In previous years, I've given tips for people with chronic illness on how to survive the holidays. This year, I've decided to do something different. Here's my list of things that well-family members and friends need to know about their person with MS or another chronic illness.
- We want to do everything that we used to and we don't want to disappoint everyone if we can't. Scaling back festivities makes things easier for everyone.
- "I'm tired" means I'm tired, really tired and need to rest. It's difficult to admit this, so believe it when you hear it.
- We are our own toughest critic. Let us vent if we need to about our shortcomings, even if they are to our fault.
- Be mindful that the holidays can be hard for us because they remind us of any changes in our condition over the past year.
It may be helpful to consider the chronic illness as an unwanted guest. Sure, you try to make it comfortable but you don't encourage it to stay. Make sure to keep the holidays about friends, family and fun. The chronic illness isn't going anywhere soon unfortunately.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!