Saturday, 1 December 2007

A Bipolar Christmas In Istanbul

The first of December has arrived and we only have twenty-three days left until Christmas Day. Everyone around the whole world will gather together with their family and celebrate this occasion. This festival is neither the triumph of Christianity, nor of the pagans who first created it. It is only a moment in time when we can all be together with our family or friends. In Turkey most people celebrate New Year's Eve as a festival as do most non-Christian countries. Christian countries begin to celebrate Christmas much earlier and based on the writings of the New Testament. I have never been truly religious myself but I first found renewed belief in the celebration of Christmas after my first psychosis.

After a major psychosis and a subsequent depressive episode I felt lonely, lost and abandoned but I found refuge with my family. My mother was brought up as a Roman-Catholic which meant that she always made sure that as a family we always celebrated Easter and the three days of Christmas. Ironically my father had died the day before Christmas Eve so although there was a memorial service, Father Christmas sent our presents to a back-room. We were oblivious of my real father's death at the time and everything just seemed normal at that age. Later on I realized that Santa Claus was a myth and I started to believe that Christmas time was just a season to promote commercialism.

Christmas time was fake, trickery and an excuse to drink gallons of alcohol. I did not mind drinking alcohol but as a result I always felt depressed on Boxing Day. I was upset about the gifts because they were bought with money we did not have and I was afraid that like everybody else we would end up in debt. On top of that I did not practice any particular religion. I have and I always will believe in God but I never saw the practicality in adopting a religion full-time.

Christmas time is a time when the family can see each other and talk about ongoing issues in their life. I feel that because people who are bipolar constantly go through some crisis in their life, a family should always be there to support them. Families want to see their younger generation grow and become self-sufficient. Of course some families are possessive and are always restraining the independence of their younger ones. Either way I believe that people affected by bipolar disorder need the support of their family and Christmas time is when we celebrate that support.

Overall I wait with great anticipation to open my presents and to be together with my family. I am full of Christmas spirit and I am now happy that I can show my family a new and improved Memo. I have tried to be good this year and I have stopped all my bad habits. Maybe Santa will bring you presents too for your effort to become healthier. Nevertheless we can all rejoice in this season with our family despite all the negative propaganda against it. This festival brings us happiness and warmth. Which makes it worth celebrating don't you think?

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