Friday, December 28, 2012

All is Calm

Or is it?

I love the song Silent Night. Just listening to is brings a sense of peace to my soul. Alas, for people living with chronic illness, the holidays can feel like a time of survival rather than peace. Heck, just ask any frazzled shopper how they felt on Christmas Eve and you get a sense of where most people were at on the peace-o-meter.

Getting through the holidays and respecting healthy boundaries is a challenge (to put it mildly). I had to keep reminding myself not to dread the festivities because I knew what the aftermath was going to bring. I was determined NOT to be a burden to everyone and be a big downer!

Having Fun on Purpose!

I won't lie to you - this was a challenge for me. I had to do my best to put my fears aside and make certain that I was respecting my own healthy boundaries! Does that mean that I didn't overdo it at all? Oh my goodness NO! What it did allow me to do was stay our of victim mode. I needed to keep reminding myself that no one was going to look after me except me. I couldn't expect my husband to be a mind reader, nor did I want the day to be about me and my pity party. I wanted this to be a happy time with family.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

While I was just too wired to sleep during the day, I did make sure I had a quiet room to go to before my system got too overloaded. I wish I could say that I paced myself and breezed through the day, but it didn't go quite that smoothly. I love my family and wanted to spend time with them. There were plenty of times when I knew I should lie down but chose not too. And, yes, I am now paying for it big time. But just the fact that I did make arrangements to have a room where I could go, and the fact that I did use it when my system just couldn't be pushed any further, did help me get through the day. More than that, it allowed me to enjoy it! I was able to be talk with everyone and while those closest to me could see when I was struggling, it wasn't so bad that I had the whole room feeling sorry for me.

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I pray that you are taking care of yourself during the holidays so that you can enjoy them - even just a little bit.

Tips and Tricks

Do you have a strategy to help you get through the holidays? What have you found to be most challenging? How are you managing through the flareups? Let's share our stories so that we can all have a happy new year, as well as a plan in place for 2013!