Kelly Pegg: For some, Christmas can be a double-edged sword

SORROW: Christmas can be an incredibly lonely time for some.
SORROW: Christmas can be an incredibly lonely time for some.
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Not everyone looks forward to Christmas. For some it can be an extremely difficult time of year filled with loneliness.

If you’re reading this and you have lost someone special then this time of year will be extra tough for you and my heart goes out to you.

At 15 years old I lost my granddad who raised me. I was 19 when I lost my mother so I know this time of year can bring all sorts of feelings to the surface.

Watching everyone get excited and talk about family and parties can make a person feel lonely and isolated.

I used to really struggle with this time of year when I was in my twenties and single. I would spend as much time in pubs with friends as I could because I didn’t want to think about how much I missed my granddad and my mum.

My Nana Jean, bless her, now hates Christmas because my granddad loved it so much. As a child I remember how over the top he would go – decorating the house from top to bottom, using sellotape in order to hang up all his decorations.

He would have Christmas music blasting all day and both my brother and I were spoiled rotten. Now Nana Jean prefers to visit McDonalds for a McFlurry with my brother Adam. At the age of 84 and without the love of her life, she refuses to get into the festive spirit.

I can’t imagine what that is like, to lose your one true love and never have another Christmas with them again.

My brother Adam is of a similar ilk, he struggles without my mum as we all do but he keeps at lot of his feelings inside.

He’s two and a half years younger than me so I feel it’s a shame he’s not really into celebrating Christmas, but he’s happy not making a big fuss and isn’t interested in spending the day differently to any other day.

Being a parent means Christmas is a magical time for me and I’m truly grateful for that.

However I do feel sadness at this time of year and even though I’m not alone, there have been times recently where I have felt really alone.

I think we all reflect back on the year we’ve had and for me it’s been a difficult one. One where I haven’t achieved the things I set out to, despite trying really hard and one where a special friendship was lost and is beyond repair.

Christmas is like the anti-climax of the year – we analyse everything and ask ourselves if we did the right thing.

Some of us, me included, wish we could turn the clock back to certain times and change the outcome. However there is no going back. We have to accept what is and learn to live with it.

In the last year I have moved twice and barely had time to forge new friendships.

I’m not good with change and it can take me a good year to settle. I don’t think I have ever felt so stressed and on edge and of course I can’t go round telling everyone I feel like this.

In my head I feel terribly lonely and keep thinking back to the past and feeling frightened and uncertain about the future.

I do believe a lot of people feel like this at this time of year and if this sounds like you then know you are not alone or the ‘only one’ to feel this way.

Christmas can be a strange time of year as well as a lovely one.

Everyone is loved by someone, I truly believe that. If you know of someone who is feeling down, who would benefit from some company and kindness then I urge you to reach out to them.

If we can’t be kind and loving at Christmas towards each other, when can we be?

The courage of an old friend who fought his battle with cancer

Last week my husband’s best friend Carlton passed away.

He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour less than a year ago and had a fought a brave and courageous battle with it ever since.

Being only a few years older than 48-year-old Chris, it was no age to be taken from this world.

He was a wonderful man, kind, caring and a very proud husband and father. Although I know Chris was expecting this to sadly happen soon, I know he wasn’t ready to receive this kind of news.

Carlton helped Chris a lot over the years with his career and personal life. He was a great friend to him and truly lovely to me.

It’s odd watching how calm Chris is, there have been tears and I know he is heartbroken but he holds everything together. He’s so strong and resilient it almost makes me jealous.

This week is the funeral and Chris is busy writing a eulogy to read. I know he’s worried about how the day will feel and how he will handle it. He says he needs me there but I honestly think he can handle anything with or without me.

Time to let loose and enjoy the festive season

Everyone feels fat at this time of year. You can’t escape the endless food and drink offers, it’s constant temptation very day!

I think it’s fair to say the majority of us feel pretty unhealthy at this time of year too.

Gyms become empty, the social 
media sites pushing ‘clean’ food seem 
to disappear and there’s a lot more 
plus sizes on the shelves in clothes shops!

I say go with it, enjoy the endless plates of pigs in blankets, and roast potatoes and trifle. Make the most of it being acceptable to drink sherry or fizz before midday.

As soon as January hits we all mourn – we are tired, it’s cold, dull, and wet and we are all broke.

I say make the most of December – enjoy it, let go, undo that button on your jeans (before it pops off).

Let the hard work start in 2017.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson. Chris Radburn/PA Wire

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