First, thank you for including us in your holidays. Thanks for making space at the table for our wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, hospital beds, crutches, walkers, or just generally ill selves.

Thank you for being patient with those of us with invisible illnesses.

Thank you in advance. We love holidays too! They’re just really really hard.


1. We’re so tired.
We are worn past the point of exhaustion. The holidays bring with them a special kind of tired. Please remember that. We’re always toeing the line of doing too much and it’s easy to go overboard during the holiday season. We may need entire days to rest up for something big or to recover from something big.

2. We may have to bow out early.
We may not be able to do all of the fun holiday things. If we show up, don’t be offended if we leave early. It’s hard to recover if we do too much. We want to stay as much as you want us to stay, but it’s just best if we conserve energy.

3. We take a lot of medication.
Medicine pretty much rules every aspect of our lives. It can affect what we’re able to eat, when we have to sleep, and whether or not we can drink alcohol. Please be respectful. Don’t tell us things like, “One sip/bite/serving won’t kill you”. It won’t kill us, but it may make us very sick or worse, keep our medications from doing their job.
I take medicine that makes me sleep straight through ten hours or more. If I take it late, I’m up late the next morning. So if you want me up for eggnog, don’t expect me up early for breakfast.

4. We may have to cancel.
Know that if we have to rearrange plans or cancel altogether, we hate it. The holidays require a lot more out of us than usual and sometimes we can mis-read our bodies or problems can come out of nowhere. We’re sorry if we can’t make it. We don’t mean to be flaky! Keep inviting us!

5. We really are okay sitting here.
When you’re chronically ill, you learn to appreciate what you observe. We really can have fun watching everyone else dance or ice skate or play sporty games. We’re okay sitting it out and observing the people we love have a great time. We may not 100% love having to stay in while people run around town in the cold and shop from store to store, but we do 100% love when you come home and hang out with us.


Thank you so much in advance for remembering us this holiday season!



photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29998366@N02/3117495027″>Kerst in sanatorium</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/”>(license)</a>

advice, Boundaries, care giving, caregivers, chronic illness, comfort, courage, Faith, family, friends, Grace, healing, hope, invisible illness, Life, love, mental illness, patience, PTSD, recovery, rethink trauma, special needs, suffering, Trauma