The past few years have been hard for me. I think it's just hard seeing another year go by, and realizing I'm sick and my life isn't how I want it to be.
Thanksgiving---I feel like crap, but I somehow survive going wherever I'm expected to go (trust me, going somewhere is easier than doing it at my place). I enjoy seeing family and friends, normally. Though to be honest, I secretly wish I was well enough to prepare some of the foods how I prefer them. Though I am thankful someone else is doing the work and paying for the food.
All in all, I can't complain too much, but it does bring up thoughts of, "If I were healthy, I'd make this and that. Sigh."
None of this is bad, so far. Aside from the fact that I LOVE to cook, it's my one of my passions.... and it's hard for me to not contribute to Thanksgiving, which is the Foodie Olympics.
Christmas----the materialism of all of it makes me cringe, of course. When you feel like you're fighting for the basics, it's hard to watch others fritter money away on useless crap.
It's also hard to be happy when you feel like crap. And it's really hard to confront such a happy holiday, while realizing your life isn't really what you always imagined it would be, at this stage.
New Year's---the hardest of all for me. Reflecting on the past year leaves me really depressed. I'm not even gonna talk about the emotional breakdown I had one year on New Year's, looking back at a year full of suffering and unfulfilled hopes.
I hate to be so negative, but it really is hard for me to survive all this. Sigh.
All I can do is HOPE and PRAY that the holidays next year will be better. I guess you don't appreciate it until you really want it badly?
Someday I'd like to have children of my own, and be able to have both a) the energy, and b) the money, to do at least what I consider the basics for a stereotypical, festive holiday---a few nice, festive meals, and some decorating/traditions thrown in (decorating the tree, listening to carols, exchanging gifts).
I understand that's a double-edged sword, however. Some people on here probably have children, the tree, presents, the meal, etc......but they still feel like poop and can't enjoy it. For me, I'm moreso dependent on others, so I travel places to get my fix of that stuff.....and I wish I could do it myself, so I felt like a grown-up, with my own family. But I realize you need to be careful what you wish for, because doing it probably feel like it's a big burden for some.
So I guess I'd like to be able to do it, AND enjoy it. LOL...that's all, right? (sarcasm) I'm sure there are healthy people that never quite get there. I guess I just always saw myself getting into the holidays, and doing things for a family, like my mother did for us.
Anyways, my whole point is that the holidays can be rough emotionally, due to unfulfilled expectations. And just all the negatives of being sick, of course. If anyone else needs to vent, please feel free.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
i agree completely.
and imagine being 1200 miles from any family with no support over the holidays.
i'd like to just go to sleep and miss from htanksgiving to new year's.
Posted by BoxerMom (Member # 25251) on :
Oh, Hoosie. I'd love to vent with you.
Thanksgiving - We go to my in-laws' house. My MIL is an amazing cook, and as long as nobody else from the family attends, she is very respectful of my diet. But she is also a very insecure alcoholic, who monopolizes all conversation with stories about how great she is.
My FIL is an undiagnosed Lyme patient with an autoimmune condition. Of course, we've talked about Lyme ad nauseum, to no avail. Every visit he has a new, serious symptom that he brushes off as nothing. I think his health bothers me more than it does him.
They are a family of denial. We cope by spending a lot of time out of the house. They live in a beautiful area. We bring our dogs and walk, walk, walk.
My husband and I spend Christmas by ourselves. We used to spend it with his family, but I had to stop because I couldn't take it.
His family is very "scolding" and "advice giving." So festive! Thankfully, they've relaxed a bit since both sisters had kids. Of course, now the dynamic is 100% focused on children.
Christmas is an absolute chaos of presents. We can't afford to participate with the other adults (we only shop for kids), so it feels silly to attend anyway. Mostly, it exhausts us.
We've asked ourselves what kind of memories we are creating, and we feel just crushed that they aren't good ones.
If we ever have any extra money (HAHAHAHAHA - it'll go straight to our Lyme doc!), we'll take a vacation for the holidays.
Like you, we are holding on to the idea of a happy future. Maybe with our own family. Maybe with some good friends (the kind we are too tired to make right now).
It's all so bleak and uncertain.
(Wow. What a downer. But it feels good to vent.)
Hoosie - If I could afford it, I'd spend the holidays with you!!!
Posted by Hoosiers51 (Member # 15759) on :
Aw, thanks so much!
Sorry you have no support, Randi, and that your family is so far.
BoxerMom--Sorry it's rough on you guys too. The holidays are becoming such a disaster, that I don't even know where to start sometimes. Sigh. So vent away....I guess it's just nice to know I'm not the only one!
What ever happened to the Norman Rockwell paintings??? I just keep hoping one year I'll look around and realize I'm in one of those paintings. I would at least like to feel that sense of contentment and celebration. Like before I was ill!!!! I want to be able to say, "what a great year!"
Now, it's more like, "how much longer do I have to pretend to be happy, until I can go to bed?"
Anyways, I hope that this Thanksgiving exceeds all of our expectations! That is what I'm hoping for/banking on, to keep me going. Like maybe I'll stumble upon some winning lotto ticket? Or see some kind of life-changing float in the Macy's parade? Or maybe the turkey will defy my expectations and be really good?
Posted by jackie81 (Member # 27031) on :
I feel the same way but I feel it worse because December 29th is the day I got sick. I was in the hospital on New Years Eve and "Celebrated" the new year there.
So when those days come I get depressed
Posted by Misfit (Member # 26270) on :
Thanks for posting this. I need a rant. I'm thankful for a lot of things, but the holidays really get to me. There are simply too many expectations placed on me by others. I'm getting in my old age to where I don't give a rat's butt if anyone likes what I do or don't do. I'm getting there, but not all the way there yet.
My DH's family chooses CHRISTMAS to have their family reunion. Picture over 50 people in a medium sized house. Standing room only. Including standing up to eat. Not my idea of a festive dinner. They had it up here last yeat, b/c FIL can't travel to Dallas anymore due to health issues. Never mind that *I* have health issues, I was still expected to make the drive and attend.
The previous two years I didn't go. Yay for me!
Thanksgiving is increasingly getting to where I doubt my ability to continue with it each year. My grown kids come to dinner, and not a single one of them brings anything, cooks anything, or cleans anything up. THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN THIS YEAR. If they even try it, there won't be dinner next year, and I mean that with every fiber of my being.
My DH said he'd do the cleanup this year, and I told him NO WAY that the man who worked almost 130 hours in the last two weeks is going to clean that kitchen. Not happening. Let my lazy DDs, neither of whom work, do it.
I blame me, b/c I've not made my expectations known. You can bet that's going to change. I've had it with lazy, entitled "children". If it wasn't for my 10yo, I wouldn't be cooking dinner at all. Thanks for allowing me that rant.
[ 11-29-2010, 04:22 AM: Message edited by: Misfit ]
Posted by lpkayak (Member # 5230) on :
i understand what alot of you are going thru
i am 61-divorced (from lyme)-have 4 adult kids who are reasonabley healthy and successful all over the country. all with inlaws-some with 2 sets of inlaws and there is me and their dad and his new wife...so i often don't get to see them on holidays which is the only thing i want...them here with me...seeing them interact with each other...even if i am not well enough to do all the preps i used to do
but it hasn't happened much...last time was 2005 i think but then my daughter got married in sept and i had them all together then
anyway...i had many holidays alone with my dog kris who i just put down last friday. i have gotten a lot of help here from friends about that. but going into these holidays - being very single again-a 3 yr relationship broke up last november...without my kristopher...whew! i knew it was gonna be ruff
in the past when stuff was ruff with lyme - and i have been doing lyme 30 yrs or so-and i have been suicidal- but what i figured out is no matter how bad it is...if i make my self get up or get in the wheel chair or what ever level i am at at the time and move a little...one step...then two...just a little it helps.
i know it is a physiological thing with depression...movement-exercise-helps withthe brain chemicals.
anyway i do that...i try to move and then i really focus on what I want to do...what will make ME feel good. sometimes it is just smelling the sea or picking some flowers or a movie or book...whatever
this year i am cooking some frozen pies-they won't taste like mine but they will make the house smell good-and roasting a small turkey-i usually do only a breast now cuz of my hands but the breasts were so expensive...i do have one friend stopping over at the end of the day on thanks givng and they will have to help me pack up the leftovers...the whole turkey is really too hard for me to handle.
i am also dealing with two of my kids being mad at me. one wants me to spend the day with his inlaws and besides the travel that would be hard on me...these ppl are soooo different from everything i am...sooo materialisic and techy...there is no way i can get stuck there again. so hes mad. and when i called another kid cuz i was sad that he was mad...they got mad at me....all this old stuff about me being sick their whole childhood...blah blah blah. i mean...i am sorry about that but i sure turned myself inside out doing the best i could...i didn't choose to be sick...anyway
that kind of stuff i have learned to let it roll off. we are all on our own paths and need to learn from them. i am having to learn i am not always in control and i need to learn patience and how to deal with pain etc. they needed to go thru having a mom who was sick and a dad who couldn't handle it and docs and a medical system that doesn't have a clue...they are supposed to be learning from their experiences.
so i let it go...focus on what ever i can do to have some good feelings...and let the bad stuff go.
sometimes i figure out a way i can help someone without hurting myself...once i helped at a church free meal...this year i'm planning a trip to see elderly aunts. sometimes that is what makes me feel good. if its a year i'm dealing with nerve pain...i may just let evrything go and take the meds and zone out.
thats how i have survived lyme and holidays this long.
i hope everyone can figure out a way to get thru it. it isn't easy and for me takes some planning. i've told my friend...its ok if you don't come...but don't say you are coming and then not show up...that would really be hard.
love and positive thoughts from me to all of you...take care of yourselves...
Posted by hopeandfaith (Member # 19884) on :
Hoosiers I'm totally on board with what you say. I had my kids home and my mom and brother over and had to cook a big Thanksgiving meal while having a horrible herx! I thought to myself, "How am I going to get through this day?" It's not supposed to be like this! I am jealous of other people that can enjoy the simple things in life. I feel like I've been robbed of so many things. Trying to be positive but I'm finding it hard after fighting this disease for many years.
Posted by tartana (Member # 28985) on :
As a newbie here, I too have SAD....only mine starts the end of July as the light fades and I struggle thru to the first week of Jan. as light slowly comes back and my mood improves! But I to like to cook and flat out told hubby YOU milk the cows and I do not want to be disturbed if I am to do the turkey day .....and since we have no kids and family is spread out over the state, I RELISH the fact of a nice, quiet Thanksgiving and IF I feel up to it and feel good I always try to invite someone less fortunate than I over for the meal. As for Xmas....HATE it! I listen to Public Radio so I don't have to listen to Xmas music and advertisment for the Months of Nov. and Dec.....and the week before is when I ALLOW myself to enjoy the season of Christmas! IF I get the house tidy and the tree up one week is enough for me and on to the New Year to set a new goal of getting healthier, knowing that the daylight is coming back gives me something to look forward to and be thankful for what I do have to deal with or not! Good luck and don't knock off any of those Elves or Reindeer....or better yet Santa! LOL!
Posted by kam (Member # 3410) on :
Haven't read what the others wrote. But, it is a very difficult time for me. I just wait for the holidays to be over.
Had a bit more energy than usual in Oct while out. Purchased a hook to hang a wreath on the door.
Thought I would go through my storage things and get the Fall Harvest Wreath out.
That didnt' happen. Just don't have the stamina and strength to sort through and move boxes to find the wreath.
Now hoping I will have what it takes to find the Christmas Wreath.
Haven't decorated for Christmas since 2001 due to health.
Lacking with getting supplements, food, etc so getting gifts is out. Thankful for what I have though. Need to focus on that.
Saw the joy in my neighbors face while she was putting out a small, fake Christmas tree on her patio. That was cool.
Christmas Carolers have come by the past few years going door to door. Tried listening to them the first year while sitting in power chair at door. It was too much. Had to thank them and cut it short.
Following year just told them thanks but health couldn't handle it.
Did not answer the door last year.
but, had this thought that perhaps they could sing in the big room and those that wanted to attend could go so need to send email to manager.
That way those who can attend can come and go.
It also is a reminder of how unsupportive family members are. I know if I had gifts to exchange they would be purchasing gifts for me too...but since I have not been able to do this...I am out of the loop at Christmas time.
Don't even get a card. I do send cards. That is my Christmas thing.
First year here with car went to look at homes who won prizes for decorations. Got lost.
I think the 3rd year I was able to see one or two homes but too much on the brain so most likely will not do it this year.
need to keep to myself for the most part.
So many people have trouble living in the moment.Processing what they are saying is too much for me.
Writing these things as I know there are others going through the same thing. It helps not to feel alone with this.
Got Christmas cards from others with lyme disease last year. That was uplifting.
Use to have long Christmas card lists and letters that were received and sent.
But, have lost track of most people and addresses. I remember getting cards and christmas letters the first christmas I got sick.
But, now can't recall their names much less addresses. Have moved several times since coming down sick...down sizing.