New Years Day fell on a Monday this year, meaning that ‘Blue Monday’, the third Monday of January and supposedly the most depressing day of the year, has come round a week earlier than in previous years.
I remember sitting in a French lesson when I was 14 on the 3rd Monday of January and the teacher explaining what ‘Blue Monday’ meant. She briefly mentioned depression and how after the festivities of Christmas and New Year, people often became more miserable. As a child who was sinking deeper and deeper into the depths of depression, I understood what she meant.
January is a difficult time of year for many reasons. Often the buzz (and the stress) of the holiday season can leave people feeling deflated and dispirited after. Suddenly there is nothing to celebrate, nothing to look forward to.
For me, January also comes with guilt. There’s an expectation that with the New Year, people will be able to change. That it’s a fresh start and that everything can be different, that all the troubles that kept us up all night in 2017 can be closed like a book and left behind. Unfortunately, this is unrealistic. For me and for many others, January comes with new lows and you feel awful because you ‘should’ have been better this year. I feel like I should either be better or not here at all, the in between hurts too much.
The new year so far has been a difficult one. The stress of coursework and exams has been pushing me to the edge and has heightened the worst symptoms of my personality disorder, alongside crippling depression. One of my best friends has been re-admitted and sectioned into hospital, many of my other friends have been really struggling. I think it’s really important that we look out for each other during this time of year, and I’ve been trying my absolute best.
However, no matter how ‘blue’ I feel during this time of year, and specifically today, I am determined to see the best in things. Although struggling with some aspects of mental health (and some aspects definitely seem to be getting worse rather than better), it doesn’t disqualify the things that I have overcome and I am doing better with. The start of the year may be challenging, but I’m hoping that things can only go up from here.