Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hi my name is Buddy the Elf and I suffer from Obsessive Christmas Disorder

It's days like this where I feel the most grateful for my love of writing. I have been awake for only forty minutes and already I am furious at myself. But at the same time, I know that I'm not really at fault. Feeling compromised is a common emotion for me. Whether I am compromised about going out or staying in or even sleeping in to feel better or waking up early to be productive. It's often a feeling that is very present in my life.

You know how theres those two types of people when it comes to Christmas time? The one who dreads seeing those first decorations go up and hearing Christmas music.. And the other extreme, which is basically the equivalent of Buddy the Elf. I am absolutely, without a doubt, Buddy the Elf. I love all things Christmas. I adore the first snow fall and the excitement it brings, the twinkling lights strung up all down main street, when the Christmas tree goes up and I come up in the middle of the night to pee and I automatically feel happy just looking at it. I have always been enamored by Christmas. It always seems like the most joyful time, full of so much love and excitement. 

Last year, I had a really wonderful Christmas Break. I had the chance to visit my Best Friend's in the entire world for a few days of carefree-doing-whatever-the-heck-we-wanted free time. I did end up getting stuck in the midst of the big Toronto icestorm of 2013, but I eventually made my way to Peterborough for our annual Christmas Eve party with family and headed back to Bracebridge that night so I could be home for Christmas. It was a busy time but it was one of my best holidays yet. I'm hoping this year will be the same. It was all supposed to start today. Yes, I said supposed to.

I've grown up going to the annual Santa Clause Parade every year. I don't think I've ever missed a year. I love seeing everyone dressed up in elf costumes or as Santa Clause or even just bundled up and ready to watch the parade go by. Hearing the carols, with a hot chocolate in hand surrounded by friends and family. I know I'm sounding cheesy and sentimental here, but that's kind of the point. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I had planned this year to go to the parade with a group of friends, two of which had never been to a Christmas Parade before. This was planned at least a month in advance and I had been so excited for this day. That day is today. And where am I? In my living-room, sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, drinking coffee while my friends and family are at the parade.

I woke up this morning out of a vivid dream, hearing someone call my name from upstairs.. I jumped out of bed and groggily opened my door and looked up the stairs (I live in the basement) to see my lovely friend standing there wondering if I was ready to go to the parade. Here's the thing, I'm really not an unreliable person. Yesterday, I worked all day and finished at six. I got home and had dinner, helped prepare food for today's Christmas Dinner, set my alarm for the morning so I would wake up in time for the parade, and spent time with my family. For some reason, I completely slept through my alarm. Which is extremely unusual for me. I have been dealing with Insomnia since I was thirteen. I take hours to fall asleep and I am a very light sleeper. My alarm always wakes me up. Anyway, I slept through my alarm and woke up twenty minutes before the parade was about to start. I was unshowered, groggy and mad at myself.

A huge thing I deal with on an everyday basis is Chronic Fatigue. I'm sure, there are people who hear that and laugh it off as if I'm a ridiculous young women who is just tired, like the rest of the world. Trust me, I get it because I used to think the exact same way. I've learned the difference now between actual Fatigue and just being tired. When you are truly fatigued, everything is a massive chore. You don't know fatigue until you have to rest after taking a shower or you have to collapse on the couch after making a cup of tea. Chronic fatigue causes restless sleeps, muscle and joint pain, headache and migranes, problems concentrating or remembering things, sore throat and sometimes even flu-like symptoms. Honestly, you just feel like shit. It's how you feel after getting over a bad flu. You're still too weak to actually do anything but you're expected to get back to reality because you're not hurling anymore. Most of us Chronic Illness sufferers feel like this every damn day.

To sum this up.. Yes, I'm very disappointed that I didn't make it to the Santa Clause Parade today. And no, I'm not really at fault, but yes, I'm still annoyed with myself. I'm annoyed with my body and the way it functions. The thing is though, there's nothing I can do to change the facts of life. For me that is the fact that I have Chronic Illness and it's something I have accepted. That doesn't mean once in while I don't get upset that I can't do what I used to be able to do. I get upset often but I will not let it stop me from having a fulfilling life. I missed the Santa Clause Parade and that sucks but I'm still going to write my blog, drink my coffee, hop in the shower and enjoy Christmas Dinner with family and friends. Don't ever let anyone tell you that because your life isn't the picture perfect ideal lifestyle, that your life isn't important or beautiful. Even if you spend the majority of your day in bed feeling discouraged, you can still have a life full of love. Do not deprive yourself of that pleasure. We can live a life as full as anyone else in this world, we just learn to do it in a different way. We learn to appreciate the little things in life. Like the smell of coffee brewing or the ray of sun shining through our window. Embrace all that you can and love as much as possible.

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