Am I Doing this Right?

Writing for an audience is far from new to me. I’ve been writing music and culture reviews for a little over two years now, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to write something like this – a personal piece with my own voice – to an audience who may just be interested in some ramblings. So this… This feels weird. It feels less weird if I think to introduce myself. So, hi. I’m Loz. I’m a freelance journalist, which is just my fancy way of saying I make unpaid contributions to publications in the hopes that it will someday land me a job in the industry.

Trying to find a subject for my first column has been bothering me for a few days now. What do I go for? Do I do a political column full of my views on whatever nonsense is going on in Parliament? Maybe a food blog on my favourite Pinterest recipes would draw a crowd. The only problem with all of these options is that anyone could do them, and everyone does do them. While I can’t promise I won’t occasionally lapse into political discourse or cake reviews, I do know that I want to write about things which impact me, and which may hold some semblance of meaning for you too.

So with that being said, here’s something that’s been running through my mind for a couple of months now: I’m so very excited for Christmas.

“But Loz,” you may ask, “why is your being excited for Christmas worthy of inclusion in your very first column?!”

It is a good question, and I cringe a little myself to be admitting this as a grown-up human. But this leads me to another little introductory thing about me, and this one is quite personal.

This is my first Christmas since I started taking antidepressants. Stress and anxiety following my graduation from university and my release into a world without good jobs and good pay left me feeling very lost and very very down. Before that, stress and anxiety at university had me feeling down too. To cut it short, it turns out I’d been feeling more down for much longer than I’d realised.

My childhood advent calendar

Cut to the present day: my medication has made my brain functional. I’m able to sleep better, so when I wake up I have more energy to do what I need to. I have more focus, so I can do what I need to do better. The more I do, the better I feel, and the better my medication works. It’s helped me climb back up the downward spiral I was on.

A bonus of all of this is, with less anxiety and stress thoughts roaming about my brain, she’s remembered how to enjoy stuff again! So when I say I’m excited for Christmas, I mean I am capable of being excited for Christmas. I’m not desperately throwing Christmas decorations around and blasting Wham! trying to get into the festive spirit. I’m seeing the lights on Grey Street and smelling Yankee candles and Lush’s winter range and actually feeling that little twinge of glee I hadn’t noticed had gone missing all those years ago.

It may not sound like much, but it’s a great start. Hopefully, this column is a great start too.