Staying in the (Christmas) Present

The holiday season, especially being at the end of the year, tends to lend itself to reflection and contemplation.

As I’ve alluded in my past few posts, I’ve been in a bit of a funk for the last few months and, while I very deeply love this time of year, I find myself being haunted–by three Christmas spirits.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

This is a dangerous spirit to follow for any extended period of time, particularly as I find myself nearly perpetually and completely drained of energy lately.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much sleep I get at night or how many power naps I’m able to sneak in during the day. I’m wiped. And as I spend a good portion of my down time on the couch and I, via Facebook, watch my friends lead active lives, my mind wanders back to years past when I had the energy to jump out of bed at a reasonable time and have a full, napless, and productive day, without having to consider the ramifications of constantly being on the go. And it’s frustrating.

The Ghost of Christmas Present

Sometimes I wonder if whatever symptoms I experience on any given day are self-inflicted. Do I feel X because I really feel X or do I feel X because I know X is a symptom of MS? Am I calling Y a symptom because I know Y can be a symptom or is something else unrelated to MS causing Y? Are my relationships and livelihood being affected by something that’s all in my head? I want to have more energy, but I have a hard time falling asleep sometimes, I don’t want to have to rely on the expensive pills to help with fatigue every day, and I don’t have the energy to be as physically active as I’d like to be. And it shows. I’ve gained over twenty pounds since getting married two and a half years ago and, while I’m far from overweight, I feel disgusting in my own skin, to the point where I avoid looking in mirrors or being photographed. It’s a hard cycle to reverse. Am I just making excuses? Is this real? Things could be so much worse than they are. I am so fortunate. Why is this affecting me so much, then?

The Ghost of Christmas Future

Uncertainty. How do I know whether or not my medication is working until irreversible damage shows up on an MRI? What happens if the day comes when my $7k/month medication is no longer covered by insurance? What will my physical and mental state be like in ten years? Twenty years? Thirty years? Tomorrow? Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be, only?

Fortunately for me, the ghost busting antidote is clear–be thankful for every moment, every day. Right now, things are good. There’s so much ugliness and horror happening in our world and, chances are, none of us are directly living it. Savor that. Live NOW. Be present NOW. Be grateful for your abilities, for there is someone out there who would do anything to have them. Appreciate the little things. Chronic diseases have a way of opening our eyes and giving us a new perspective. Having MS is a gift, really. It’s just wrapped in different paper.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


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5 thoughts on “Staying in the (Christmas) Present

  1. Sally Kuhlman

    Beautifully said, Cat. Thank you for reminding us to appreciate each and every single moment to the best of our abilities. Life is a precious gift; and everybody has their gift wrapped in different looking paper. We need to stop judging others; and appreciate everyone for what they bring to our lives. Everyone has challenges; and we must remember to help each other. Sending love to you, Rusty, and the “kids” this holiday season and always. <3, Sally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea Kajfosz

    Merry Christmas & Happy, healthy New Year! Your comments are uplifting and soooo positive. Thank you so much. It brings things back to reality. A common cold can be so devastating to some people but yet look what you are experiencing and dealing with on a day to day basis. Keep up the positivity and hopefully soon the “funk” will be a thing of the past.
    Andrea

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan Lesperance

    My dear one, be present NOW! Best advice is to live this moment…and give it your best! A quote for consideration: “Yesterday is a canceled check: Forget it. Tomorrow is a promissory note: Don’t count on it. Today is ready cash: Use it!” -Edwin C. Bliss

    Sending love and best holiday wishes to you. Always, Susan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy Wesenberg

    Thank you for this post. I also was dx’ d in 2013. I’m still having trouble getting out of Christmas past. I was an active mom, full time nurse, gym 4 days a week. Seems impossible that I’m so incredibly tired. I feel my family thinks I exaggerate my fatigue. I try but it’s nothing like I used to be. I qualified for disability and still feel like a loser for having to be on it. Then again a nurse with bad balance and vision isn’t one anyone would want. I’m trying hard to move on and have some. I did enjoy your post. It was uplifting.

    Liked by 1 person

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