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 Post subject: Holiday stress thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Happy Holidays everyone! With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought I'd again start a thread for it, because of all the stress related with it. That and all the triggers and cravings that come up as well.

For me, I think this holiday season will be a pretty good one compared to the last few years. I don't anticipate too much freaking out or unusual stress. The family I plan to spend time with I'm close to and enjoy being with, so for me that won't be a source of too much stress, with the exception of hosting a small get together this year.

This year I'm also going to be doing Hanukkah for the first time along with Christmas/Solstice/Saturnalia. That should be fun, too. The only thing that will suck is the financial aspect of the holiday. So we won't spend too much this year.

Let's express some of our holiday stresses and frustrations out here! It just might make you feel better.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:41 pm 
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I LOVE CHRISTMAS! However this year will be a drastically different one. Typically we spend Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family and Christmas with my mom's. As a lot of you know I am in the process of moving and will be at my new home in North Carolina about a week before Christmas. This doesn't leave much time for decorating (I usually go overboard) and will be my first Christmas without my parents and extended family. I am used to a ton of people being around, I have a huge family. My dad is one of 11 kids and my mom one of 6.

Although I am bummed about it, I am also looking forward to having a nice quiet Christmas with just my husband and kids. We have been apart for almost a month now and having some quality family time sounds fantastic! I've never had much stress around the holidays, probably because I love it so much. I just wish we had a little more time to settle in first. There is nothing greater than seeing your kids faces when they wake up and see Santa came. It is priceless! Merry Christmas everyone!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:29 pm 
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My CHRISTmas is alot like breezy's this year. My family is also split for now and it is very hard for us.
We love CHRISTmas also,I love decorating and CHRISTmas music is my favorite,Faith Hills CD love it.
This will be my first Christmas not high in along long time so I am Happy about that. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me yet.
My yard is usually filled with beautiful lights and my tree is up by now but with my hubby away I can't do that alone. My little girl cried last night because she wants the lights up. I told her this year we would not be doing all of that and she said "mom we can do it together team work" broke my heart. So tomorrow my son is coming over and I will have him climb in the shed and pull my boxes down. That will make both of us very
I have alot to be thankful for, hubby comes home for 10 days Dec 23 and my family comes over for CHRISTmas Eve and then we go to my sisters for Christmas. This year we decided to do a cajun CHRISTmas with all the cajun food we love instead of the usual turkey and ham. So I will do the turkey and ham for CHRISTmas Eve. What a wonderful thread now I want to get my butt in gear and start decorating. Not sure how I will keep my rotteiller away from presents under the tree, he is 11 months and still chewing and biting.
So, No stress so far this year for me I'm low key love being with my family feeling the love and happiness.

Merry CHRISTmas too all try to remember what is really important love,health and happiness
MEL :wink:






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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:33 pm 
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It's growing closer to Hanukkah and the Christmas....How is everyone doing with their holiday stress? Mine is climbing, what with an unexpected death in our family and some health challenges with my husband. There's just a lot of stress and pressure on me right now. I've been in the holiday spirit this year and I'm trying to hold onto it, but it's been a struggle lately. But I'm damn bound and determined to have a good christmas this year!!! And on the 28th we're having some family over...that's a bit stressful, playing host and all, too.

But I feel confident in myself - no cravings or triggers, just normal everyday stress, which I think I'm dealing with just fine.

I still think this is a good place to express our holiday stress and frustrations though. I know for me, talking about it helps just by virtue of expressing it.

How is everyone doing?

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: So So
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Mine is just kind of boring. Three months after retiring I found out I have cancer. Not too bad really and not something to ruin this Christmas. It's just not being with my extended family and having spent all of our spare cash on co-pays, etc, trying to buy gifts will be challenging. I'll do it, but it surely won't be pricey gifts. And of course knowing my next surgery is coming up fast.

And that really doesn't make a difference. Money and possessions never really meant much to my family so it's mostly getting together.

My sister in law will come over for dinner so it will be sort of nice. I decided not to cook for a change and will order a Honey Baked Ham and all the goodies. That I'm looking forward to.

No outside decorations as I've been too weak to get on a ladder, but next year we'll try to make up for it. We have a new house and will need to buy all new lights and stuff so that will be fun to start fresh.

Well Hat, now you got me in a better Christmas mood. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:53 pm 
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OK- I'll share what I'm experiencing:

My mother is married to my ex-boyfriend (long story)- and we are not talking- even though we only live just a
few blocks away from each other. I have 2 younger brothers- and no sisters- the one brother with whom I am
close with lives far away, and the other one doesn't talk to me. So, time spent with family is pretty much out of
the question.

As well my insurance (Medicaid) has been playing games with me and my sub doc lately, so I have been going
broke paying cash for subs. Thankfully, I do have a kind, understanding sub doc who has been treating me for
over 6 years. (Yes, I know- that's a long time- but oh well.)

Also, I am mandated to be in counseling in order to get my subs paid for- when Medicaid does cover them
(complicated story)- and this is the third time that I've had to change counselors. I will have to start all over
again with a new one in the first week of January.

And, I am "looking forward to" gall bladder surgery on Jan. 10th- and am not sure how this surgeon is going to
treat me, now that I am back on sub again.

So, I am just going to pretty much view the holidays just like any other day/s- and hope that they get over with
as quickly as possible. I'm just being very honest about my feelings at the moment, here.

-ex-

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:01 pm 
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This christmas will be the first one not loaded,,,,, since I was a teenager.....
BUT I did make it thru thanksgiving,,,, and that was a first too,,,, except I was SICK in 2008, becuase I was 2 wks away from having my son. but i made up for that in 2009, and 2010........ I look at the pics sometimes from those two years, and Im like geez amber,,,, what a looser. my eyes are barely open, pale as a ghost and of course sweating like a horror in church.
ANYWAYS Ive been talking ot my therapist, becuase the holidays is when Im around my stepdad. and sometimes we get along,,,,,, sometimes not.
So my therapist made me say to myself this year, im not going to apologize for ANYTHING thats not my fault. see, thats what I normally do to "keep the peace" with him.
this year Im going to 'share my feelings in a respectful manner" which she says he MAY or MAY NOT like. well, i already know im ninety percent sure he absolutely WONT like it. but thats whats gonna happen.
so YES im stressed. but I wana get better, I dont want my son to learn these behaviors so im standing up for myself. my grandma has my back, and thats all I need to know.

ive gotten enjoyment out of telling my son all about santa,,,,,, he just turned 3 so he's starting to "get it" so thats been pretty cool.
We watched the old GRINCH cartoon the other night. I remember watching it as a young child. he really liked it too, and we've been singing the song together ever since.
I enjoy the little moments like these more than anything else now. they dont cost a dime, and im sure theyre the ones he'll be remembering.
Okay thats it for now
i DO like the thread though......


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:09 pm 
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I just really have to say LIFE is an amazing thing. We share all this stories on line, we all live in different places, we all have a story to tell, we all have our own struggles and joy. i often think when I'm driving with all the cars on the road, I think it is cool everyone is going their own direction and to a different place. Some work, some shopping,some hospitals,some traveling I know kinda weird HUH??? My mind!!!! LOL

I have many stress this years mostly money as usual I always stress myself about it, i think if not for that I would not have stress well not much.
My family will be sharing to Holidays together and my heart breaks for those who don't have that to share so I'm greatful for that. We all bring a dish and started this afew years back so far it has worked out great. That way no one carries all the cost. In my family we each have our Holidays we host and mine is Easter. I just hope everyone can take a BIG breath and look at the world and people in it and know we are Blessed no matter what we are stessing about.
I also have Christmas Eve here at the house but it is my children and their partners, my family is growing and Oh how I love it. Love Love my family and friends, we are all so very different but except each other for who we are. I know it will be good at the end of all this to hear how it went for each of our families. Love Peace and Joy to the world
Mel :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:05 pm 
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Thanks to all of you who posted your stories above. I'm taking care of my mother (stroke survivor in her eighties) again this year--i've been staying with her at my brother's house since just before thanksgiving. I spent thanksgiving day scrubbing the dried excrement off the walls of her bedroom...since then things have mostly gotten better..except that she's had a potentially serious health issue..but...I've taken her to the doctor and she seems to be getting better at an acceptable pace.

Actually, taking care of my mother has been much much better this year than it was last year. Last year i stayed for 3 months and had my brother and his family here too. This year they are on an extended vacation so it's just me and my mom. Except that...to my surprise my friend/lover volunteered to stay here with me. And that has been a huge help, both to my morale and also in a practical sense. That has really been an unexpected gift. The situation here is still far from iddeal but...it's a big help to have an ally on a daily basis. Also, I have more help from my mother's regular caregiver than I did last year, so really, as i said, things are much better than last year.

For christmas...well, i am thinking about buying just a few practical gifts for a few of the people closest to me--my housemates back home, my lover, my mom. My brother and his wife and kids will be back after new years. I told my youngest niece that we could have a little celebration then. So...I'm thinking about setting up a very small christmas tree and getting a few presents for the kids and my brother and his wife. After they get home I'll be wanting to get back to my own home pretty quick, i'm sure. and then....I really have to focus on getting a job. I have financial worries but while I'm taking care of my mother I just can't bring myself to face all my longterm problems--it's a matter of getting through the days and trying to treat my mother well. The truth is I really don't like the work of caregiving. And my relationship with my mom....well, it's not perfect by a long shot. But overall...I'm not doing too badly, although mainly I feel as though everything in my life is on hold while I'm doing this.

As for how things are going with my suboxone treatment issues--well, unlike many of you I get my sub through a psychiatrist and she only requires taht I come for appointments occasionally--really only a couple of times a year or even less. In fact it's been at least a year since i saw her. My last sub refill was a "zero refill"--that is the pharmacy had to call my doctor for authorization. My doctor sent me a message through the pharmacist telling me to make an appointment. So I made one for the first week of January--I couldn't do it sooner since I'm stuck out of town taking care of my mom. I'm anxious about seeing my doctor because I think it's likely she'll want to talk about me discontinuing sub. Also...well, I never have completely stopped relapsing. I'm more stable now than I have been but not at all in a secure place of sobriety. I think it's a better idea by far that I stay on sub for the time being even though I can't say my sub treatment has been a complete success. Another issue is I've recently lost my health insurance so now I have to pay full price for my prescription, not to mention doctor appointments. I'm hoping the psychiatrist will invoke a "sliding scale" policy for the cost of my appointments, but I have no guarantee of that.

But for now, like I said, I'm allowing most of my issues to remain "on hold" until my brother comes home and I can go back to my regular home and then...hopefully start making some progress with my life, especially the job issue. I think I'm dealing with some low-level ongoing depression but having my friend/lover here with me has been a big help in keeping me from getting too depressed. And...i'm pleased to report that although my relationship with my mother is not anything close to ideal....at least i have been able to keep my patience and my temper...I try to be kind to her and i think I mostly succeed at that...and at least I have not lost my temper in an ugly manner at all this year. That is a big accomplishment and one of the most important things to me in this situation.

so...I hope the holidays treat everyone well...it definitely tends to be a stressful time of year--I'm glad we have this thread going for people to share their stories. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, of course, and I guess that is one of the themes of the holidays that is good to remember.


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 Post subject: after all that
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:00 am 
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My, didn't my post above sound calm and reasonable....but...tonight it finally happened--my friend is gone for the weekend...and I lost my temper with my mother...just because the caregiving is so...ugly. I know she cannot help the terrible condition she is in and now that she is so old, frail, and disabled it's really beyond the point of resolving any resentments I have toward her leftover from her failings as a mother when I was a child but....it seems like I still have plenty of resentment. I wish I'd never been born and that really is her fault. but there's nothing anybody can do about it now so it's pointless to dwell on. And this ugly side of the caregiving (it's not just that she needs help in the bathroom--she cannot even get out of bed to get to the bathroom, or to use a portable commode and bedpans won't work for her either)--well, it's a trigger for me too--this kind of thing does seem easier to handle when numbed on drugs. But relapsing is completely out of my reach at the moment--even if I had access to my DOC I've been taking my sub, and a high enough dose that it should block any other opiates for many days. So, unbuffered reality is all I have. Christmas in this situation is just a joke. I'll try to stay one extra day (or less, if I can manage it) to go through the motions of Christmas for my nieces and then get out of here. My brother just lets my mother lie in shit-stained sheets--somehow he doesn't realize how bad it gets, but for me...the shame of it is just too much. Meanwhile, I know that really the worst thing is for me to lose my temper at my mom...but it happens every time. At least this time, mainly thanks to the presence of my friend, i went for weeks before losing it.

Can anybody refer me to website support group for caregivers of elderly parents?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:50 am 
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Oh auto, don't be so hard on yourself. Losing one's temper (I'm assuming you didn't get violent with her) doesn't make you a horrible person - it makes you HUMAN! It sounds like you're going above and beyond and taking better care of your mother than she may have taken care of YOU when you were a child. There's gonna be some resentment there. But I have to give you credit for even stepping up and doing what you are doing! I sure as hell couldn't do it. My childhood was a travesty and there's no way I could take care of my mom (at least I sure hope to hell I won't have to).

I think your idea of a caregivers group is an excellent one. I'm going to try to find a good one online and/or in person. Hang tough - I'm going to message you.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: @ auto
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Hi, auto. I know you don't know me, but your posts really touched my heart.
I am just going to echo what hatmaker said about trying not to be so hard on yourself right now.
Also please at least be willing to forgive yourself for losing your temper at your mother: I'm sure
that you are doing the very best that you can do in what is a very stressful situation.

Have you thought about maybe using adult diapers with her? That might help to contain the mess-
but this is just a suggestion; I'm just trying to be helpful here.

I hope that your situation with your subs work out in your favor. Maybe you can explain your situation
to your sub doc, and then hopefully s/he can keep you on sub. And if not, well then maybe you could
look for a different doctor who could help you out.

Please keep us posted on how things turn out. If you need to come here to vent, then vent- if you find
this helpful.

Good luck,

-ex-

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:44 am 
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I was really quite stressed out the last two weeks, worrying if/when Id be able to buy my son some xmas presents.....

then I got about 12 hrs of overtime in the last pay period, and figured out I would afterall be able to buy him SOMEthing.......
then I found out Im going to have the entire week btween xmas and new yrs OFF. no pay of course. so this week, Im coming in early and staying late, just trying to get as many hours as i can, becuase these few days will be the only hours on my check AFTER christmas......

then, Im like,,,, when the HELL am I gona get presents for him???? friday nite after work aparently......lol
I hear the sales are the best last minute,, lets hope so!!!

Im greatful for all that I have, everything that has survived my tornado path of addiction. most of all the fact that my son will not remember it.
and he'll love me just the same, no matte what I find at the store on xmas eve!!

Here's to all the last minute shoppers


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:13 am 
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You're right, he's not going to remember the gifts - he's going to remember the day spent with you! And yes, you'll get great prices on xmas eve. Try to be positive and use the hustle and bustle (nice xmas lingo) of that shopping trip to get yourself in the spirit. Go to Big Lots or someplace like that for gifts or even a dollar store for stocking stuffers (of course I have no idea how old your son is). Just some ideas. It'll all turn out great! Have a super holiday. And keep venting here if you need to. It's what this is for.

CYBER HUGS... and remember we've all been there.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: thanks guys
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Thanks you guys for the responses. I'm doing a bit better now. My friend is back and that makes all the difference. It's true this is a difficult situation and I Am doing the best I can. but I guess feeling guilty is probably natural too--I wish I could do more for my mom, and treat her better but...the truth is there are limitations and I can only do so much.

It does help to have a place like this to go to for support, again, thanks.


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