Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas – Here’s Hoping

I enter Christmas in a much much better frame of mind, and I expect a much happier Christmas, than last year. So much has changed: some for the better, some for the worse but I am not defeated.  Then I was totally and utterly without hope that anything could change for the better.

I said this in “A Message of Christmas Spirit Depleted” last year,

“Christmas happiness is a fleeting occurrence lasting only as long as presents are opened and appreciated.  Soon, all to soon, the drabness, the drudgery, the difficulties of everyday life recover their poise and rule our lives like the vicious tyrants they are.”


“With no change, despair, loneliness and poverty await in 2009 but where is there hope of a changed, or even changing, life away from the tyrants?

I had no hope of any improvement, any change.  I denied the existence of hope.  The very next day I wrote this poem


Where lies hope, my friend, in this tangled mess
Of life's many twists and turns knotted tight?

Can hope be, my friend, in this tortured soul
Battered by life's storms and drowning alone?

What is hope, my friend, to the losing of will?
A meaningless word, a concept so trite.

Hope, my friend, is no friend to those such as I.
A teaser, no more. No support in the void.

No hope, my friend, no hope.”

although “Hopelessness” would have been a more appropriate title.

That I am blogging today is a symptom of a less depressed state.  For much of the year I couldn’t have entertained the thought of blogging: I was struggling through life doing my all to be a good parent and buried  - I wasn’t but it felt so – under a mountain of tasks all of which were too big even to contemplate.

But there have been changes:  Mrs Carr is immeasurably better although she still has a very long way to go.  Her move away from NHS Lothian has been a major bonus.  Instead of dreading every contact, instead of being made worse by every contact she now has a very understanding NHS psychiatrist but, much more importantly, a highly experienced counsellor with whom Mrs C has been working for a year.  After NHS Lothian denying Mrs C treatment, the counsellor told Mrs C that she had been extremely ill when she started, possibly too ill to even to continue working with the counsellor.  Fortunately those days are passed but there are many more days of hard hard work to go.

What is this treatment costing the NHS – nothing?  In fact it’s saving money because treatment she would have received from this other Health Authority is not now required.

What is this treatment costing Mrs Carr?   Nothing!  A charity is providing help free as it does for all its clients.  A magical resource!

Mrs C’s progress is a delight to see but she still has so far to travel.  Despite our split – reported last year – my heart still beats and flips for Mrs C.

I can’t go into what has changed for me because there are areas into which I cannot intrude but, despite all our problems and there are major ones which have arisen during the year, I can see a more positive future.  There are others, whom I won‘t name, who deserve praise and thanks for their help and support during the last few months.

I’m not out of the woods yet, far from it, but with God’s grace, 2010 will see yet more positive movement.

This Christmas will be good, not necessarily brilliant,  but “good” is good enough.  The kids will enjoy themselves although we’ve had to cut back in a big way on our expenditure – we’ll not be alone.  Then a few days later I’ll receive my free bus pass and my brother and sister-in-law are buying me a new computer!!!  Yea!  And I’m getting wireless headphones so I can listen to my music throughout the house without bothering anyone.


All in all a potentially disastrous year is ending much much higher than we could ever have thought possible.

Perhaps the message is “ALWAYS HAVE HOPE.”


  1. A free bus pass is a big deal Calum! I have a golfing pal who uses it to travel all over Scotland and I know others who have long days out in country towns, etc. I've still got over 5 years to wait on mine, so I hope it is still on offer by then. Indeed I hope buses are still on offer, rather than just shelters in the woods surrounded by collapsing civilisation :) I had some pretty bad years a few years ago, but I recovered my cheerfulness by forgetting the past (since it is, after all, over and done) and trying to "re-engineer" my attitude to the future, which has generally worked. Good luck for 2010 (which starts on Tuesday as far as I'm concerned, on the day after the Winter Solstice).

  2. I am so glad that this year has improved for you. The turnaround in care for Mrs C is quite inspiring.

    I think you are right with the message 'Always Have Hope'. I always try to do that even when I am at my lowest depths, it gives me something to cling on to!

  3. Andrew


    I was hoping that free prescriptions and free bus pas would last until I made 60. The last prescription I got, I asked GP to give me extra pills so that I'd reach 60 without needing to pay again. Good lad did as he was told!

    For me the past hasn't been a problem rather it's the mountain of the present. I find it easy to keep going BUT I keep going by doing less and less ==> mess.

    I need to learn to keep working at "things" bit by bit every day.

  4. CP

    Thanks too. The change in Ms C is fabulous.

    Hope and I are strange bedfellows but I'm learning slowly to be with her.

  5. I am so glad that things are looking up for you and your family Calum. Good news about Mrs C.

    Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas and may 2010 bring you an even better year.