Mental Health Letter To Santa

So, as anyone with an advent calendar will be aware (or any kind of calendar to be fair…ooh…a rhyme), it is currently six days until Christmas, meaning that there are six days to submit any Christmas lists you have out there requesting specific presents for December 25th.

Ever one for being prepared, I have had my list written for some time, however unlike the ingratitude of children out there (that is genuinely the collective term for a group of children. Whoever came up with that term clearly wasn’t a big fan of the infant population…), I will not be sending my list to Santa in Lapland. It is 2016 for goodness sake, I am 24 years old and I am certainly not that stupid/deluded.
Of course Santa doesn’t receive these children’s letters! Do people really think that Santa’s magical workshop is in a location known to human beings and delivered to via the imminently striking postal service? Let’s not be silly. Obviously the real grotto is in a magical land unreachable by the Royal mail, and being the age of technology it is clear that Santa is only able to receive Christmas lists via emails/the internet (think it through kids. Bet you feel pretty daft right now. Yeah. You should do).

Annoyingly I cannot seem to find the actual email address for the real Santa this year (he changes it every few months for security purposes), so this week I wondered if any of you readers out there would mind me being a little selfish and posting my letter to Santa here on my blog ready for when he comes to check in as he does every Monday (he is a big fan). I promise it is appropriate for my blog too as it is a mental health related present that I am asking for, so feel free to read it yourselves even if you are not Santa Claus. All that being said, here goes…

Dear Santa/Mr Claus

Hello! It is Katie again (the extremely well behaved one with glasses), and I hope that whenever you are reading this you are having a good day and that all is well with you, the reindeer, the elves and of course Mrs Claus.

I realise it is a bit unconventional for me to be contacting you via blog, but I hope it will be Ok and an acceptable way for me to request the present I would like.
For Christmas this year, if it is not too much trouble, I would like to please have the gift of five minutes without any mental health problems whatsoever.

You may be wondering what exactly I intend to do with this five minutes, yet though I have been thinking about it a lot, I haven’t firmly made a decision as there are so many options to choose from.
One of my first thoughts was to spend the five minutes joining in with a meal with my family, but then I realised that such a thing would be difficult to manage in five minutes and changed it to having a hot chocolate or Christmas drink with my mum in one of those coffee shops with a sparkly festive menu and Christmas cups. I often see mothers and their offspring taking five minutes out of a Christmas shopping trip to refuel with a steaming mug of cream topped cocoa, and I think it looks like fun/is something my mum would appreciate me being able to do. She often looks at the mothers and their children we see in local coffee shops and sighs with a wistful “I wish we could do that” look in her eye, so I would like to give the experience a go for the both of us.
Speaking of beverages I also thought of using the mental illness free time to perhaps try my first cocktail as I feel that is an experience most 24 year olds have had by now (probably several times), and because of my anorexia I have always been too afraid to try one. I don’t know what kind of cocktail I would like to try exactly, but I am thinking one of those ones that comes in a tall glass and is orange with swirly red syrup at the bottom that spirals up through the surface of the drink like a liquid sunrise. With an umbrella (and a glacé cherry if that isn’t asking too much…)

Then again aside from eating disorder related things I also thought about using my potential gift to do some things that I struggle with for OCD reasons. I have always wanted to hold open a door or open a door for someone struggling with too many shopping bags. I really do hate having to be rude and stand back as I watch them stumble under the weight of their 5p carriers because I am too frightened of a door handle. More importantly though, I would really like the opportunity to hug my Mum, Dad or any of my friends and family without having a panic. I know that sometimes I am able to hug certain people in certain situations if I have prepared/have a shower or change of clothes nearby, but I would like to be able to hug my loved ones not when it is deemed as “safe” or “allowed” by my OCD. I want to be able to fling my arms around a friend or family member just because I want them to know that I love them, and for this I feel I would need the requested five minutes of sanity to ensure I could do this without the screaming in my head that I know would occur were I to do this on any other day. Maybe as an extra “stocking filler” you could help me round up all the people I want to hug in one place so that I can use the five minutes effectively and not leave anyone out of my sudden ability to cuddle.

Actually no…wait…I think I have decided what I would like to do with my present should it be possible to be delivered this year (you don’t need to dress it up or anything as I know “time” is notoriously difficult to get wrapping paper around). Okay so were I to be given my five minutes without mental health problems, I would like to spend it doing absolutely nothing. I just want to sit there and know what it is like to experience silence.
I don’t want to have my brain yelling at me about calories, germs or potential suicide plans, I would just like it to shut up for once and allow me the privilege of thinking nothing at all. I know that after the five minutes all the noise would have to return and I would go back to the constant screaming voices in my mind, but still I think it would be nice just to see what life would be like without them. Who knows, maybe not being terrified all the time isn’t all it is cracked up to be and maybe I will be disappointed, but I would still like to experience it just so I could know for myself.

So yeah…that is what I would like for Christmas this year, simply five minutes of life without mental illness. Obviously I understand this is quite a difficult present to construct and not something the elves can whack up in a few hours with a hammer and few bits of plywood, so if it really isn’t possible then I would like to please ask for a penguin instead. I don’t mind which species, just as long as it is a happy penguin who likes spending time with me (and who can waddle. The ability to waddle is imperative).

Anyway I think I have taken up enough of your time making my demands so I will leave you to get on with your December preparations. As always I promise a mince pie, glass of almond milk, carrots for the reindeer and cookies for the elves will be left on my doorstep come December 24th in anticipation of your arrival. Send my love to all the family and have a Merry Christmas.

Yours gratefully,

Katie Simon Phillips (again, the extremely well behaved one with glasses) xxxx
There we go! Christmas present all ready and requested for the year! Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that my wish will be granted but I suppose that even if it isn’t I will potentially be getting a penguin in six days which is pretty cool too. I really hope that everyone out there is having as good/manageable a festive season as possible and that your heads are kind to you over the next week. Kind heads is the present I would give all of you reading this if I could, as lord knows you all deserve them. I promise I will be thinking of each and every one of you next Sunday. Remember you are never alone and that together we can get through this.

Take care everyone and Merry Christmas x

santaletter

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11 thoughts on “Mental Health Letter To Santa

    • Well Merry Christmas to you too! Thank you so much for such a lovely comment, it was the perfect present to come home to this evening! Really appreciate the support, you are awesome 😎 xx (p.s That reindeer joke had me giggling for a good ten minutes)

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  1. Lovely post Katie. So, hey It’s me Maria. Remember me? I know you haven’t heard about me in a while but, well I’m going to explain. Basically I was inpatient due to my low weight and it was pretty horrible. My psychiatrist was so cold to me. Staff there didn’t give a damn about me or anybody else. All they did was medicate me and feed me. I shared the room with other 10 people and some of them would scream at night and call for their late husbands. They took my phone and I couldn’t speak to my parents all week, only at the weekends. We couldn’t walk or move all day and if you were caught moving they would attached you to the bed. It was a nightmare!
    I feel worst everyday. My weight is killing me. I just can’t stand this anymore.
    Anyways, I missed you 😦 Your blog has always been a big help for me.
    I hope you’re doing fine.
    P.S: I deleted my instagram account. My new one is maria_alex4ndra.
    Kisses from Portugal ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness I am so sorry! Of course I remember you though, I often think of you actually! How could I forget? Are you home now? I honestly cannot believe the way they treated you at that hospital! It is like something from a horror film that should be reported. You can’t treat people like that! I really am sorry u had to go through all of that and want you to know I am sending you so much love and comfort right now! Will find your new Instagram asap. Please remember I am always here for you. I missed you a lot and really hope you are safe. Loads of love and kisses from England. You can do this xxxxxxx

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  2. Katie, this was heartbreaking to read, although I did enjoy the witty remarks about the post office! I used to hate Christmas and birthdays because I would be given all these wonderful presents – perfume, jewellery, books etc but they all seemed like such a waste because I wasn’t able to appreciate or use them because I never went out anywhere to wear perfume or jewellery because I was too ill with anorexia, and I was unable to read due to my poor concentration levels caused by starvation. Every year I would wonder ‘what’s the point in having all this stuff? I can’t use it or enjoy it because I have anorexia’.

    But you know what, Katie? YOU can give yourself a similar gift to the one you have asked Santa for. The power lies with you and this is something I have only realised over the last couple of years since I properly committed myself to recovery. Obviously things are more complex with you as you have OCD too, but please don’t assume that the idea of having 5 minutes without horrible thoughts is unachievable. Food/weight/shape etc used to dominate my every waking (and sometimes sleeping – in dreams) moment, but as I persevered with recovery I noticed that occasionally I would have a second or two during the day where I was able to focus properly on something completely unrelated. As time went on, these seconds turned into minutes, those minutes turned into hours and those hours turned into days.

    I’m not saying I’m completely free of anorexic thoughts, because I’m not. But I am no longer as tormented by them as I once was. You don’t need Santa to give you this gift you desire. You can work towards it and create it yourself xx

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    • I hope my comment doesn’t seem flippant, like ‘don’t be silly asking for 5 minutes of peace from your mental torment, just do it yourself!’ Obviously it requires a lot of hard work and commitment; blood, sweat and tears and throughout your journey to achieve those silent moments you will question whether you actually want them, but it is these factors that make those 5 minutes – when you achieve them – so remarkable and special x

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      • Of course I didn’t find it flippant! I actually found it incredibly moving and hopeful! I have always been frustrated that things like Santa, fairy godmothers and other wish granters rarely turn up anywhere but fairy tales because it makes me feel like there is no miracle way out of this. You are completely right though, I am the one who has to work magic to create those miracles, and hearing about your experience was really helpful as it made me think that maybe that five minutes or even days without intrusive thoughts could be possible. I promise I will keep working to achieve those goals myself and that one day I won’t have to wish for magical creatures to solve my problems. Thank you so much for your advice and support, I promise I have taken it on board and I will not let this wonderful comment be forgotten xxxx

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