What to do about December…

December is the cruellest month.

I can feel it coming down the tracks. It’s a big, bad, dirty locomotive that has the potential to crash through my world.

This year is the 20thanniversary of my sepsis crisis and near-death experience. Although my memories of what happened are sketchy, they still form a powerful undercurrent to the ocean of PTSD that I’m swimming in. I’m certain that if I don’t take control, December has the power to drag me down. Christmas can be tricky to negotiate just in itself, but with the added reminder of the trauma I and my family have been through, it’s true to say that I’m apprehensive.

Plus, Nic has a trip to the US – so for a while, I’ll be flying solo. It’ll demand all my resilience, I’ll need to take full control of what goes on in my head, and what happens around me. I’m clear on the risks, and the opportunities.

Because, times of crisis are also moments of opportunity. To see things in a different light, to ditch old pieces of paranoia, to forgive oneself, to grow.

I wrote a December wellbeing plan for myself – a list of different behaviours for this month that means so much to me. Kind of weird, perhaps, and forgive me if it’s a bit OCD, but I feel this might help me make it through.

Here ‘tis:

I’m going to take a social media break and for a few weeks and during this time I’m not talking about sepsis. I’ve already done all my Christmas shopping so I’m not going into a single shop. I’ll avoid any Christmas parties – I don’t perform well at them. I’m going to take a break from blogging, I’ve written loads this year already. I’m completely avoiding TV news. I’m not going to drink alcohol, or coffee. If I can, I’m going sugar free. And I’m cutting out long distance driving, especially in the dark.

Instead, in December, I’m going to read a book. I’m going to visit family as much as possible, and take trips to an art gallery, theatre, cinema and a museum. I’m going to exercise every day and prepare my own meals. I’ll be eating more fruit, getting into juicing, using some Manuka honey and drinking green tea. I’m going to meditate for at least 15 minutes a day and wear my prosthetic arms only when I need to use them. I’m going to write my own prayer book. And do crosswords, which I enjoy.

What do you think?

So instead of a dark month that I dread, I’m hoping this December will be a time of renewal, peace and tranquillity. Reconsolidation. I’ve come a long way in the last two decades. It’s time to be at one with who I am, and not to be sad.

Have you got plans for Christmas?