I love my family, but…

Family. It’s a strange one. I’m fortunate enough to have had the best parents I could have asked for – they dealt with the emo phase, with me coming out and with me generally being a moody teenager, and supported me and made me able to do what I do today.

But they drive me up the wall. And this, as I’m sure you’ll know, is only exacerbated by the holiday season, where you spend large amounts of time in close quarters with your extended family, eating cheese and inevitably talking about politics and “why the world is so wrong today”. The topic of choice in my household seems to be free bus passes for pensioners – riveting, I know, and apparently controversial, and it recurs every year where my grandparents seem to conveniently forget that we had the same argument last year.

It’s fine for me – I refine my arguments year on year, and come out on top. But sometimes, you need a break from family. They’re great, but all the pressures – “When are you going to find a nice woman?” “Gran, I’m gay. He’ll be a nice boy”. “When are you going to buy a house?” “When are you going to unscrew the economy and give me the £100k deposit that I’ll need to buy in London” – they get to you.

I’m writing this to let you know that, as great as family are, sometimes you need a break. You need to recharge – sure, they’re important, but so are you and so is your mental health.

Don’t let it get to you this holiday season.

If any of this rings true for you, here are some links to people who are qualified to help:

Christmas and Mental Health

Mind on Mental Health at Christmas