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The Holiday Season vs. ME/CFS

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Mark, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Phoenix Rising Team

    Phoenix Rising Team

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    View the Post on the Blog

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
    merylg, Helen, Firestormm and 5 others like this.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    When I sat in a quiet room alone on Christmas day sometime in the 90s, with family from all over the world outside, I was treated as kind of crazy.

    Last year I skipped Christmas entirely, and so had the energy left to enjoy New Years Eve.
    merylg, Jody, xchocoholic and 6 others like this.
  3. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    I can't even write how traumatic the holiday season is to me these last few years. There is no energy to even attempt to like it even though many years ago I reveled in the festivities. I've seen too much and lost too much to ever think my childhood memories were more than "play acting". The only thing that could save me is to create a good memory like very light travel, good conversation, perfect surroundings, being with people but retreating to my gorgeous suite when I need to rest. How in the world is that going to happen?
    merylg and Jody like this.
  4. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    The holidays are something to get through, not something to enjoy. My least fav. time of year. A shame.

    I wish it were January already.
    merylg, Jody, rosie26 and 1 other person like this.
  5. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Over the years, I somehow learned to get through this time by
    doing what I could to help those less fortunate
    than me. I'm not capable of much but I always
    put money in the Salvation Army bucket
    and buy an inexpensive toy to give to Toys for
    Tots.


    I'll be having king crab for Thanksgiving and Xmas so
    my holiday meals aren't depressing.
    SickOfSickness, Nico, beaker and 6 others like this.
  6. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I forgot to say, imho, it's important to find
    something that puts a smile
    on your face this time of year. King crab makes
    me smile. : ) Giving to others
    either financially or physically can help.
    Nico, beaker, merylg and 5 others like this.
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    My Christmas holidays have been pretty good since I got sick. We usually drive a couple hours to my fiance's parents' house, which can be a bit rough, but has been a lot better since getting my OI treated. They also let me have the bigger couch to myself, so I can lie down when needed, and keep my feet up all the time. There's also a blanket I can grab when I get chilly.

    My fiance's mom and/or sister do all of the coffee/treats and dinner preparation, so I can just sit there and look cute while trying to keep up with the Dutch conversations if I'm up to it. If I'm not up to it, they won't bother me while I stare into space :D

    Gift giving isn't as crazy in the Netherlands. We might or might not pick up one relatively cheap gift for each immediate family member that we'll see at Christmas dinner. Last year we got my father-in-law a few microbrewery beers he hadn't tried before, a nice bag of imported coffee for the brother-in-law, and a box each of awesome Belgian chocolates for my fiance's sister and mother.

    I don't think anyone else brought gifts, so it really is a no-pressure situation, which is awesome! More of a matter of doing what you want to do and enjoying it, instead of being pressured to meet certain expectations.

    Dinner can be a little rough for me, because my fiance's parents usually do "gourmet" which is a fairly common Dutch tradition for Christmas. Basically a hotplate with 4-8 tiny pans on it for people to grill their own food at the table. So I get a bit tired out by the reaching and such, but it's very easy for me to avoid the foods I react to. And I can always ask for help if I really need it.

    We stay over at their place, since I'm too exhausted for a drive home by then and my fiance enjoys staying up late and drinking beer with his family. They have a nice bed now that isn't hurty, so that goes pretty well. Though I'm usually in bed by 10pm, while everyone else is up past midnight, so I get lonely in the morning. :(

    I want to make a pumpkin pie to take this year - it's not something that seems to exist much in the Netherlands, so they might have fun trying it. Though I'll get the fiance to help make that before we drive over. And if I don't feel up to making it, no big deal :cool:
    SickOfSickness, merylg, Jody and 6 others like this.
  8. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    No family, and being sick means no friends.
    I've learned to try to sleep through or otherwise blank out the holidays.
    rosie26, merylg and Jody like this.
  9. belize44

    belize44

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    I used to get really depressed over the holidays. Now that I am married, my fiance and I can ignore them together! We are both orphans, and have no family support. Most of his siblings have passed away, and mine don't bother with me anymore. We make good food that is healthy, or he does if I am not feeling up for it. We plan to eat thanksgiving dinner out, so we don't have to cook. We watch old movies. Once I accepted that holidays don't have to mean what the mass media tells us it should, it became easier to shape my own version for myself. Sometimes I light pretty red, green and white candles but no tree and no lights.
    merylg, Nico, Valentijn and 4 others like this.
  10. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    Last Christmas Day l got to speak to another human being - a wrong phone number from a woman in California. Otherwise its me and the TV over the holidays with a lousy holiday schedule.
    merylg, Jody and rosie26 like this.
  11. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    If anyone is on their own on Christmas Day or Boxing Day would like a chat, just message me and I will be happy to chat for a bit.:) Hopefully I won't be relapsing !!!! :aghhh:
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
    merylg, Nico, Jody and 3 others like this.
  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I'll probably be around here on Christmas day too. We have two Christmas days here in the Netherlands (typically one for visiting each set of parents), and our family affair is on Christmas #2.
  13. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I am fortunate to have really laid-back family and friends that will do more or less things during the holidays depending on how I feel. I also encourage them to get out and do things I can't do so no one feels bad about anything. For Thanksgiving, pre-CFS, I used to get friends and family together to cook a large festive meal to share. This year, we just ordered the full dinner, all prepared, from a local supermarket. For those who can afford it, there are now places, especially in large cities, that have dinners to fit different dietary preferences.

    For Christmas, since I am not Christian or for that manner religious at all, I like to celebrate the secular values that I believe the holidays represent. Gift-giving also has never been an emphasized tradition within my family. What I've enjoyed doing in the past is sponsoring a child for Christmas; various charities in the US have virtual or real holiday giving trees where you can pick a child's tag with his/her info off the tree and then buy age-appropriate items for that child. This can be clothes, books, toys, etc. As a child, I benefited from such programs so I like to give back when I can.

    There are similar programs aimed at different groups -- soldiers abroad, foster kids that aged out and have no family, lonely elderly folks, political prisoners, etc. -- to cater to any interest. I like to remind myself that we are not the only group that can feel isolated/ lonely or forgotten during the holidays. Some programs don't require any/ much outlay of money at all; writing someone a nice letter or sending them a card can lift someone's spirits and can be better than any gift. These things can also be done virtually. It's not entirely for the benefit of the recipient either; volunteering has been shown in numerous scientific studies to benefit the health/ mood of the giver as well.
  14. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    If the holiday season vs. ME/CFS were a title fight (boxing etc.), then I think the holiday season would nearly always lose. ME/CFS is just too big and too tough. :eek:
  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    It definitely needs to be tag-team wrestling instead ... if we've got someone on our side to lend a hand, it's a lot more manageable.
    alex3619 and rosie26 like this.
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    How about the Incredible Hulk? That should balance the odds.
    rosie26, SickOfSickness and Valentijn like this.

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