So, we are day 2 of the christmas holidays… and it is making me realise how much I can’t do…
I have spent the last few months plodding through my days. I have worked out a little routine that I can tweak a bit, but generally I can cope with it. My symptoms vary day to day, but are usually bearable… until the Christmas holidays arrive, with the over excited, overtired and very sensitive children. I suspect this is a time where a lot of mums struggle. Kids show up the cracks in mental or physical health if you hang out with them long enough!
So my normal day starts with a crazy couple of hours packing my two boys off to school. Then I will do a few chosen jobs, do one bit of gentle timed exercise and rest, BY MYSELF, usually for three hours or so. I go off to collect the kids, and if I have played my cards right, and rested enough, then I will have enough patience and energy to get them into bed. (if not it gets messy…)
So now the holidays have arrived, the morning starts with that lovely feeling of not having to get them off to school, I even danced this morning (some cheesy Christmas number inspired me), we went for a walk together… then I started to feel worse. Managed to get lunch and we all lay down to watch a movie (note, not on my own!). Got up, world spinny, went and picked up a takeaway as a huge treat. Nearly cried watching them eat it (or not eat it) because I wanted to share the experience with them… and had to lie down. When I got up an hour later to nit comb my eldest (slowly, conditioner.. not pressing too hard!), the world was even more spinny. Spinnier than it has been for quite a few weeks. Bells start ringing (warning ones, not Christmas ones sadly – sorry, couldn’t resist!).
Initially confused, the pieces have started falling into place. I have been doing too much for the last two days. I am still too sick to get away with it. I need to do less.
At this time of year, while surrounded with people and food (lucky me), it makes me realise how much a can’t do. The food is one thing – not eating what everyone else is eating can make it feel like you are living in a parallel universe and it can be exhausting to be enthusiastic about yours and every body else’s food. This is a sociable time when I will have to do this a lot with people of varying levels of understanding and acceptance. I have done this for the last few years. What is going to be new is to have to take myself away from the festivities. Actually MISS OUT on what is going on. Miss out on watching my kids enjoying Christmas… Mind you, Christmas is just another day, and I imagine some parents would be delighted to have to skulk away and watch a couple of hours of TV, meditate or read a book… Maybe I should try and think of it like that.
What I have been doing to look after myself over the last few days isn’t enough. If I carry on like this I will get worse and I can’t bear that. But, I have managed the two days I had to look after the kids on my own. It scares me so much that I couldn’t sustain it for much longer than that. From now on I have my husband and larger family around until they go back to school. (lucky me again).
It is hard managing my condition while seeing it through other people’s eyes. They don’t see how I feel, and if I get it right then there is nothing majorly disabling to be seen at all. So they have to take my word for it; that I need to rest, that I can’t jump up to help, that I really am allergic to all but 22 foods.. and lots of other things too. Would I believe me if i didn’t have chronic illness? I bloody hope so. I would if I had it all explained to me. So maybe that is what this blog is about – explaining the behind the scenes working so that I won’t feel so judged. So that I can look after myself and rest without guilt or excessive apology or explanation.