It’s ten days until my birthday. I try not to think about it, but as it falls on New Year’s Day I’m naturally drawn to talk about it. Because that’s what people do. It’s a time to celebrate, reflect and make plans.

This season is a difficult time. I used to deal with the difficulty by pretending this time of year is the same as the rest of the year. I don’t celebrate Christmas so it really is just another day to me. However, it’s not just another day for many people. And it is a time where I’m being triggered a lot. Well-meaning people are asking me about my relationships, home and sometimes they ask about my past. My evasive answers seem odd, so sometimes they question me.

Honestly, my I don’t celebrate Christmas comment often gets me a grilling. So this year I’ve softened my approach with I don’t celebrate Christmas and it also is a really difficult time for me. My plans are self-care. That’s all. It’s working so far!

I don’t do resolutions, my goals change and grow from day-to-day but 2017 could be an important year for me so I’ll list some things than may happen (it’s also good to focus on the positive!)

  • More blogging (I’m taking part in EdublogsClub)
  • Applying for jobs in museums
  • Completing (if all goes well) my PGCert in Inclusive Arts Practice!!!
  • More weekend trips to the westcountry
  • Saving up to take my partner on a really special holiday in November
  • Potentially standing for election again



I met with my course leader and I’m hoping to return to the course next month. I’ve seen a new counsellor twice. I’m working extra days this week and, as well as the extra money, I’m enjoying spending more time with my alumni colleagues. Last Friday was the Xmas party. It was special.

Days are mostly passing without items of note. I’m sleeping well. I shaved my hair off. I’m talking. I’m leaving the flat multiple times a day. I’ve started wearing braces (the suspenders type). I’m trying to read but my concentration is FUBAR. My friend gave me two driving lessons, five minute were spent driving – the rest of the time was spent shouting profanities at the steering wheel. I don’t want to think about the future. I missed my name day because I was so depressed I didn’t notice it arrive or leave.

But I’m doing better than I was.


I don’t really know where to begin. After weeks of triggers I finally made a disclosure about what started it all off to the university’s counselling service. What followed took a lot out of me.

I’ve been spending the fortnight trying to get some private counselling in place. I eventually found someone I really can’t afford but they are the only person who seems to be able to see me as frequently as I need and can support my type of history. I’m also in the process of applying for DSA which is difficult because I have to deal with my GP and, as helpful as he is, the surgery never seem to be able to fit me in within a week (this year, my wait for an appointment has averaged on eight days).

I swung out of the worst of my depression last weekend. I actually remember it. I remember the contrast from the week before. I remember originally feeling like I was walking through a fog and could not engage with anyone/anything. Last weekend I walked to town and just remember the clarity of shapes, textures and colours of the environment. My university building looked like a sharp cold block and the passing breeze hurt the skin over my cheekbone.

I told my course leader I wanted to withdraw but I’m not sure I do. I think I just don’t want to talk ever again. But then he suggested deferral which would really help. But then that’s another year in Brighton. I don’t want that, but I’m not sure why – I don’t know if it’s just the depression talking or if I’m actually ready to make a move somewhere else. I’m meeting him this week to discuss my options and I genuinely feel awful – like I’m wasting his time.

I’ve seen a couple of jobs in nearby university cities that I’ve applied for. One I think I stand a really good chance of getting. That thought frightens me a little bit. I could potentially move in two weeks! It sounds like a really good opportunity for me. The other is one I really really want – it combines all of my favourite things (education, art and outreach). I think I’d be in seventh heaven if I got it. The only downside is that one is low paid and the other is part-time!

Right now, I want to continue with my course and do my assessments next year (next term or next academic year – I’d be happy with either). I want to do the next module really badly. We have a week in the Tate and I’ve always dreamt of doing something like this. Realistically, I need to get support in place before I continue – specifically, a crisis plan. I underestimated the support I would need this year and I should’ve applied for all the support available, that way I would’ve had a least something in place at all times.

But it’s not all bad. I’m sorting through my stuff today (so it’s easier to move when the time arrives) and I feel like I’m making steps towards a positive place. When my mood improves I tend to forget how I felt at my worse and I just enjoy moments of calm. It is at these times I should be dealing with bureaucracy and referrals and all that other stuff I don’t feel well enough to do the rest of the time. I’m making a conscious decision to do this now!

Here’s my nephew. He gives the best cuddles.