Christmas is coming
Christmas, or any holiday time, is usually a cause of stress for people with chronic illnesses. One thing that we need in life is big changes from our usual routine. This stability creates a balance in our illness. Any deviation in this can lead to unpleasant consequences.
In my life, I have always tried to avoid these focus points in the year. Birthdays, anniversaries and major events always made my health worse. Even at a young age, my asthma would become worse, and it became a self-fulfilling prophesy as the stress of expectation inevitably led to an attack. Before I started LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) there was also an impact on my MS. A flare-up of increased fatigue, mobility and sensory problems always seemed to happen.
This caused me to become detached at these pivot points in the year. This emotional detachment was my way of preventing, in my mind, the trigger that would make me sicker than usual. I am sure that the people around me thought that I was a heartless, unemotional person, with no passion for life. In many ways this was true. I detached. Looking back I feel a profound sadness that I lost what should have been joyful, and happy times in my life. This anxiety that I felt before these events crippled me emotionally.
In the last few years since I had that accident that has caused me continuous headaches, I have looked at the assumptions that guided my life in the past. It provoked me into seeing if there are things that I can do in my life that removes the stress and anxiety that disabled me emotionally. There are two key elements that have allowed me to more fully enjoy life, and to welcome these focus points in the year. Meditation and journaling have been the keys that removed the chains on my emotions that I had locked up for years. Journaling has taken these negative emotions from my head and put them on the page. Once there I can look at them objectively and see that these demons are not so bad after all. Meditation has granted me the ability to re-frame anxiety into excitement and positive anticipation.
Gratitude for what I have in my life, and focusing on what I can control, as given me back these days of celebration. Now I am looking forward to Christmas, birthdays and other celebrations in a way that I never did in before. I have been given the gift of positive emotion by doing two simple things every day. They take time, and persistent effort, but the pay off is huge. I now look forward to unwrapping these celebratory days, because inside them I know I will find happiness and joy. Now, I am ready to enjoy another Christmas with my beloved partner, knowing that my illnesses will not play a role.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.