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Fear of Fun

Posted Nov 18 2010 4:11pm
(aka Vacation Anxiety)

The reason I haven't been posting too much of a personal nature is because I have been completely overwhelmed with anxiety over an upcoming Family Vacation.  That is, a trip with my extended family over the holiday next week.  The last time I went on a week-long vacation with my extended family, I had the most severe relapse of my nine years with CFS, couldn't get out of bed for days, and wasn't speaking to anyone by the time I left because I was so upset by the way they all ignored how sick I was.

I was not in favor of this upcoming trip, but my mother insisted.  She says it's her retirement gift to herself.  Everyone else is so excited they can't stand it (except my husband who knows my challenges intimately).  So, on top of everything else, I also feel horribly guilty that I'm not looking forward to this trip and that I'm not feeling more grateful.  After all, my mom is treating us and my sister's family to this expensive beach resort in Jamaica - what kind of a freak wouldn't want to go, right?

Besides that horrible past experience, I have been obsessing over every aspect of the trip
  • How will I manage the 4-hour plane trip and 90-minute shuttle bus ride?
  • What if my room is far from the restaurants, beach, etc. (that happened on yet another family trip and I barely made it to meals)?
  • How will I cope with a week on a tropical beach when I can't be in the sun for 10 minutes without getting a painful burn (and sunscreen doesn't help much)?  (due to Lyme treatment)
  • How will I cope with a week's worth of conflicts when my mom wants to eat meals hours later than I need to eat?
  • How will I manage with so many nights in a hotel room (I sleep horribly in hotels)?
  • And on and on and on...
I've still been feeling pretty bad this week, so that just adds to my worry.  Ken gets home one night and we leave first thing the next morning, so I'm also worried about getting everything ready on my own.  And, of course, there is some resentment over all that I won't be able to do that I would love to do - enjoying the sunshine, spending hours playing on the beach and in the ocean with my kids, doing all sorts of active things at the resort, even staying up late to enjoy my family's company and being able to enjoy a drink once in a while.

See what I mean?  I'm driving myself crazy, plus I feel like an ungrateful, bitter daughter.  I usually pride myself on my optimism and positive attitude, so my negative attitude over this is even more upsetting.

I'm doing just slightly better today, maybe because it's getting closer and I've gotten a lot done this week or maybe because I feel slightly better physically today.  I contacted the resort, and they said they could provide Gatorade for the boys (which was a huge worry), so that's good.  Maybe I should also call about the room location, instead of waiting until we check in.

I'm sure it will all work out OK in the end (or it won't but I'll survive it).  My kids are over the moon excited about this trip.  I just wish I could share in their happy anticipation, but I know what kinds of challenges I will face.

OK, here are some positives
  • I will be on vacation, so that means no responsibilities for a week, a huge relief after taking care of everything by myself for the past two weeks.
  • Ken will be back with us.
  • I will have lots of time for reading (though I'm worried that's all I'll be able to do).
  • The kids will have an absolute blast.
  • No grocery shopping, no cooking, no dishes, no laundry. 
OK, so that sounds good, right?  Hmmm..maybe I should list those last four items separately...

I'm going to try to have a better attitude, really, I am.  I hope it will be better than I expect - I will probably be able to enjoy some of it, right?  Right?
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