Family, Fibromyalgi, Friendships

The Hardship in the Holidays

When Living with a Chronic Illness the holidays can feel like an approaching storm

 

When Living with a Chronic Illness the holidays can feel like an approaching storm

We are approaching a very busy time of the year. And to be honest I find busy times to be very taxing. Physically adding anything to my schedule is very difficult. And the more strain I feel physically the more emotional strain I deal with as well. Since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I have been learning how to care for myself in ways that enables me to do what I want and/ or need to do each and every day. This includes the extra scheduling during the holidays.

November also marks the beginning of Birthday Season for our family. We have one birthday each month for 7 months! We just finished my husband’s birthday and this year we didn’t have a party. That enabled us to get some rest and family time over the weekend.

There are many things that people with Fibromyalgia struggle with during busy times of the year. During the holidays there are extra “fun” activities scheduled. Family wants you to visit, and that could mean a great deal of travel. It can be very challenging to explain to family, friends, coworkers or anyone else for that matter; “I am sorry I just can’t participate, I just don’t feel well enough” Often times the response given in return is something like, “Oh are you sick I didn’t realize you were sick just now”. And this can come from people who already know that I have a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

I don’t look sick. This fact causes complications for me. As someone with Fibromyalgia I try to do as much as I can each and every day. I don’t want to leave my chores, and duties on someone else’s shoulders. I want to be able to live my own life. So I do as much as I can. And the people around me look at me and think, “Wow she is doing well she must not be sick {with fibro} any more.” And even though they do know and they do believe that I have this disease, the memory of it begins to fade.

Fibromyalgia isn’t like other illnesses. We don’t loose our hair, we don’t have swollen faces and we don’t have other changes in our appearance to demonstrate that we are very ill. Fibro is a hidden disease. For example:

Today here in Spartanburg, SC we are having a cold rain and a weather front is moving through. I woke up this morning a little more achy and sore than I have felt in a few days. I have a little bit more cloudiness in my head {Fibro Fog}. I don’t look any different from yesterday. Yesterday I was feeling pretty good. I did all that was required of me without so much as a blink. Today I will have to push through like I am walking through a marsh. Weather changes can be difficult.

What is the point of me telling you all this? Just this:

Please be kind to those people around you who seem to pull away during the Holiday’s. Perhaps they are struggling. Maybe they have a hidden illness or maybe there has been something very hard they are dealing with during the holidays. Don’t get angry when family member can’t be at all the Family functions that you feel they should attend. And perhaps if there is someone you feel is hiding away too much this Holiday season, go visit them and see what is REALLY going on, maybe they just need your kindness and love. We put such high expectations on those around us, it can be down right cruel at times.

And for those of us suffering from Chronic diseases no matter what it might be, I want to call you to something as well. Put on grace this holiday season. Those around us can not fully understand our struggles no matter how much they may want to, and how much they desire to care for us. The loved ones who seem to be pushing us to be someplace may have a reason such as; They just want to see us. Please keep in mind that they are viewing us from the outside and have no idea of the pain inside. Teach them gently and lovingly and let them know your limitations. Please remember: They can’t possibly fully understand and that IS OK.  God sees you. God knows how much pain you are in each day. God knows the desire you have to do all you were once able to do. God hasn’t forgotten.

Dear Jesus,  I pray this holiday season will be one of Joy for all of us. That we can find Joy even in the physical pain that many of us deal with each day, and that we can find Joy in the emotional pain that some deal with especially during the holiday season. Dear Father please remind us that You have us in your hand and we can trust all you bring our way. ~~ Amen

Amy

 

Motivation-Monday-linkyscript-237x300

Tagged , , , ,

8 thoughts on “The Hardship in the Holidays

  1. Thank you for this honest look into your like. It’s such a good reminder, especially this time of year. There are so many hidden diseases, whether it’s fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, or other chronic pain. We could all definitely benefit from extending one another more understanding and grace. Glad to be your neighbor today at Jennifer’s place.

  2. Thank you for this honest look into your like. It’s such a good reminder, especially this time of year. There are so many hidden diseases, whether it’s fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, or other chronic pain. We could all definitely benefit from extending one another more understanding and grace. Glad to be your neighbor today at Jennifer’s place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.