Posts Tagged ‘christmas blues’

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Chronic Fatigue versus Christmas: I’m Dreaming, I know…

December 12, 2008

christmaswindowA heartwarming fire in the fireplace, even a fake one would do. The scent of fresh pine boughs conjuring up memories of Christmas Past, coupled with the blossoms of sugar cookies in the oven that I’ll soon fashion with sparkling sugar flakes. Sharing a cup of Christmas Cheer while gazing at a brightly glowing tree all ashimmer with tinsel and colored lights. It’s a wonderful dream, these tangible elements of a romantic Yuletide, and one that most of my friends and family are able to create. But Chronic Fatigue and Christmas don’t mix and for me at least, even to admit that to my family and friends, is wholly embarrassing.

There’s no decorating: I’d love to bring my house into the land of the living with vibrant displays of ornaments, garlands and snowy character scenes. But I’m not even capable of bringing down the Christmas box from the top shelf in the closet. Then to imagine creating bits of flair around my livingroom sounds like it’s beyond anyone’s energy reserves. Nor can I imagine myself decorating a pretty tree (how would that get into my house?). That activity represents a long term standing session coupled with daunting strains of bending, reaching, squirming. I suppose I could manifest the energy, but for me as always, there is an energy cost analysis of where to best spend my daily outlay.

Does my family understand? No, I’m sure they think that I’m lazy, or lack Christmas Spirit, or that I’m too self absorbed. I’m so fortunate that my husband doesn’t care and doesn’t even mention it. Then too, I can well imagine that this is a source of difficulty for families everywhere, in houses where the would-be decorator suffers from CFS.

There’s no Shopping: I imagine wrangling with coats, mittens and then mangling through slippery traffic in the winter wonderland. Bustling then through parking lots, shops, and cashier queues to gleefully find the perfect representation of my love to offer. This too is a complete impossibility. If I love you truly, you’re all getting the same imported cookies that are the one undiscovered secret of my local grocery. I’m so happy to be able to simply visit my grocer and manage that task without contemplating a mobile grocery cart. If I love you more than truly, I’ll be able to burn a CD of my favorite music for you, because here at my computer, I can sit and create with ease. If I hadn’t lost my job, I would certainly take advantage of shopping online. But as everyone can acknowledge, lately this is much too weighty on the pocketbook.

There’s no wrapping: To any normal person, doesn’t this sound like the most simple of tasks? For the CFS person, this little ditty can become a rigorous onslaught of terror. Where do the pretty papers, ribbons and bows come from? Where on earth did those sticker gift tags run off to? I suppose it can be managed, but when combined with the other stresses of the season and the dedication of time and attention to the matter, this task represents yet another CFS hill to climb. If I put a sticky bow on your untagged box of cookies, will you love me just the same?

Feast without Expectation: I will do my very best to create the perfect Christmas Dinner. Fortunately in my house that allows for a roast chicken rather than turkey. My energy does afford the ability to stock the household with festive feastings and I’m quite able to manage cooking a lovely glazed spread of delights. But for many I know, this too is another holiday expression of love that falls to the wayside. At the very least, this is one area where local restaurants or caterers can assist those that are still struggling.

Dreaming of a Splendid White Christmas: As one given to outrageous fantasy, I dream of days of shooshing on the ski slopes of Telluride and then exchanging romantic gifts with hubby in our suite during our fabulous red-cheeked Colorado Christmas. Or I still envision sculpting christmas bears and bunnies on our front lawn and stringing them up with lights for nighttime neighborhood display. My mind still yearns to be dressed to the hilt in red velvet or satin and share drinks and flirtations at hubby’s company christmas party. All in a dream, my friend.

The Spirit of Christmas Still Lives: Your chronic fatigued spouse, mom or dad, family or friend still loves you just the same. Even if we fail to meet your holiday expectations, even if we fail miserably in expressing our love and heartfelt Christmas greetings, even if we’re entirely incapable of sharing in the fun, please know that we want to show our love and we’re all trying the very best that we can.


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