Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dealing with the Holidays

Part of our ongoing series about life with CFS.

The holiday season is upon us, and hard upon me. Every year, my husband and I fight the same battle with ourselves. Inevitably, we commit to doing too much and, inevitably, we fall short of our own expectations.

In the early years of my illness, I lived in great denial of my disability. I felt like a slacker for not working (although I gave up my job kicking and screaming) so I tried to do handmade holidays - handmade gifts, ten kinds of cookies, and even handmade wrapping paper one year. Last year, I tried to knit too many gifts, and made myself crazy.

Each year, I give up another "thing". Handmade gifts, handmade holiday cards - gone. Even baking is gone, and I really resisted that one. We've told our families that they each get "one shot" at us for Christmas. We can come to one family gathering for each side; they can tell us when but if someone isn't there, they'll have to come see us.

Yet every year, we hit the end of November and see the holidays coming for us like a mack truck. This year is my husband's 40th birthday, and we each bought tickets to an event to celebrate. I bought him concert tickets, and he bought NFL tickets. In our optimism (denial?), both events fell between November 20th and December 5th, with Thanksgiving in between. We didn't make it to the concert. We did make it to family Thanksgiving, which was lovely. Now I'm resting up for that football game. I am determined to go, and willing to pay the price afterwards.

Will we ever learn?


magnusmog said...

I'm so sorry about the concert, I sometimes think that I get to keyed up about actually getting to go somewhere and worrying that I won't feel well enough, that I end up feeling rotten!

This year we are not doing Christmas and not giving/getting presents. The lack of stress is great. I can highly recommend it and if anyone complains, tell them you are being environmentally friendly :)

Veggies.... said...

I was very ill with CFS or as my Dr. referred to it, burnout-syndrome for almost 2 years. It is a very real illness and affected every part of my life. I have recovered with the aid of stress-relief measures, nutrition and keeping an eye on how much stress I deal with, without a real break for me. Caring too much caused my illness, now I take time to care for me.

Got here via Miss Woolly Knits