Today everyone at my office is getting ready for the holiday party. I can just see them all, arriving in the kitchen in a flurry to stuff the fridge with their pot-luck contributions for later this afternoon.
I talked to Sonya on the phone last night while she made bread pudding. Charlotte can always be counted on for a gourmet surprise. I, however, will not be there with my hot buffalo chicken dip complimented in years past. I’m into my third month of being unable to go to work.
I know I should avoid whining, but I’m going to embrace it and indulge in a little pity party. Then I’ll get on with my day. I decided to follow this approach after seeing a cancer patient interviewed on a t.v. talk show (yes, I watch talk shows these days, another lyme-inspired low).
Asked how she gets through her health ordeal emotionally, this courageous woman replied that she allows herself ten minutes a day to feel her anger, fear, and frustration, and then lets it go so it doesn’t poison the rest of her day.
I’ve learned that her approach takes discipline—but it works.
First, emotion. I’m angry that, while many colleagues were enjoying that kitchen camaraderie, I was in my bathrobe swallowing handfuls of pills. Then I sat at the kitchen table and hooked up my IV.
Then I got to give myself an injection. And I’m herxing big time, so it’s another sofa day for me.
I’m tremendously sad to be missing the party. It reminds me how much I miss work, and my favorite colleagues, and being in the city this time of year. It reminds me of all my other lyme-related losses.
Okay, part two: now I to have to “stop it.” It’s time to slam the door on those thoughts and move on. Here’s my plan:
Gratitude: I’ll list a few positive things in my life. Today I am grateful to be so much better than I was a month ago, and for the medicine that is killing off the lyme and other bacteria. I’m grateful for the friends who call and stop by and keep me connected to the world. And I’m grateful for my local public library. (Wow, I feel better already! I’m better off than I thought).
Self-care: Today that includes plenty of rest, detox, and decent meals instead of the easy choice (I’ll confess: popcorn). Fittingly, I can treat myself to an easy take-out meal thanks to my thoughtful colleagues at work.
Social: I’m not sure who yet, but I’ll call someone for a phone visit since I’m not up for an in-person visitor.
That’s the plan. So by the time the party is in full swing at work later this afternoon, I’ll be feeling okay about it while enjoying my special carry-out here at home. Sure, there will be a pang of sadness, but not enough to bring me down.
Because I’m doing what I need to in order to ensure that next time there’s an office party, I’ll be there with bells on.