Hello and welcome to I’m NOT Disordered’s Budget Blogmas!
So now that it’s widely agreed that it’s acceptable to put up your Christmas decorations(!), I thought I’d discuss why having a festive, Christmassy home is so important to me…
Growing up, I can remember three specific Christmas decorations:
1. A Christmas stocking: it was a very plush, red stocking with a fluffy dog on the top that we nicknamed Judy in memory of the dog Mum grew up with.
2. A china nativity set: the little Jesus once fell upside down and so every year we’d be looking for him and the little manger with yellow ‘hay’ would seem empty, but actually; if we just turned it the right way…!
3. An enormous Christmas tree: I think Mum got this when I was in First School, but it lasted for the majority of my childhood! It was 7ft and a very deep, festive green and bushy!
As I got older, I got my own little desk-sized neon pink Christmas tree that I kept in my bedroom and thought it was so cool that I was buying mini decorations for my own tree!
Not long after the pink tree, I made a suicide attempt that left me on life support in Intensive Care. When I was woken from the coma, I was transferred to a psychiatric hospital over 100 miles away from home which specialised in my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Whilst I had been sectioned under the 1983 Mental Health Act one previous Christmas (when I was 18 in 2009) in a psychiatric hospital, the Psychiatrist had granted me leave to go home for Christmas Day. In all honesty, I don’t remember much about it – the lack of decorations, lack of Christmas spirit, changes to Christmassy routine… And in a way, I’m kind of glad because remembering the Christmas I spent entirely in the specialist psychiatric hospital and the one I was granted leave for, are enough!
That first Christmas… well, with the Hospital being so far from home and the staff refusing to escort any leave Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day; meant that I had to be well enough to go home from the 23rd of December until the 27th… And I had only been admitted just months before!
I remember there being numerous rules around having any Christmas decorations around the ward:
1. No tinsel – ligature risk
2. No Christmas lights – as above and risk of smashing the glass and self-harming
3. No baubles – same reason as above
4. Nothing resembling a nativity – religious differences between patients and staff
5. No crackers – risks depending upon the ‘gift’ inside
It meant that the best, most festive decorations in the entire hospital were those that were in the reception area (because they were allowed tinsel and lights on their Christmas tree!)
In 2014, I was discharged from hospital and moved into my own home on December 1st. I think that having spent that Christmas away from home and my Mum (for the first time in my entire life) I was eager to make up for all that time without a festive environment and completely decked out my home with Christmassy bits…
Continue following Blogmas to see the decorations I have this year!
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