The Holidays

Oh joy, the holidays are upon us and we have to adjust our lives around those that we love. Or do we? The word “no” comes to mind. Learn that word and learn it well, it will do your stress level worlds of good. I have serious issues that surround Christmas and I do not decorate, I do not want to celebrate elaborately, so I say “no”. I think of myself, because if I do not, I get sick, my bladder will rebel and I will end up in bed for weeks, just from the stress of trying to satisfy other people. So I say “no” to the holidays. I do what I want to do and don’t do what will cause me stress and make me sick. Those that get their feelings hurt, I’m sorry, but I have my health to think about, as do you. You have illnesses that require you to take it easy, like it or not, your life is not as it used to be, or as everyone else’s. You had to adjust to a slower pace, allot your energy to things that are required to do, like dishes, laundry and the few things you can accomplish in a good day.

I choose to do my daily errands as I feel like it, if I miss something in one day, I will pick it up on a day I feel better. That means that I have no extra energy to allot to parties, or extra cooking, or stress. If I feel like attending a party, I might attend, but usually the stress of worrying about how I will feel, has already made me sick. The stress of worrying about hurting someone’s feelings, has me in bed. So I’ve made my mind up not to attend before it becomes an issue and I try not to worry about the feelings of those that want me to attend, they need to understand the reasons behind my absence.

I have 2 grandchildren. I enjoy watching them open presents. Since they live down the road, I do not have to travel far to see them and my husband and I take their presents to them Christmas Day and enjoy their excitement until I’m tired and need to get back home to rest. It doesn’t put me in bed as long as I limit my activities. I don’t get in the floor, ever! I play with the kids while sitting in a chair and I still limit the activities. I have to watch my stomach, make sure it isn’t hit or leaned against too long. It affects my bladder. I love my grandchildren and they have no idea what I suffer from, or why I am restricted. It is something they have always witnessed, so they probably don’t even notice, at this age.

Adjusting your way of doing things to save yourself flare-ups is a must when suffering from invisible illnesses. Not all of your family will understand, especially during the holidays, but you have to remember your health comes first. If it is going to cause you pain, or unnecessary down time, just say “no”.

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