December 2009

Via Sonja

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy this entire post. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then post this on your blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I’m not great at wrapping, but I like putting the time and effort in.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I like the smell of real trees, but that’s not enough to get me to ever have one. Growing up we had one every year until I was 17 or so (I think, it was somewhere in my teen years) and I’m just fine having an artificial one. Plus it’s not as expensive, or as difficult to deal with each year. My inlaws gave E and I an artificial tree this year (we haven’t had a tree the past couple Christmases) and it’s decorated and sitting on some drawers in our living room. Our room isn’t big enough for a full size one, but we both like the little ones too. 🙂

3. When do you put up the tree? When I feel like it once we are getting close to the holidays. Growing up it was always Thanksgiving or the day after. This year I put it up as soon as I had it… somewhere around a week before Thanksgiving. 🙂 And it will stay up until I get my yearly ornament from my grandmother and can have that on there for a day or two before putting it all away.

4. When do you take the tree down? Around New Years… it may be a bit after this time though, we shall see.

5. Do you like eggnog? So far I only like Southern Comfort brand Egg Nog (and I don’t drink it with alcohol… it’s just that they make eggnog as well as their whiskey)…. We want to make homemade eggnog at some point which I’m sure I’ll like too.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm. I’m really not even sure … there have been a lot I’ve enjoyed greatly. 🙂

7. Hardest person to buy for? Anyone but the kids and E? My sister is pretty easy to buy for too… but overall I’m not too good at the gift shopping.

8. Easiest person to buy for? There are three: E, Gamer and Duckling.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail!

11. Worst Christmas ever? Hmmm… The first one we lived here was pretty rough, having moved away from all of my family less than two months previously, and our living arrangements. The year before that (2006) wasn’t easy either… I was a month from my most recent surgery and in a lot of pain, though there was a reunion among some family members and some pretty awesome stuff that year! Also the Christmas after I turned 16 was pretty bad.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)? The Santa Clause movies and White Christmas 🙂

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? As soon as I see something I think someone will like… though if that’s at the beginning of the year I usually can’t wait until Christmas to give it to them lol!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don’t think so.

15 .Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? /shrug … food! 🙂

16. Lights on the tree? Multicolored… it’s a fiber optic tree 🙂

17. Favorite Christmas song? I have several favorites.. it depends on my mood… A big hit every year is “War is Over” by John Lennon. Then comes all the funny ones like “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” and The Chipmunks Christmas song (which I can’t think of the name of right now).

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I haven’t traveled more than a couple of hours at Christmas yet… but I also haven’t had the money since moving away from my family to go back and visit… and I don’t count those couple hour trips I used to do as traveling since it was to my “second home”… lately though we’ve either lived with my inlaws or been about 15 minutes from them, so I’m practically at home even when I do drive to another place for Christmas.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? I used to be able to, not sure if I could now or not…

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? The tradition is one on Christmas Eve, the rest Christmas morning… though the last couple years that hasn’t been able to happen, as my gifts are either not here the right day, or they aren’t at my home (packages go to my inlaws PO Box)…

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crowds! (And also the last minute shoppers… E was going to go shopping after work this morning for some groceries and couldn’t because the store was busy his entire shift, and even worse after his shift.)

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My ornaments from my grandmother… no real theme unless you call them the “grandmother gift ornaments” and count that as a theme! I could do a whole small tree with just them, and probably would still have some on another tree! (some have been series, such as the Little Women ornaments I have, which came out one per year for four years, others are just cute animal ones)

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I don’t have a favorite, though I prefer not to have turkey again… I get enough of that on Thanksgiving.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I was kind of rough to shop for this year actually… books would be something I want. A cure for these illnesses. I’m trying to think what else.

Now it’s your turn. If you play, please leave me the link so I can read your answers.

I have been asked a few times over the last … while (I’m not sure how long it’s been now since my emotions went so incredibly south.. .a month? more?) whether I’m suicidal or not. The answer is a firm no, and has been all along. My emotions have taken me to some very dark places lately, but the lessons I’ve learned over the past two and a half years, and the promises I’ve made, have stuck with me and although I’ve let myself feel the dark, I haven’t let myself wander down that road, and I hope to never do so again.
Two and a half years ago (just about exactly, I think we’re a couple days past that now) I left my ex husband after a few months of suicidal thoughts (in the extreme), some medical treatments that made the depression even worse, a few years of different types of abuse that I’m not going to rehash again, and a lot of self injury in the month or two leading up to me leaving. I’ve learned a lot in the time since then, including finding balance for my emotions (this doesn’t mean that I’m always on an even or pleasant plane, just that I always find some type of good to keep me going no matter how dark everything feels) and knowing that there are some people in my life who will be there no matter what happens. I’ve also made promises, both to myself and to some people who matter greatly, not to harm myself again and to talk to someone if I start getting too dark, to seek help when I need it, etc. This doesn’t mean that I never hurt or get depressed, as this last emotional time showed, but it does mean that I am conscious of my feelings, talk about them, and keep focusing on more than just how depressed/angry/stressed or whatever else I feel at the time.
My self injury has … I want to say a decade of a hold in my life. Something like that. It’s not been a solid decade of self injury, but it’s been a decade since I first started into that, and it’s been a decade of struggle. The longest I’ve managed to go in that time without injuring myself was three(ish?) years, and that was before my last time harming myself. I’ve had people ask why I cut myself…. honestly my reason is different from the one I’ve heard people talk about publicly. Most people who I’ve talked to about self injury do it to feel something because they are numb inside… for me it’s always been because there is so much emotion in me that I can’t let it all out, and I hurt so bad emotionally that it all needs to come out somehow, and cutting is a release for a lot of reasons. It is also a drug and an addiction for me. I call myself sober for 2 1/2 years with all of this, because the feelings I get when cutting are very much a high for me. I don’t know how else to describe it.
I also have a history with depression (I think by now that’s obvious to anyone in my personal life), suicidal thoughts, and a suicide attempt. I have not had a suicidal thought in the last 2 1/2 years, and I haven’t attempted suicide in… 8 1/2 years or so… but that history is still there, so I take it very seriously when my emotions start getting too bad, and if I ever were to get suicidal again I’d be off to ER to get some help… not just calling my counselor… I know how serious all of this can be in my life.
I cannot thank those who have stood by me through the past few months (and longer) enough for the support and understanding. I also felt that getting all of this out in the open was the best way to reassure everyone that I do take my depression seriously, and that I will not allow myself to harm again… it’s been a road getting to that point, but I am here, and I continue walking down it knowing that I have support, and that I have learned from all of it.

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