When you’re sick with Chronic Lyme Disease, everything in life can be a little overwhelming!
I know how it goes.
I’ve been there.
Some days, I’m still there.
There’s so much to think through, plan, and do to keep symptoms under control. And even then, it can be a tossup as to whether treatment is actually going to make you feel better. A lot of times, you feel worse before you feel better because of Herxheimer Reactions. It’s tough (to say the least)!
So normal things like celebrating Thanksgiving with your family or friends can seem daunting. If you had previously been the one to host the festivities, the idea of cooking, cleaning, and opening your home for others can be enough to cause panic. If you usually travel for Thanksgiving, that can add another layer of challenges.
No matter what kind of Thanksgiving plans you usually partake in, I’ve put together a short list of things to help you to enjoy Thanksgiving while you live with Lyme Disease.
We live in a culture where instant access is expected.
We have the ability to obtain knowledge about almost anything right at our fingertips.
If we’re hungry, it doesn’t take more than a swing though the fast food drive thru to curb our cravings.
Waiting is begrudged.
We think we should be able to satisfy our desires at all costs. Any time we can’t immediately obtain what we want, it feels like we’re experiencing something burdensome.
While this is the norm of society at large, it doesn’t make it the best thing for us.
Sure, there are major benefits to being able to do things more efficiently. I love productive systems as much as the next person. Organization means I can better enjoy time with the people I love.
But even with the benefits of new technology and quick access, there are negative consequences for us as people.
Let’s face it. Life with a chronic illness can be hard. Very hard.
The ups and downs of symptoms can be overwhelming.
While the pain and fatigue are difficult to deal with, I usually find that symptoms of depression and anxiety affect me the most.
Over the years of dealing with depression and anxiety, I’ve come to find some useful tools that help me boost my mood when I’m feeling low. These things are not cures (I’m not a doctor and can’t give treatment plans or cures anyway!), but they are resources to help you feel a little better on your journey of treating chronic illness.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming!
I know that people always comment on how fast the holidays get here after the year prior, so I wanted to write a post to provide some resources for navigating the holidays when you have a chronic illness. This way you can be prepared as you move into the holiday season!
Last year, I experienced my first Thanksgiving and Christmas post-diagnosis. Symptoms had come and gone for years prior to diagnosis (and I can actually remember multiple Christmases of not feeling well), but last year was the first time things were debilitating enough to change the way I participated in festivities.
When I started thinking about the holidays, I honestly felt sadder than I did when thinking about my daily way of life. My treatment protocol was intense, but adding dietary restrictions, depression, and low energy levels to the mix caused uncertainty about participating in anything.
While there were certainly some low points for me during the months of November and December of last year, I learned some things about navigating the holidays when you have a chronic illness.
A crisis strikes.
Hope appears lost.
There is pain, discouragement, and feelings of uncertainty.
You’re not sure what to do.
Life with a chronic illness is full of ups and downs. At certain points, the ups don’t reach very high and the downs seem to go deeper than you ever imagined.
Things are hard. There’s no denying that.
But what happens next will determine the the character of your life.