It is the holiday season that so many look forward to. It is also the holiday season which so many dread for various reasons.
There are many people who dread the family gatherings, many parties and things that are expected of people. Why, because they are chronically ill. You may not see it, because most of those living with chronic illness are so good at masking the pain with a smile. Most will not say how much pain they are in or how awful they are feeling because they want to make their family and friends happy. They want to participate, but then they pay for it sometimes for days.
I think one of the blessings that has come for many this Christmas season is that in many places they are saying to not visit and stay within your household. So as much as they will miss their families and friends they will not have to stay in bed for 2-2 days after one Christmas party because they over did it.
Having the ability to stay home and not explain why you are not able to make it, is like a blessing for so many. Now this year it is acceptable for people to connect via zoom or other online ways. Making it much more bearable and accessible for individuals who are chronically ill.
I have always really enjoyed Christmas but over the last few years it has gotten harder and harder. The houses full of family finding it hard to navigate around homes that are not yours. The pain from spending time in the car to get to different places, and the fatigue that hits you out of no where. The migraines that pop up….. There is just so much that goes into being sick.
Like so many I have always just smiled and laughed and hid the pain and feeling awful from those around me. I don’t want the pity and I don’t want to ruin Christmas so it has been hard. But this year I get to connect with family online, and relax on Christmas with my family doing what I need to do for me without having to feel guilty or explaining to anyone.
I love my family and friends but I want to be the best me when I am with them and enjoy their company and sometimes that isn’t possible if I am having a flare up and not feeling well. There are so many people who live the same experience that i do and I hope they are able to do what they need to do for them this year!
Ashley and Danson