Big birthday approaching.

Jemima37

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Hi all.

I'm turning 40 next month and I wont lie I'm dreading it. I've lost 3 years to cfs (last year especially when it hit hard) and 8 years in total of anxiety since I was attacked by my brother and lost my mum and sisters as a result of not forgiving him. The trauma led to severe anxiety and PTSD. I then started with health issues a few years later.

Although I'm much better than last year I still don't get out and recently hit a bit of a crash again so I'm devastated. I was back house cleaning a bit each day, showering alone, cooking every night, sitting in my garden etc Now I'm back upstairs and am struggling to go down to the kitchen like last year. I have to rest much of the day. This makes me feel embarrassed to admit and I hate my children seeing me upstairs again and although they're all teenagers I feel less of a mum not cooking for them. Hubby is back doing the cooking and washing clothes after work. I hate I've lost that again these last few weeks. I was so ill for a year last year and I worked so hard this year to get 50% better and my depression lifted too. I became very depressed during last years horrific crash.

I'm scared of turning 40 incase I'm stuck resting on my bed, or not up to a photo with my family. I'm scared of it being a huge let down for my family even though I know they wont be upset if all I do is rest. I think I'm upset I cant do what I see other people doing on huge birthdays on my instagram etc. Any advice please on how to deal with this? It's in 3 weeks and I've been struggling all year with this date approaching but a few weeks ago I thought at least I can sit downstairs, have a little birthday tea together and cake. Now im back stuck upstairs. Its embarrassing I'm not like other people. Being in a bad fatigue crash and my anxiety has risen again since in the crash it's so hard.

Any tips on ways to think about this big birthday without feeling anxious or down about it? I just feel sad I'm 40 already and lost nearly a decade of my life. I'm glad to see the back of my 30s but only if I could say life begins at 40 lol

Even typing this has wore my arms and eyes out. I'm really struggling with screens and light too. Is this normal with cfs? Walking from room to room, the light changes affect me and can make me have a rush of anxiety. Screens flare my crash worse too. I'm guessing it's all cfs.

Ju
 

Moof

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I'm so sorry to hear that you're struggling, and I hope you manage to find a way to look forward.

ME does tend to fluctuate, but that's good news – it means you'll probably get over this hump. Sometimes we go downhill unexpectedly, hit a thoroughly frustrating plateau which feels as if it'll go on forever, and then start to pick up again for no obvious reason.

I had exactly the same at my 40th, I'd just started a relapse. But I managed to see my sister and my Mum, and we had a lovely half-day together, lying on my bed watching creaky old films, taking daft photos, and getting cake crumbs everywhere. It's 20 years ago now, but I look back on that day with genuine enjoyment.

Even if you can only celebrate for 15 minutes before the exhaustion kicks in, enjoy thinking up a really nice way to spend it – and to stick two fingers up to ME. Your family loves you, and they'll just go along with whatever you want to do for your birthday. And if you get to the date and can't manage it, just announce that your celebrations are postponed until you're up to enjoying them fully!

I got ME at 17, and I had to postpone my 18th birthday. I didn't actually get around to planning it until I was 32, but I went away with some friends for a fabulous, hilarious week. I wouldn't have had the money to do that at 18, and I hadn't yet met the person who was to become my best friend for life – I was so glad I waited until the right moment to celebrate it!

Try to ignore social media, it's very much a curated version of people's lives. Remember that they'll post the photos of themselves enjoying a big party, but not of themselves hung over and feeling like death dug up the next day.... ;)

Take care, big hugs.
 

Jemima37

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I'm so sorry to hear that you're struggling, and I hope you manage to find a way to look forward.

ME does tend to fluctuate, but that's good news – it means you'll probably get over this hump. Sometimes we go downhill unexpectedly, hit a thoroughly frustrating plateau which feels as if it'll go on forever, and then start to pick up again for no obvious reason.

I had exactly the same at my 40th, I'd just started a relapse. But I managed to see my sister and my Mum, and we had a lovely half-day together, lying on my bed watching creaky old films, taking daft photos, and getting cake crumbs everywhere. It's 20 years ago now, but I look back on that day with genuine enjoyment.

Even if you can only celebrate for 15 minutes before the exhaustion kicks in, enjoy thinking up a really nice way to spend it – and to stick two fingers up to ME. Your family loves you, and they'll just go along with whatever you want to do for your birthday. And if you get to the date and can't manage it, just announce that your celebrations are postponed until you're up to enjoying them fully!

I got ME at 17, and I had to postpone my 18th birthday. I didn't actually get around to planning it until I was 32, but I went away with some friends for a fabulous, hilarious week. I wouldn't have had the money to do that at 18, and I hadn't yet met the person who was to become my best friend for life – I was so glad I waited until the right moment to celebrate it!

Try to ignore social media, it's very much a curated version of people's lives. Remember that they'll post the photos of themselves enjoying a big party, but not of themselves hung over and feeling like death dug up the next day.... ;)

Take care, big hugs.
Thank you for your wonderful and wise advice.

I seem to get setbacks and crashes after stress. I was doing so well since February this year, amazing by May then suddenly my new rabbit died quite traumatically, I thought I was coping ok then in June my uncle was given weeks to live with heart failure out of the blue and he passed end of June. Then on the same day in June we found out both our dogs had tumours. Within a few weeks I crashed mentally with anxiety, stress and extreme fatigue. This coincides with school holidays and we stupidly decided hubby could fit our new kitchen I've not seen him the last 5 weekends so I've had no real emotional support during this crash. Stress galore lol.

Thank you again for replying to me it means a lot.

Ju
 

Moof

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my new rabbit died quite traumatically, I thought I was coping ok then in June my uncle was given weeks to live with heart failure out of the blue and he passed end of June. Then on the same day in June we found out both our dogs had tumours.
I'm not surprised you feel so rough, that's an awful lot of difficult news. Not to speak of trying to navigate the school holidays! Your body and spirit just need a rest from the assault...but the children will be back in their routine at school soon, the woofs will be looked after by the vet, the kitchen will get finished, and however long it takes, you can look forward to being able to cook some End of Crash celebration treats. I just hope it comes sooner rather than later. :)
 

Shoshana

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HI @Jemima37
I am not up to writing at the moment, but thinking of you!
And hoping that maybe you and hubby could think of a very small but special in some way
(meaningful and positive, but small! ;) ) way that is not difficult, for you to be able to observe your birthday.
 

taniaaust1

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typing this has wore my arms and eyes out. I'm really struggling with screens and light too. Is this normal with cfs? Walking from room to room, the light changes affect me and can make me have a rush of anxiety. Screens flare my crash worse too. I'm guessing it's all cfs.
Unfortunately yes that is all quite normal to have issues like that. I hope things improve for you. I missed doing anything at all for my 40th birthday so know how you feel.
 

Jemima37

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HI @Jemima37
I am not up to writing at the moment, but thinking of you!
And hoping that maybe you and hubby could think of a very small but special in some way
(meaningful and positive, but small! ;) ) way that is not difficult, for you to be able to observe your birthday.
Thank you so much, lovely.
 

Jemima37

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I'm not surprised you feel so rough, that's an awful lot of difficult news. Not to speak of trying to navigate the school holidays! Your body and spirit just need a rest from the assault...but the children will be back in their routine at school soon, the woofs will be looked after by the vet, the kitchen will get finished, and however long it takes, you can look forward to being able to cook some End of Crash celebration treats. I just hope it comes sooner rather than later. :)
Thank you so much Moof.

Last night we had another shock. We found out something bad our son has done due to pressure with his friends. Jeez when does stress end. Having cfs and 3 teenagers is hard but they're always so well behaved, polite and do us proud. Which makes life easier. Then one goes and does something stupid ans causes another stress. Needless to say hes grounded for 2 months, somehing we've never had to do before and today I'm crashed and upset. You couldn't make it up could you. I swear someone has a voodoo doll of me lol.
 

Shoshana

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Hi @Jemima37
Yes, parenting brings up difficulties , even when they are usually doing well. Many challenges and confusions and stressors. That can be very upsetting for us!

I am also sorry for all of the rough things that have been happening for you, I wanted to add to my short message here, yesterday. Life is definitely difficult, for many of us.

And as Tania said, we DO understand how awful it feels to be having a special time, like a 40th birthday, and not be able to do what you would like, and what many others do, and to be miserable instead.
Oh, i have suffered through many special occasions. Our usual situation is hard, and it feels even much worse, when there is reason for us to want so much to do something "normal" that we just cannot be.

I am sorry you had the backslide, too.
I will still hope that perhaps there is some VERY tiny thing, that could just mark the specialness, of your milestone. Maybe your family would just bring some small thing, into your room for you.
Anything you do not usually have, might help.

Caring about you,
Shoshana

Btw, you are a nice person, and that is more important and special, than anything about your illnesses.

Maybe for your birthday, you could ask each family member, (or only hubby) to write down, or just to tell you, something they like about you. So , That could be their gifts to you, possibly.
And would remind you of nice things about yourself, too. Just an idea.
 

Moof

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Maybe for your birthday, you could ask each family member, (or only hubby) to write down, or just to tell you, something they like about you. So , That could be their gifts to you, possibly.
I love that idea! There are so many tiny things that can make a real difference, and you could space them out through the day.

For instance, if you can't get up, having family or a friend put some nice throws and cushions on your bed, in lieu of dressing up.

A taste of foods you love, even if you can't eat much.

Listening with your husband to one special song.

Taking some funny photos with your teens.

Enjoying thinking of things you won't have to endure, such as having to invite a quarrelsome family member to a party, wearing shoes that look great but hurt like hell after a while, or rifling through the bathroom cabinet for paracetamol the next day with a thumping hangover.

And the lavender's still in flower at the moment – if you like the smell, tell your husband that a fresh bunch on your pillow at the end of the day would help calm your senses after visitors.
 

Jemima37

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Hi @Jemima37
Yes, parenting brings up difficulties , even when they are usually doing well. Many challenges and confusions and stressors. That can be very upsetting for us!

I am also sorry for all of the rough things that have been happening for you, I wanted to add to my short message here, yesterday. Life is definitely difficult, for many of us.

And as Tania said, we DO understand how awful it feels to be having a special time, like a 40th birthday, and not be able to do what you would like, and what many others do, and to be miserable instead.
Oh, i have suffered through many special occasions. Our usual situation is hard, and it feels even much worse, when there is reason for us to want so much to do something "normal" that we just cannot be.

I am sorry you had the backslide, too.
I will still hope that perhaps there is some VERY tiny thing, that could just mark the specialness, of your milestone. Maybe your family would just bring some small thing, into your room for you.
Anything you do not usually have, might help.

Caring about you,
Shoshana

Btw, you are a nice person, and that is more important and special, than anything about your illnesses.

Maybe for your birthday, you could ask each family member, (or only hubby) to write down, or just to tell you, something they like about you. So , That could be their gifts to you, possibly.
And would remind you of nice things about yourself, too. Just an idea.
Aww thank you Shoshana. I cried reading your reply. It means so much. Such a beautiful idea for my family to do and that truly would mean more to me than any gifts. Words in cards mean much more than possessions and I really do mean that.

Thank you so much. Sending you my love.
Ju
 

Jemima37

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I love that idea! There are so many tiny things that can make a real difference, and you could space them out through the day.

For instance, if you can't get up, having family or a friend put some nice throws and cushions on your bed, in lieu of dressing up.

A taste of foods you love, even if you can't eat much.

Listening with your husband to one special song.

Taking some funny photos with your teens.

Enjoying thinking of things you won't have to endure, such as having to invite a quarrelsome family member to a party, wearing shoes that look great but hurt like hell after a while, or rifling through the bathroom cabinet for paracetamol the next day with a thumping hangover.

And the lavender's still in flower at the moment – if you like the smell, tell your husband that a fresh bunch on your pillow at the end of the day would help calm your senses after visitors.
Thank you so much. Lovely suggestions.

Thankfully it'll just be my husband and children with me on the day. I dont see my extended family I walked away from years ago after the attack, and still due to anxiety with the cfs I'm not up to seeing my dad who I still do speak to but last year he made a comment that hurt deeply. He said to me 'you need to get over this and be there for your kids, they need their mum'. He's not a caring man, hard, but his words came across as though I just needed a shake. Like he assumed its depression and cfs isn't real. Not nice, so for now I've said I'm too unwell to see people and I've stuck by that for over a year now. I have to protect my mind and anxiety. That comment hurt so much because I'm still here for babies every day, despite being ill I'm doing my best. Even if some periods it's from my bed I'm here.
 

Shoshana

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You are still definitely a mom who loves them, and that is what they need most of all! You have not abandoned them, and they can see that.
No one gets everything perfect given to them, or perfect parents, and children do not need that, either.

Plus, all we can do is the best we are able. It doesn't actually hurt young people to learn to accept, appreciate what they do have, and value that there are some human limitations, and they do not need to expect or to want more of everything perfect, or SEEMINGLY perfect. (Many other parents and families do far less for the children than you do)
Very sorry that your father thinks you could "just get over" anything, in his own mind's time table and easier way.
If that was possible, you would have done it.

I think it is a very good coping tool, and a positive decision, :thumbsup:
to not let people and things into your time and space, that are too negative and upsetting, and exhausting and draining.
It is actually another way that you prioritise, your children and hubby, when you do have any bits of stamina.

I love those suggestions and additional birthday ideas from @Moof, also!! :thumbsup:

Perhaps ask them to bring something into your room for that day, that is not usually in your room, for the fun change, of your seeing it there. Maybe something you like, that you rarely see, that is always someplace else in your home?

Btw, @Jemima37
You do not need to press "reply" right on my posts.
Please just go to the reply box on the bottom of the page, instead, and type your response, and i will see it. :)

If you want to be extra sure that someone sees your reply, then just quote a small part of their post,
OR just put the @ and with no space, start their username, then click on the one listed, that you want.

Those ways, the persons entire post is not quoted, so it doesnt take up the space for the site, and so that if any of us wanted to edit something out of our own original post, then we could.

:hug:
 

Jemima37

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Thank you so much. I appreciate your reply and suggestions. Its comforting.

Oh, sorry I'm not very good with forums. I shall definitely do that in future. Thank you.
 

Likaloha

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@Jemima37 If you make your b-day public in your profile (just the day, not the year!) then we can create a birthday thread for you here on PR and have a virtual celebration with you :cake: :star: :gift:
This group did a Wonderful birthday thread for me this year in July and it really lifted my spirits... Thanks to all you lovely people!!!!!!!
 
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I think I'm upset I cant do what I see other people doing on huge birthdays on my instagram etc. Any advice please on how to deal with this?
My advice is to treat yourself with kindness and forgiveness, that you cannot do all the things you'd like, in the way you woul d like.

So far this summer, I could not attend the dinner the folks here had for my own birthday (10 o clock at nite). Nor could I eat the cake they bought. That was MORTIFYING.

I am missing from 3/4 of the field trips that happen, I"m visitng my daughter...

Today is my husbands birthday, and my daughters wedding anniversary. I will not be going to have lunch with them. I"m totally intestinally ill today, stress augmented because in two days, I have to somehow survive an airport and returning to my apartment. So my body has shown it intends to get much more ill, because i have to travel. Its brutal.
 

Jemima37

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My advice is to treat yourself with kindness and forgiveness, that you cannot do all the things you'd like, in the way you woul d like.

So far this summer, I could not attend the dinner the folks here had for my own birthday (10 o clock at nite). Nor could I eat the cake they bought. That was MORTIFYING.

I am missing from 3/4 of the field trips that happen, I"m visitng my daughter...

Today is my husbands birthday, and my daughters wedding anniversary. I will not be going to have lunch with them. I"m totally intestinally ill today, stress augmented because in two days, I have to somehow survive an airport and returning to my apartment. So my body has shown it intends to get much more ill, because i have to travel. Its brutal.
Thank you so much for your kindness.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this too. Sending you a hug.
 

Jemima37

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I am still not doing too well with the cfs and anxiety. Likely I will be spending my birthday next Saturday upstairs in my house. I'm even worried sick what if I cant manage a photo with my husband and children. What if i cant sit up or stand for one on the special day. Things I always just took for granted are now things I stress over.