There is a very good reason Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is labelled as chronic. That’s because it is unceasing and relentless in its vicious and pervading attack on your physical and mental wellbeing. It is ever-present, long-lasting and, even if you are lucky enough to get a remission, it usually returns. With a vengeance. It is unwelcome and, like a bad penny, it keeps turning up despite your best attempts to fend it off.
If my fatigue and related symptoms were just a flash-in-the-pan, over and done with in a jiffy leaving me to return to normal energy levels within a few weeks or months it would be called Acute Fatigue Syndrome. But it’s not.
This time of year is particularly difficult for many people I’m sure with invitations to Christmas parties, meals out and shopping trips dripping from the calendar but if you are like me, you really don’t have the energy to spare on these “optional extras.”
The extra energy required to cope with overcrowded public transport and supermarkets, busy roads, presents to buy, cards to send and people to see is just too much and I therefore have to bow to my enforced lethargy and say “No, thanks”. It can be seen as Bah! Humbug, but so be it. The most frustrating aspect for me however is the assumption that after months of being “in recovery” I should be “better” now and able to join in the merriment along with everyone else.
Sadly, this is not the case and my “recovery” will continue for many months and years. There is no quick remedy for CFS. It is an illness that must be managed constantly if a relapse or crash is to be avoided. Most people don’t understand this and look at you as if you have turned into a Couch Potato by choice. I can’t imagine anything worse and the frustration that being so inactive brings cannot be described. I could get really angry about it but that would waste yet more precious energy so I try to accept my new limitations with good grace. This has never been a strong point of mine so I am on a steep learning curve.
All I want this Christmas is to step aside from extra activity and stress, to avoid being out of routine and being late to bed and to spend the few days that I have off work with my family and not tucked up in bed exhausted by the build-up of extra effort.
So if I say “No thanks” to the department Christmas outing, the office Christmas meal, drinks on the last day before the holiday and anything else in-between, please don’t think I am unwilling, uncaring, selfish, lazy or unsociable.
I’m just too tired-really.
I can totally understand where you’re coming from. With the holidays, it brings all this extra stress and it wears on your energy level big time. If you can, try to keep Christmas as simple as you can so then you can use your energy on spending time with the ones you love.
Take care. xx
Hi Jenn-thank you for stopping by and yes that’s exactly what I intend to do. Take it easy and not get caught up in all the excitement and expectation. Me and my family come first.
I’m definitely taking it easy. 😉
Well said. So much more is going on, and there are those who thrive on this, not to mention it’s touted as somehow admirable. Why? Oh… wait… I just answered my own question: The world worships busy-ness. Being busy somehow has come to mean productive, which isn’t anywhere near the truth. Thanks for reminding me to slow down. It’s so easy to be caught up in the rush.
Thank you…I was beginning to feel a bit like Scrooge not going to all these functions but I can only do so much and as Doc Fraser reminded me on THursday I have finite energy supplies. For every 100 units of energy a “normal” person expends, I would have to expend double to achieve the same result. That put it into context for me. Not enough fuel in the tank to go the extra mile.
Thanks for this lovely reminder that ditching out on yet another party will be beneficial for me and in my best interest. If I could hug you right now, I would. Cyber hugs is the best I can do. (((((Thanks)))))
Absolutely the best thing for you if it helps to conserve energy and you feel more comfortable being your own person and not beholden to anyone’s (very kindly meant I’m sure) invitations. Cyber hugs to you too xxx ((((((O)))))))
Threw away one invitation and deciding not to go to another that I didn’t want to do in the first place. I keep forgetting that No is a complete sentence. 🙂 Thanks again Caroline I am feeling calmer already.