It's after 11pm on 25 December 2023 as I write this blog post. Christmas is full of expectations and triggers. I spent Christmas on my own but not completely alone. I didn't meet up with family.
The family in the household I am now flatting with are new to living in New Zealand and don't celebrate Christmas. They were surprised I didn't go to church. I am not religious, after being raised Christian. I won't go into all the reasons here why Christmas can be so triggering but one reason is grief.
I've just been through a hard drive to delete stuff I don't need anymore. There are still a heap of photos I took during a time when I was struggling. I haven't deleted all of them yet, as they are connected to my writing (inspired by my experiences, trying to communicate what bipolar disorder with post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD are like).
I find a photo diary to be helpful for my creative process. At times in my life, I will take a lot of photos, of things that other people ignore (or don't even notice). At the time, they had significance to me, of something I was processing (grief, trauma) or linked to themes of things felt inspired to create (also processing).
I recently made the decision to move out of the family home and go flatting (for the first time in nearly 30 years). Other than that, since my divorce, I had lived in a hostel for a year (full of druggies and boozers). I made this decision after Mum decided to put the house on the market, after Dad died three months ago.
I moved nearly two weeks ago, to live with a young family. Coinciding with my move, I received an email from Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) stating they would be making a lump sum payment for impairment for my mental injury of posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD.
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not an expert by profession and her opinions should not be taken as expert advice.