had a blinding time 'cos you deserve it.

    With Very Best Wishes,

  10. Hello Klahanie,
    It is October 12th as I write; not too long for the holidays of many.
    I find it sad that the made up story of Christmas has haunted so many of us as well as people similar to us. I say, "made up" because the enhancements are not proven good for edifying the life, but for profitting the businesses.

    If we say it is a time of celebrating "the holly and the ivy" then do so with joy. If we say it is time to celebrate a child's birth, then thankfuly acknowlede the birth. If we say it time to celebrate the "Winter Solstice" then by all means dance and sing.

    In the world's haste to make profit many people have been harmed by the emptiness of the celebrations. We must stand up for the way we chose to live.

    Giving to another life so they won't feel alone or left out is exactly the right action. I am thankful to know that you remembered others; please forgive those who missed your perfect gift.


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.