January gets a really bad rep. Its freaking cold and everyone has taken down their fairy lights which I think is the saddest part. Fair enough you can tear down the tree and banish those ugly, little Nativity figures back to the loft but what did the lights do to deserve such cold-hearted treatment? Looking at a figurine of a baby Jesus, that looks like it suffered a traumatic birth and needs to be incubated in the intensive care unit rather than rolling around in the hay in some dirty manger, does not lift my spirits. Pretty, little fairy-lights on the other hand work wonders. Not the flashing ones that Diane insists on getting from Poundland each year though, they make me fear epilepsy.
When I was living in Manresa I got lost on the way to a Christmas Concert, there was a wall near the school that I was looking for and it had these huge ants painted all over it. I had no other option than to run up to people and shout the word ‘colegio’, which means school, and do my best impression of an ant climbing a wall. One woman actually seemed to understand me because rather than calling the police, she kindly pointed me in the right direction. The next street I turned onto was lit up by fairy lights and for a moment I didn’t even care if I found the school because I had found Christmas and lights and hope. Fairy lights are hope people! They aren’t even that festive. Everyone could do with a little twinkle, twinkle in their lives. Keep them up till Summer I say. I’d start a petition but cba.
I did eventually find the school and I cried when these cute Catalonian kids sang ‘Let it be’. It must have been due to a mixture of homesickness and the joy I got from those lights because I bloody hate the Beatles.
To get back to my main point, January is not the big bad, for me anyway. I do however still live in fear of January. Does anyone else’s mum make a huge deal the first time the doorbell goes after midnight on New Year’s Eve? Diane bloody does. She thinks whoever first steps into our hallway brings in the ‘luck’ for that year. I however want to board that stupid door up. If I had my way everyone would be forced to use the gate in the back garden, climb through windows or never enter or leave the house again. Whatever works for them as long as no one opens that damn door. I know exactly who is waiting outside ready to bring in the ‘luck’ for that year and it’s not a sweet, old grandma or a delivery man from Iceland. It’s Anxiety. Anxiety ready to do a twirl in its floaty red dress and say those fatal words, ‘Surprise Bitch! I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me’.
January for me is waking up every day, grabbing a hold of my sanity and running for my life. Every time I turn around anxiety is two steps behind me, clutching the stich in its side because it’s an unhealthy bitch. I don’t stop running for the full 31 days, I do slow down but every time I do, fortunately anxiety does too. Finally, the 31st day arrives and the finish line is in sight, but It doesn’t say ‘Finish Line’ on its banner-type-thing, it says February and that my friends is the trick. I cross that line and breathe a huge sigh of relief. I put my sanity down, just for a second, to do a celebratory dance to an Ariana Grande banger, maybe have a vodka, light a ciggie, pop a Kalms, whatever. But in those couple of moments that I stop, Anxiety flies into February, scoops up my sanity and sprints off into the distance towards March.
At this point I’m usually star-fishing on the cold hard ground, looking up at the sky in my fairy-light-less surroundings whispering “Oh shit. Here we go again.”
Days and nights can pass before I can gather the strength to crawl after it. Sometimes it takes weeks before my sanity is even in sight again, trapped in Anxiety’s creepy hands, sometimes it takes months. Each and every time this happens I am absolutely terrified.
This year, it’s only the second day of February and here I lie in bed at 2pm, un-showered, dreading calling work to tell them that the doctor has just signed me off for 2 weeks so I will not be sat at my desk at 4pm. Yesterday I felt myself slipping under that desk on the brink of tears and I knew if I got under that desk then I wasn’t coming back out.
I have worked too fucking hard to get my life on track despite these never-ending battles with anxiety. Too hard to let some crank who is screaming at me because their monthly statement hasn’t been hole-punched, take everything I’ve worked for away from me.
Not this time bitch.
I’ve had enough.
I’m taking a break.