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The Guilt I Feel During the Holidays With Fibromyalgia

Christmas is a time for joy, celebration and getting together with loved ones to enjoy the season. Such a wonderful time of the year… yet for those of us with fibromyalgia, it means something else: a time for added pain, added fatigue, added depression and guilt.

Yes, for those of us with this condition it can be a difficult time of the year. The cold weather sets off muscle pain, spasms and overall aches and pains. It limits our ability and functionality even more than usual. Year-round things are hard, but this time of year, things are much harder. The pain that the cold weather brings increases depression and guilt. Why? We’re not able to do all of the things we want to be able to do, like shopping, cooking and attending get-togethers. Even if you do make it to an event – and that in itself is a feat – you’re so exhausted and in so much pain that you can’t socialize like you want to and you can’t offer to lend a hand. If you’re like me, that last one is the one that kills you when you do manage to go somewhere. You want to help and you want to be useful, but you know you just can’t. The pain to do so would be excruciating, and the aftermath would be just as bad.

So what are we to do when this time of the year comes upon us? It’s hard because this joyous time of the year just isn’t for us. So should we crawl into a ball in bed? Should we just let the season pass us by?

No – don’t let this condition steal any more of your life than you must.

I have found online shopping to be a lifesaver. I can’t remember the last time I did my Christmas shopping in a store. I can sit in my pajamas and shop for all those I love. Which brings me to my next point: surround yourself with those you love as much as possible. Let them show you the joy of the season. Let them be your light in this time of darkness.

Take care of yourself, by all means, and rest when you must, but do what you can to bring yourself back to the person who still lies within you. Watch your favorite Christmas movies, listen to your Christmas carols and don’t exile yourself into loneliness. That will only make things that much worse. Remember: even though you can’t do much to help out, your loved ones will just be happy to have you there.

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Image via Thinkstock.