When I was real sick with Crohn’s, holiday time was tough on me. Whenever I went to family or friend’s functions I felt that people were looking at me. I was really skinny and my eyes were sunken. I was not fun to be around. People would watch what I ate or did not eat. Then there were lots of questions about my health followed by suggestions about how to solve my illness. People would ask if I had tried this or that. On top of it all I was not much of a holiday guy in the first place so that didn’t help either.
I know this sounds like I am whining but I am explaining how I felt because those feelings would trigger flare ups for me during the holidays. As part of getting healthy I had to make changes in how I felt about holidays. I did. I still am not a big holiday guy but I am doing better.
The part of family get-togethers that was toughest on me was that I felt I did not fit into the family. Being the youngest of 10 I felt I had to fight for my identity inside the family as I grew up. When I got older, the tools of my life weren’t working in the real world and I needed to change how I thought and acted. It changed who I was; the role I played in my big family. So as I changed and went back to family get-togethers I felt I had to hide the new me and resuscitate the old me. When I would show my family glimpses of the new me, and talk about meditation and healing, they thought I was nuts.
I am telling you all this because maybe some of you out there are experiencing the same feelings and asking yourselves how you can handle it.
Here is what helped me: Know that they love you. Know that you don’t have to go away. Know that it might not change, and know that you need to find understanding because they don’t have to change. You are the one who is sick and wants to get healthy.
I want you to know holidays are still tough on me sometimes. But it is not worth getting a flare up!