Chronically Stressed During the Holidays

Every December for me is always the same.  What should be the season to be jolly is looked upon as a season of dread, depression and the feeling that I am not living up to what is expected of me as a wife, mother and friend.

Is it just my imagination or am I sicker than I was last year?  No, I know it is true.  After my third visit to the endocrinologist last week, I was basically given the “all clear” from her.  This time my cortisol level was normal. Although she felt the first low result was a fluke, I did convince her to run another test on it which I plan on getting this week.  She said for my cortisol to be that low I would be in a hospital right now, but that is kind of like how I feel. Twice as tired, twice as nauseous, and increased confusion since the summer, along with weight gain. She advised me to see my gastroenterologist next as some of my symptoms may be an indication of having a long term bacterial infection in my G.I. tract.

My PCP ran out of samples of an antidepressant I was on and due to the cost of it I decided I would see if I could taper off of it.  (I am on another one besides this one)  I don’t know if it’s the holidays or that I am no longer taking the drug but I grow more anxious and depressed by the day.  Between my physical and mental symptoms it is getting harder to get out of bed each day.

Yeah, definitely sicker than last year.

Besides being sicker and December 3rd upon us, my husband and I are in the middle of filing for bankruptcy. When we met the low-income lawyer last month I was so relieved because I thought we were done.  We had gotten together so much paperwork.  After meeting with her, we received via email another stack of forms to be filled.  Besides me being sick, Grant has had a cold/lung infection that combined with his asthma has made him sick for weeks, he just can’t get rid of this thing.  The two of us are definitely moving slower than usual and the November deadline for our planned bankruptcy filing had to be changed to a December one.

And now into this whole mess, here comes Christmas a-ablazing, with the days passing whether we are ready or not.  I still have most of my Halloween decorations up, although I did manage to put our Thanksgiving Day turkey nutcracker decoration away to make room for the Advent calendar.  Our living room is so cluttered I don’t even know how we will fit a tree in there.

Today I am planning on taking Tyler to see Santa.  A haircut will have to wait as I don’t think I am able to do both in one day.  And then tomorrow, if we have the strength, Grant and I will try to put out our decorations.

And Christmas cards???  Well, if you were expecting one from me this year, you probably ain’t getting one.  If it wasn’t for the internet, I don’t even think my child would get a visit from Santa.  Luckily Tyler is still too young to care if the gifts are wrapped or not.

I know I am not the only one who is sick and feeling this way and that is why I am writing this as well.  I know a lot of you have it even worse than me, I read about all of my sick friends, one who is even homeless for Christmas and then I feel guilty that I am not feeling more grateful for what I have.  Even though Christmas may be one hot mess at least I have a roof over my head to have it.  Logically I know that many more are suffering than me but mentally I am too wrapped up with my own problems to see that.

No matter what I tell myself every year, no matter what my therapist says; that Christmas is going to come and go no matter what I do or don’t get done, I still feel this way every single year.

And didn’t I write a post just like this the year before?  Yes, yes I did.

Wishing all of my chronically ill friends the happiest holiday season they can possibly have plus a Christmas miracle or two thrown into the mix.  We’re going to need them.

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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4 Responses to Chronically Stressed During the Holidays

  1. Mrs4444 says:

    Well, the bright side of bankruptcy filing will be one monkey off your back.

    I’m not sure this is the time of year to taper off an antidepressant, just sayin’.

    Here’s hoping you feel up to decorating tomorrow. I’ll keep you in my prayers tonight.

  2. Shannon says:

    I filed for bankruptcy last year. WORST experience of my life was how vicious and spiteful the collection agents are. This one guy was so brutal and hateful he had me in tears and suicidal. Another one had me so angry I was throwing things. I went to bankruptcy just to get the harassment to stop. If I had any way to legally sue that asshole for what he did to me I would have. But ironically the only way would be through my own pocket. Yeah the one that just went bankrupt. Anyway, that’s done and I believe in Karma. That horrible little man will get it back threefold.

    I hope you didn’t have as horrible an experience as I did. I assure you the actual bankruptcy part is painless as long as you make your monthly payments on time and follow everything to the letter. Having it over with is a very, very nice feeling.

    As for feeling guilty that you know other people have it worse than you? Don’t! Sure there are people with a worse situation than you or I. Do we live their lives? Do they live ours? Nuh uh! It’s completely ok to be focused on your own problems! Good grief we have enough on our plates as is. Don’t feel bad that you know other people have it worse. Yes, it’s true and that’s awful. I just think it’s about time I worry about myself for once. Focus on MY problems and have some ME time. After decades of worrying about everyone but myself, I deserve it. And so do you 🙂
    Shannon´s last blog post ..Pain Medication Discussions and Fibromyalgia Frustrations

  3. Sharon says:

    So sorry to hear that you are dealing with so much and all at once. Thinking of you and your son and hoping that you still manage to have a few bright spots in your holiday season.
    Sharon´s last blog post ..Getting Ready for a Dino-Mite Birthday

  4. Tendai says:

    I hear ya! You are preaching to the choir! I am fed up with it all too. I hope 2012 will be better for you so you don’t have things hanging over your head.

    I agree with the person above that maybe this isn’t the time to wean off that medication because, wow, under your circumstances you can’t afford the side effects. Also I highly recommend gift bags and tissue paper at your nearest dollar store. You have the element of surprise without the tiresome and make-your-back ache of wrapping presents.

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