Christmas in Review

10 Jan
Christmas Morning. Photo by Jess B.

Christmas Morning. Photo by Jess B.

Christmas has been and gone, and seems like a life time ago. Better late than never I thought I’d post about how I coped with Christmas this year.

Christmas 2013 was different for me because I had the Lightning Process tools to help me manage ME/CFS. And you know what, Christmas 2013 was my best Christmas in a long time. It was my best Christmas in terms of energy, activity levels, calmness, happiness, pain, headaches, spontaneity and so much more.

It wasn’t all plain sailing and Christmas 2013 served me a very big dose of wake up call too. But that was a good thing. I clearly needed it and I have learnt valuable lessons from it – see my next post for more on that.

For now, let’s focus on the good stuff.

Mr B and I hosted Christmas at our flat for the first time. This meant I did a lot more than I would ordinarily have done – like shopping for thousands (in Mr B’s eyes at least) of Christmas ornaments and decorations! I decorated our tree for the first time in over 3 years. I was able to fully participate in the Christmas cooking both in the run up and on the big day itself. I wrapped presents, I went food shopping. I planned and organised – I loved every minute of it and loved that I had the energy to do it all.

On the 25th, I was able to sit and have breakfast with my family, open presents, shower, put make up on, style my hair, go for a Christmas morning walk and have tea and biscuits all consecutively, all whilst happily doing relaxed, good energy, calm and joy. For the last few years make up and hair styling has been beyond my energy levels and even a special day like December 25th has not even seen that kind of effort. So the fact I could do that this year still makes me smile. I remember Christmas 2012 after we’d had breakfast I went back to bed for a rest and lie down before moving onto presents. Post presents saw me back resting again. Whereas this year it saw us all head out for a walk in the crisp air. Yes walking, no wheelchair, yippeeee! I had a relaxation break late morning and after lunch I had a nice long nap (who doesn’t after all that food?!) but the special day passed without me needing multiple relaxation breaks and without me doing that oh so lovely ME/CFS physically exhausted thing, the ‘I have to stop now otherwise I’m going to fall down’.

Boxing day is my Mum’s birthday and it saw me decorating her birthday cake before we’d even had breakfast! I had showered and dressed and then finished the cake all before sitting down to eat. This is a huge deal for me. When I was doing ME/CFS mornings were really bad. My pain and ache levels were always highest on first waking and it took me a good hour or more to get going. Activity before eating was a no-go as my blood sugar levels turned my body into shakey town if I wasn’t careful. Showering first thing used to see me wiped out and having to spend the rest of the morning horizontal. Decorating a cake before breakfast would simply not have entered my head. It would have been just madness to even consider it! But 2013 saw me able to do all these things as well as cook our traditional Boxing Day lunch of bubble and squeak – I am still frequently filled with wonder when I catch myself standing at the stove stirring and cooking – just a matter of a few months ago most of the time I wouldn’t have physically been able to do that and on the odd occasion I may have managed it I would have been wiped and suffering consequences for days after.

My family went home on the 27th and after a couple of chilled out restful days (which I needed and so I lived in the giant purple ‘onesie’ Mr B bought me as a joke and barely moved from the sofa) I / Mr B and I cooked lunch for his family who came to visit for the day on the 29th. The fact I managed to cook a three course lunch AND do it calmy and with good energy AND without too much post-exertion malaise still makes me grin ear to ear when I think about it. You all know how much I love food and cooking; so doing well enough to cook and hold dinner parties / lunches after so long, of barely being able to socialise never mind provide a meal, is really quite overwhelming. It is magical and makes me very happy to think back on. Managing my stress levels so that I was calm and relaxed holding the lunch NOT being an OTT perfectionist and just being happy is perhaps the biggest change. I was okay with having shop bought smoked salmon and marinated prawns as a starter. This may seem trivial to you (perhaps it is) but to me the fact I genuinely did not do stress about it is a very big deal; as both the pre ME/CFS Jess and the doing ME/CFS Jess would have done.

Christmas is always a special time but 2013 was wonderful for me in so many different ways and I’ve the Lightning Process to thank for that. More on that in my next post so keep your eyes peeled for that πŸ™‚

How did you find Christmas 2013? I hope you had a wonderful time and are not suffering post-exertion malaise too badly.


7 Responses to “Christmas in Review”

  1. Jumping_Jenny_444 January 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    That’s wonderful that you had a Christmas with more energy! πŸ˜€ Christmas Eve was more like my day–I did a lot that day! I vacuumed my car (which is being gotten rid of), went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and also went down to my grandma’s to spend time with family. I know I did other things, but I can’t remember everything I did at this point, lol!

    Looking forward to hearing more about the Lightning Process, and the wonderful results it has brought for you! πŸ™‚

  2. currankentucky January 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Christmas sounds like it was magical. So, so glad you had a wonderful one. Pacing and resting saw me enjoy my day also and since ridding GET from my routine I haven’t had the bad crashes and I played xmas safe, limiting visits etc. Clink, clink of our imaginary glasses!!! xx

    • myjourneythrume January 10, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      Clink, Clink! Yay! I’m so happy to hear you didn’t suffer a bad crash after Christmas. I know it’s beyond rubbish we can’t go all out (or even a quarter all out) but for me it’s just not worth the consequences. Christmas was wonderful and showed me far how I’ve come in recent weeks in both good and bad ways! Managing this pesky illness is what it’s all about. Happy happy weekend xxx

  3. Trisha January 10, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    I’m glad you had a good Christmas! Your tree and table in the picture are lovely. I didn’t manage my energy so well. I will make adjustments in my plans and try to do better next year. I’m already making a list of things that I’m no longer going to do.

  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor January 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    Um. You did way more than I did! πŸ™‚


  1. Using the Lightning Process to ‘do’ a happy healthy Christmas | my journey thru M.E. - January 11, 2014

    […] wasn’t magic or luck that saw me able to enjoy Christmas 2013. It wasn’t a special potion or spell […]

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