I confess: when it comes to the holidays, I’m much more Grinch than Wonderful Life. My Hermit gets cranky exchanging solitude for socializing. My Hedonist is fussy about leaving my cozy nest and my familiar routines. And my Storyteller has a hard time leaving the fascinating (to me, anyway) landscape of my inner world. And that’s before I even add chronic illness into the mix.
When it comes to dealing with all my inner selves, my strategies are by definition pretty particular to me and my situation. But when it comes to facing holidays as someone suffering from chronic illness, I’ve found a few good articles lately that I wanted to pass along. They’re all written by Toni Bernhard, author of the book How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers.
1. Surviving the Holidays when You’re Chronically Ill. Strategies for creating a plan ahead of time.
2. How to Ease the Pain of Isolation During the Holidays. Even while being around others, chronic illness is still an isolating experience.
3. Reduce Holiday Stress by Educating Others About Your Health. Sometimes frustrating, always necessary.
Here are a few resources I’ve found to help with this:
-The Spoon Theory, by Christine Miserandino
-The video, “What It Feels Like To Live With Fibro” by Haullie Free-Volker
-“Letter to People without Chronic Pain“, from the blog Life in Pain
-The blog post, What It’s Really Like To Be Chronically Ill by Lauren Anne
May we all find ways to create the holiday experience we want and need.
Love and blessings on our journey.
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