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I'm Hoping For a Sensitive Halloween

30/10/2016 22:15

Autumn is hands down my favourite season. The crisp frosty mornings, crunchy leaves, beautiful colours and opportunity to wrap up in lots of layers; never ceases to make me happy. The only issue is that it brings with it Halloween... which I meet with an equal amount of excitement and trepidation.

Wednesday Addams is clearly my spirit animal. Those who know me, understand that my dark and twisty soul has a lot in common with her. In theory Halloween should also be up there with Autumn on the list of best times of year! I mean... dressing up... good... get to wear black... also good... and get to demonstrate your passion for death and doom... perfect! However, it's fraught with all sorts of things that can make it an anxious person's nightmare. I already had a mini panic yesterday where I feared trick or treaters may be upon the house over the weekend, due to Halloween being on a weekday... which meant I was not prepared! Thankfully, we've so far not received any early birds... but the anxiety is still there.

For people who are anxious, or struggling with many different elements of their mental health. Halloween can be pretty tricky. If you spend your 'regular' days on the look out for doom and the probable terrifying situations your brain invents for you; the addition of actual monsters, witches and zombies (eugh my least favourite) can suddenly make fears seem all the more real. When I am struggling with my OCD, I tend to have 'lovely' dreams about horrible and scary things. It's not ideal to have some of those facing me if I want to head out after dark tomorrow... ironic coming from the girl who watches a lot of CSI and murder mystery... but hey perhaps I'm just trying to be totally clued up, in expectance of an imminent axe murdering!

Halloween has always been an interesting concept for me. When I was little, we were discouraged from trick or treating, with the explanation that it wasn't really very nice to go around threatening people for sweets and chocolate. Whilst this is perhaps a movement away from the intended fun spirit of the holiday, there's a grain of truth in there. Last year, despite dutifully opening the door throughout the night and attempting to identify the costumes of small children who appeared at the door (apparently 'what a lovely dead thing you are' doesn't quite cut it!); our house was still egged! For those who feel too anxious to go to the door, it's really not fair to punish them for not wanting to be involved.

Halloween comes from an ancient festival that celebrated the day of souls crossing over and people would knock on doors asking for food in return for prayers for the dead. The idea of tricks was something that became of Halloween later on. Over the years Halloween has become more of an event, but of course it's not a compulsory celebration!

I've already spent time worrying about whether or not to let Stitch (my cat) out, after seeing animal activists sharing information about cats being injured or attacked over Halloween; I've worried I've not got enough sweets and perhaps we may fall victim to tricks regardless; I've worried that actually I might not feel up to getting involved and want to just get a chilled early night and pretend I'm not in!! I've spent time reading articles about this years array of insensitive 'crazy person' costumes... and overall I've come to the conclusion that perhaps we all need to be a little more sensitive this year over Halloween! Sensitive that some people might not want to get involved or may feel scared by some elements of the celebrations and that's totally ok. It's ok to not actually scare people during Halloween but still have a great time!

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