Some of you might have seen this meme before.
Me: I want a unicorn for Christmas.
Santa: That's ridiculous. What would you really like?
Me: Well, I'd settle for ten minutes to drink my coffee in peace before it goes cold and an opportunity go to the bathroom by myself.
Santa: Hmm. What colour unicorn?
Lying in bed and letting my mind wander, as it does very freely – you may have noticed – I wondered what I want (what I really, really want) for Christmas. I mean, besides world peace and a lifetime supply of Jimmy Choo shoes.
What if – the world could be taken away from me? A sort of reverse gift, if you like.
What if I could wake on Christmas morn to a warm white nothingness? What if there were no Christmas dinner to cook, no church to attend, no family disputes to arbitrate? What if I were just warmly wrapped in a white cloud, with no hunger for food and no thirst? What if I could just drift, weightless, with nowhere to be and no time to be anywhere?
With my energy levels close to zero, that thought is enticing. Not so much, "Stop the world; I want to get off!" – more, "just take the world away from me. Please."
Because the responsibility of parenting my beautiful children is too much. The chore of being a wife to my wonderful husband is an intolerable burden, the weight of running the business I love and caring for my clients is overwhelming.
I have no remaining resources. I am empty.
I know, from previous depressive episodes, that when I recover, when I rise to the surface like a champagne cork, this empty time will seem like a half forgotten nightmare. I will not be able to identify with this vampiric ghost of a stranger who inhabits my body for weeks, even months at a time. Once more I will have energy, enthusiasm and determination in abundance.
But right now, that seems like a dream; and not even a welcome dream, since to even dream of that energy takes more energy than I have right now.
So we are going away to the sea for Christmas, just the immediate family; nobody else.
Christmas lunch will be brisket of beef cooked in the slow cooker and shop bought Christmas pudding. There is no TV, so no necessity to watch the Queen at 3pm. We will play board games. We will walk on the beach. We will lie on the sofas and read books. We will sleep.
And all I want for Christmas is for my family to be happy and peaceful.
Well, alright then – could the unicorn be pink and turquoise, please?
A Moodscope member.