I’m finally getting down to California after having had the flu over Christmas, which was so much fun. Not fun at all, but an exercise in patience and a chance to count my blessings and have faith that resting was the right things to do (couldn’t sit up for very long, lasted 12 days.) So now I’m going! It’s only a three day trip: one day getting there, one day there, and one day actually there, but I will take what I can get! I’m so excited. Pardon if this isn’t a very long or eloquent blog post that changes your life. I’m excited to be going. *This one is all about me and my kids.
Unlike a lot of people with mental illnesses, I do usually have somewhere to go for Christmas and other holidays. I do get a little stressed, wondering if I’ll find a way there etc., but things usually work out.
This year, though, I got the flu. So tonight, instead of moping about how I missed my family’s festivities last night in California, I decided to put my sense of humor and other things I’ve learned over the years for just this type of thing. I may still be a bit discouraged, but overall I’m having fun with this.
What to do when you’re by yourself for Christmas Eve and Christmas, my personal version:
I could do laundry in the middle of the night! I probably won’t, but I could.
I already opened all my presents. Ha.
I can pretend I’m in France and stay up past midnight, waiting for the baby Jesus.
I can play the piano in the middle of the night. Even if I do a terrible job, no one will care.
I could work on hitting a high ‘C’ in the middle of the night. I’m afraid my neighbors would hear this one. Scratch that.
I can watch Doctor Who, in the middle of the night, with no headphones on.
(Come to think of it, it’s already past midnight in France, but that’s beside the point…)
I can clean my room in the middle of the night. (Getting over this flu! Woohoo!)
I can turn on all the lights in the whole place, just because I want to. Except my roommate’s rooms, of course.
Come to think of it, I can finally finish putting up the decorations that have been sitting out.
I can throw out my Christmas trash in the dumpsters, and they won’t be full already.
I can loudly quote the movie Elf, just for fun, all I want. (I’m kind of wishing for revolving doors, but I’m not sure that’s such a wise post-flu activity anyway.)
Once again, I can scour Netflix for Christmas movies that I haven’t seen yet. And last but not least:
I can remember all the reason why I love the people in my life who drive me crazy, and use the alone time to read and meditate on being a better person myself.
Okay, so one more. I can think about all the reasons my kids are having a good Christmas this year, and how they’re such amazing kids, and how they wish for me to get better. I will see them again. Also, I told them that I will start WWIII if they don’t Skype or call tomorrow, because that’s the type of mother with a flu I am. But I won’t really start WWIII.
And while I’ve been making this list, I keep thinking, “I think I should go back to bed…..” But hey, if I wake up in the middle of the night….
The therapist I saw in L.A. did her Ph.D. specializing in anxiety. One of the things she taught me was that anxiety makes you tired, whether it’s “good” anxiety or “bad.” I can’t claim to understand everything behind this, except that I do know that those who suffer from large amounts of anxiety tend to be more tired than most people. It made the fatigue I’ve experienced since my mission make a lot more sense.
I have to be careful yet again lately what I do on Saturday or Saturday nights, or I can’t wake up on Sunday mornings, or if I do manage to wake up, I’m shaking too hard to be able to go anywhere. I went through at least a good six months where I didn’t have to worry about it, so it’s frustrating. Last year around this time I only made it to church maybe 3 or 4 times in a period of 4 months. I think that’s the worst that particular problem has ever been.
On Sunday night I was able to go with my roommate to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional at the LDS Conference Center. Her parents are currently church service missionaries and live across from the Conference Center, and near Temple Square. I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. We left just after church and drove to Salt Lake. I was okay, but by the end was pretty tired. I joked that I’d see what time I woke up the next day. It ended up being 5pm. We had home evening last night and there was no way I felt up to it. I ate and went back to bed, waking up around 2am and 5am to eat. I’m still feeling overwhelmed. I think I need a good, big meal. On the good side? I had made it to church. It makes a huge difference in my week if I can make it to church on Sundays.
If getting tired and anxious from a devotional isn’t “good anxiety,” I don’t know what is. I’m also getting nervous about the rest of the Christmas season. I’m just going to have to take it easy at least half the time. Meaning, not going somewhere every night, even if it’s mellow. Which, with my PTSD, it’s pretty much always “mellow.” I’m no party girl. I’ve been blessed to have found a ride home to be with my kids, now I just need to work on where I’ll be staying. I know that a lot of the stress I’m feeling is still over the unpredictability of my coming disability hearing: both when it will be, and how it will turn out. They only will give me two weeks’ notice. For something so stressful that can change my future so much (I really am in a lot of trouble if I don’t get accepted), I wish it could just be over with. The courts are backed up, so…been waiting almost two years now.