Have a Bipolar Christmas

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Well here it is the time of year I love to hate and hate to love – Christmas. I love it in so many ways but add in the chemical fuck up of Manic Depression and it’s a veritable smorgasbord of confusion and awkwardness.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy seeing the kids’ faces lighting up once Santa has been or the music, decorations, pantos and merriment but it’s tough to find a balance that I can cope with. Maybe it’s the enforced fun I struggle with. We all have to shout and cheer and smile because it’s Christmas – well I don’t feel like it. In fact my head is just full of the dead family members I’m missing around the table and the inevitable new spaces that will open in the coming years. Cheery I know but death is usually at the forefront of a depressive, just be glad the carving knife is out of my hands before I do myself an injury.

Dark I know, but that’s where this time of year can take the best of us. I do want to be happy but the more it’s forced on me the more the inner bastard emerges and wants to cancel out the whole thing. It’s like an inbuilt safeguard or firewall to stop me from kicking off. Worse than the feeling of misery is that you feel nothing at all – just an unending emptiness again brought on by the tinsel and party hats as someone tries to work out which emotion the stupid red fish is predicting.

You see the mania is difficult. At a time of year when overspending is the norm, a Bipolar sufferer can be camouflaged in the crowd. We spend more than we can afford; we blow money on the ridiculous – even more than every other shopper. You get an idea in your head – usually four hours before the shops close and then go on a mad adventure to buy something no-one needs, wants or could ever guess. A manic episode leads to so many impulse buys online it’s a shame the internet exists sometimes. Most people will think about something, price it up, speak to their partner about it and then make a balanced decision on whether to get it or not. During this time the manic shopper has a full box set of a programme they can watch for free on Netflix, clothes they will never fit into but they like the design and a lifesize cardboard cut out of David Tennant.

It truly is one of the worst times of the year for me. The lows are lower and the highs are higher because your behaviour is under the spotlight more than ever.

“Why you not drinking?”

“Why didn’t you go to the panto?”

“Open your presents then!”

“Let the kids see their toys before you tidy them all away”

“Don’t sit with a face on you like that”

“Where do you want to go to today?”

“Smile! It might never happen!”

So many other things are said to you and you just want to lock yourself away from everybody – it’s difficult enough most days to “put your face on” but add the enforced glee of normal celebrants and you are trying your hardest not to punch them. Generous gestures are rewarded with sarcastic comments instead of facts, your kids are berated because they are excited and your wife wonders why the fuck she married you in the first place. You also wonder why she did but hope she’ll still be there once things return to normal in January.

In the end you’re crying, skint and wondering why no one bothers with you. It’s one of the most lonely times of year to live inside the head of a Manic Depressive. You are surrounded by people but you are on your own in so many ways. People might understand that you suffer from the illness but can’t understand it unless they’ve been there first hand. You yearn to return to “Normal” but you know that doesn’t exist – the only benefit of an ordinary day is there are less expectations on you.

And you are acutely aware people are watching you and wondering how you will react in these celebratory situations – the truth is I don’t know until I’m there. Sometimes I’m fine and will enjoy myself, other times it’s overcrowded and I feel a panic/anxiety attack coming on because I can’t find a bit of space for myself. Then everyone looks at you as if you are being antisocial – but that’s as sociable as I can be I’m afraid.

I force myself to go out to parties and events because I don’t want to be beaten by the diagnosis, but sometimes you have to hold up your hands and admit defeat.

When I wish you a Happy Christmas I mean it – well not the Christmas bit because I’m not religious, and if I’m honest the happy bit is subjective. Okay so Enjoy Yourself is probably a better thing to say because I do want you to Enjoy the festivities and whatever that means for you. For me it’ll be another struggle and many others who are living with mental health issues. Don’t worry about us though, we’re fucked up all year round – only now it’s just with added glitter.

Enjoy Yourself!

JD

Load of Wrap

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A woman has been getting angry and confused at others anger over her pile of Christmas presents. The woman, who I won’t name because I believe she is just looking for attention, decided to post the above picture to show how many presents she has bought her children – apparently costing over £1500.

She is angry at those who are pointing out her materialistic approach to parenting, and some cruller people are questioning her ability as a parent and asking is she’s substituting money for love. I feel sorry for her more than anything – she is probably doing it for the right reasons, but it comes across as needy to post pictures of so many parcels when so many go without each year.

She says that there are over 300 gifts – basic maths says that a gift is around a fiver each and just think how much one gift would do for the most needy in society. If she even donated 50 or 100 of those toys to a local kids’ charity think of the impact. I understand that she has worked hard and wants to spoil her kids but she could teach them a much more valuable lesson.

I feel bad when our own children get too much from Santa, us and our families every year. I know it’s not our fault we can afford to have a big Christmas each year or that we should feel guilty, but even an iota of self awareness should remind us of the levels of poverty there are in our own communities. The reaction is not so much against this lady wanting to everything she can for her kids, but that she could have done even more by donating to others.

Then the other issue is the public display element – why would you promote the volume of toys & gifts you are giving? The danger of Social Media is that so many people feel inadequate as it is because of some people’s humblebrags and posts showing off holidays, gifts, houses, cars and other luxuries. So many people are not in a position to “compete” with these extravagant gestures and just feel bad – many parent’s would love to be able to afford to go over the top.

The thing I find is that those who shout loudest about wealth or materialistic things online are often unhappy in other areas. While their profiles may be a list of successes and achievements many have a sadness in their lives they are compensating for. I don’t think any of us have the right to have a go at someone who posts a picture like the one at the top of this blog – I’d rather that person learned by example from schools, churches and communities that by helping those beyond their own front door at this time of year, would do so much good that that sadness would lessen.

We all strive to the best by our kids, but the real lessons in life that we must ensure our kids learn are to be decent human beings rather than people who “win” the internet with boasts and money.

JD

Syrian posts negative comments on Trip Advisor

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Syrian man Ali Alsaho has spoken publicly about his disappointment and the grief he suffered at the hands of a small Turkish travel company. They had promised him and his family a trip to Greece, but when his wife and drowned on the journey he decided to only award the experience one star on Trip Advisor.

Having looked at how busy the local holiday camps around Syria and the neighbouring countries were, he decided the best plan would be to take his family off to Europe and experience a nice city break with a view to maybe prolonging their stay. The Turkish travel company have been unavailable for comment but many other customers have not been happy with the companies offering trips across the water – with over 3500 deaths so far this year it appears that they are somewhat slap-dash with their Health and Safety record.

Nobody from the Turkish tourist board seems to be listening as countries are starting to question whether their inability to deliver people alive at the end of their sea trip is perhaps false advertising. European governments are aware of the issue and don’t like the idea of dead children being washed up on the shore of holiday resorts; It’s bad for business. Especially European lilo sales which have seen a huge drop since the trips began.

What can be done to improve the situation? Well Mr Alsaho suggests that it’s maybe not a wise idea to travel to Europe across the sea. This sounds like a great idea for all concerned and here at the Piss Take News we support his stance. Too often people have jumped on these boat trips without thinking through the consequences. Not only are you taking a risk by getting on the boat, but there are dangers for those at the other end too – no-one wants to be sipping a cocktail and watching the sea re-enact a scene from Game of Thrones.

Stay-cations are a great way to support your local and national economy. If we all spent a bit more time investing in our own tourist attractions rather than travelling miles to be disappointed by death and other holiday mishaps. Also you don’t have to worry about other governments actions or lack of action in protecting you. You do have to ask why the trips are continuing without anyone stepping in to stop them.

Holidaying at home in Syria would have been a much better option for this family – maybe only some of them would have died in the ongoing bloody three-way civil war which is now being complicated further by German intervention on top of the UK, US, France, Saudi and Jordan forces.

So while Syria is a complex place it offers home comforts for the weary travellers. And there’s lots to see: there are numerous ruins available to tourists – some new, some old; daily fly pasts by the world’s greatest air forces; bargains galore for the canny shoppers among you; and just think of the nightly fireworks you could enjoy from the comfort of your own back garden!

So stay at home this holiday season – who knows, you might just live to tell the tale!

The Editor

To donate a blanket to help those children affected and displaced by the war in Syria text “Blanket” to 70123 to allow UNICEF to help those young children get through the harsh winter. Texts cost £3 and you normal text charge.

Obviously I am taking the piss with this blog because no-one appears to be doing anything to help these poor people – damned if they run and damned if they stay. Please do your bit to try and help those innocents who didn’t ask for any of it. 

JD

Trump lays his cards on the table

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Finally someone has said it! Donald “The Don” Trump has said what we’re all thinking – let’s keep religions and religious people in their countries of origin and stop this epidemic of belief spread around the world causing conflict and death everywhere it goes.

So let’s round up the Muslims, the Jews and most importantly the Christians and return them to whence the came. Obviously in the UK the English would be stuck with Protestants and that would see a huge increase in population but not to worry – it’s the only way forward. The Vatican may need to build a wee extension to accommodate the Catholics from around the world but they can give themselves planning permission. The Donald has spoken, and we were listening.

Many would question the idea, but let’s think carefully about it – it means that Trump has to leave America and the US would be run by the Native American tribes again. Most of the UK would become Pagan again which would be a hoot with Celtic traditions re-emerging.

And to ensure all was done properly we would all get ID cards with our beliefs marked on them. This means the Jedis would return home to Barsoom. The great thing about the model Trump puts forward to ensure “We know what’s going on” is that once we’re all back with our own kind we won’t complain or have any issues at all as we will live side-by-side with fellow believers.

What more harmonious model can you imagine – if we all stick to our own faith war would stop overnight. Yes we’d need to break out the rulers and reassign the borders because some countries couldn’t with the new levels of population, but that also helps us because you will have a country that fits your needs and not one created for fatuous historical reasons such as previous wars and treaties.

We’d not have any friction because halal and kosher meat would be readily available for the people of that country. Christians can drink themselves silly and eat bacon rolls without any threat of a dirty look again. Atheists would need to find a country to congregate in (ironically!) and I would suggest Australia with Agnostics getting New Zealand. That way they would be removed from all the religions in Europe and the Middle East.

Perhaps tying this idea into his other landmark one – that the internet should be closed down (and he’d get Bill Gates to do that for him of course). By doing so he could ensure we never hear about each other ever again. Peace would ensue and finally swimsuit models everywhere would have their greatest wish.

Trump is such a visionary, that I suggest that he becomes the new President of Christendonia and can lead all the believers to the promised land by parting the waters just like he parts his hair for masses to walk into the future.

Donald you truly are a genius. You’re hired!

The Editor

“Sorry no more English refugees,” say English

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Protest groups have been putting up sandbags to protect themselves from the evil refugees trying to escape the water damaged North of England/South of Scotland sources report today.

Boats full of middle-aged women and their pets have ‘flooded’ social media since the precipitation from operation Desmond Storm took away their houses. Now where once there stood streets of concrete the roads are running with the tears of heaven and while this is sad, they must understand that the UK is full and cannot accept these asylum seekers.

We see heartbreaking images of settees and household goods drifting down the streets, but we must draw the line somewhere. Too often we are the soft touch when it comes to these people. This Conservative government has made it clear by cutting the money to flood defenses that these people have to survive without any state support. “The fact they have themselves chosen to live anywhere near a river means they now have to live with the consequences,” a government spokesman said today. “There is already water in rivers, and this additional water is frankly the result of underinvestment in common sense by the previous administration.”

As these victims of water are moved to refugee camps outside the danger-zone, many are now asking why these people are being allowed to move so freely without the adequate checks being done. Some are calling for Hadrian’s wall to be rebuilt as an aqueduct. It’s believed that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is in discussions with Donald Trump to get him to repay the favour of allowing him to build a golf course on protected dunes and get his new Mexican building firm to start work in the new year.

Church of England minister Rev Peter Down has been challenged to apologise for the actions of his God and other Christians in trying to remove these people. He made it clear that it should not be up to the Church to say sorry as they cannot be held responsible for a small group of extremist weather fronts. “There are always those who don’t understand the true meaning of the Bible and are happy to misquote it to make a political point. On this occasion I would ask that people do not lash out at Christians during this holiday period, but respect them and their beliefs that God is punishing us for allowing Gays to exist.”

The extreme Sun Alliance group have made a statement today to say that they knew this was always going to happen. “If you are going to live in a society where rain is not criminalised, then you are inviting in the problems we have seen across all of the nations of the UK. We have been saying for years that this creeping, rising underground levels of water were eventually going to rise and defeat us. We hate to say it – but we warned you.”

Now these people across Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland are facing more boat journeys and road trips until finally we can get them relocated. This Newspaper hopes that we can work quickly to get these people back into their own homes and out of our dry cities and towns. There is already a huge pressure on services without all these coming in and buying up our M&S meals for Christmas. If roads are effected then we need to ensure our Ocado and Waitrose orders get through in time for the 25th. Clogging up streets with refugees will not be acceptable if vans are trying to get through.

While we appreciate it is a tragedy, we would like to see the government act quickly and decisively in returning these people back to where they came from. This is not being racist, but practical – we cannot sustain our level of complete inaction on climate change and at the same time be seen to suffer from the consequences. This will only make us seem weak and David Cameron has to stand up and ensure we collectively turn our backs on this as we have so often before and just look after our own interests. It’s what puts the “I” in Britain.

The Editor

I must have missed something…

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Just want to clear a few things up here about the Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya issue – just a handful of questions to make sure I wasn’t off the day we abandoned common sense.

  1. We have to get involved because we are a big world player. Yes that’s the logic from the chair of the defense committee. Do you remember when you were a kid and your mum told you to stop being a sheep and copying the rest of your peers – any chance you could get her to speak to Cameron?

2. There will be collateral damage but it’s necessary to defeat IS. Really? So it’s fine for us to kill innocent people in the name of doing the “right thing” but not them? These terrorists aren’t stupid, they know to live among civilians because then they can claim we have killed women and children when we bomb them.

3. We’re friends with Jordan and Saudi Arabia and are fighting for freedom and fairness alongside them to defeat medieval practices. Well if we take a quick look at the arms receipts from many Middle East countries we have sold to, then maybe there is an argument to look the other way when they torture, behead and refuse democracy to their own people.

4. There are 75,000 troops in the Free Syrian army ready to step up when we get involved. But they didn’t bother when France, Russia, USA and others started bombing months ago. Also how can the Tories all of a sudden magic up a number of SFA members when they don’t know how many members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda or IS there are – do they have Google’s accountants working for them?

5. IS don’t recognise borders, neither should we. Okay, I won’t bother with my passport from now on then if you’re willing to rip up the rule books because of what a terrorist organisation decides.

6. If you are against the strikes you are a “Terrorist Sympathizer” Right so what should I do? Do I check in somewhere to pick up my clothes and gun before boarding the plane or do you want to treat us like grown ups who have a differing view of things from you Mr Cameron? Or do you apologise for saying something fucking stupid?

7. We will work towards cutting off the financial avenues IS are using to fund the war. Right, so they’re basically Starbucks with Guns. We know they have the money but we’d rather “Tsk” at them than do something about it. We know they are selling oil to neighbouring states and countries – oh yes they are our allies…

8. We have a UN resolution. Oh good that old chestnut, I’ve missed that. This is nostalgia for war mongerers. I’d go back and check the wording more carefully Mr Cameron – nothing in it says we can bomb indiscriminately. Maybe you spoke to Blair’s Lawyers, I’ve heard they’re good on these types of things.

9. We need to protect ourselves against terrorist attacks. We will be safer if we bomb them. In much the same way you are safer if you hit a wasp’s nest with a big stick and then stand still while the flying stingers attack you where you stand. Yes, a real lesson to learn there.

10. We shouldn’t worry about the shadow of Iraq on this decision. Exactly the opposite – we fucked up then for most of the same reasons we’re about to fuck up now. In short we have learned nothing from our fuck-uppery. Labour MPs should be looking carefully at themselves because they were guilty of lying twelve years ago – they should be standing and calling out Cameron today.

I could go on, but what’s the point? A huge sway of the public don’t want this. Experts are already making it clear without troops on the ground it won’t work. There are too many cooks in this stew and no-one is leading – it’s a free-for-all with Russia bombing the people we are about to try to support.

I don’t know if it’s cynicism or getting older but I’m extremely pissed off with this whole thing, from the same old lies to the ridiculous way in which Jeremy Corbyn has been treated by the media, MPs on all sides and some sections of the public. He will most likely lose the vote tonight, but he’s one of the few people who will walk away from this with his reputation intact.

We’ll look back on this as another example of stupidly jumping in where we should have sat round the table. “Impossible” I hear you cry, but hasn’t nearly every conflict ever been finally solved by signings of treaties and discussions. “They’re too evil they don’t want to talk” – the IRA did, the Nazis did, all involved in Bosnia eventually sat down. Bomb first, talk later? The talks in Vienna are being ignored when they are the best chance of progress.

But what do I know? I was off the day we turned into a nasty country who only solved through bombing, shooting, ignoring war crimes, selling arms to those in questionable regimes, taking money from those we should be putting sanctions on, supporting undemocratic practices and blowing things up kind of country. Must have been a Tuesday. I’m useless on Tuesdays.

JD