How I Realized Holidays with Family Are Precious
The holidays are always a hard time of year for me–and for my schizoaffective anxiety. I have a big family, and I love them all very much, but being around so many people triggers this anxiety. But something happened this year right before Christmas that made me sure I will never take being with my family over the holidays for granted again, even if I get stressed out.
Tested for COVID-19 Right Before the Holidays with My Family
Holidays with my family were jeopardized when I fell ill with what later turned out to be a sinus infection a little more than two weeks before Christmas. I had a fever and was in no condition to spend Christmas with my parents, who are over 65. The plan had been for my husband Tom and I to share Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my parents as we always do. Everyone felt comfortable with this plan because, except for when I was sick with the sinus infection, Tom and I spend so much time with my parents we’re all like a pod. Also, Tom and I live very close to them.
Finally, nine days before Christmas, I decided I had to get tested for COVID-19. When I was waiting for the test results to come back, I was on the phone with my mom crying because I felt I’d always taken spending time with family on Christmas for granted and maybe even dreaded it a little because of all the activity and its effects on my schizoaffective anxiety. But now, I was faced with the possibility of being apart from my family for Christmas, and it hurt so much. It’s actually bringing tears to my eyes as I write this.
Well, the test came back negative. I went to my doctor, and he prescribed antibiotics for what he diagnosed as a sinus infection. Even though the test came back negative, I still had to isolate for seven days after I had it. So, if I had gotten the test seven days before Christmas, I would’ve had to isolate and miss Christmas Eve with my parents. I was lucky. And I was lucky the test came back negative, and the antibiotics took the fever and other symptoms away.
My brothers live in California. They couldn’t be with us this Christmas for the first time in their lives because of the pandemic. But we FaceTimed with them and my brother Billy’s family when we were opening each other’s presents. I missed them, but I still had a good time with Tom and my parents.
A Meltdown on Christmas Eve During the Holidays with Family
I did have a little schizoaffective meltdown on Christmas Eve because people wouldn’t stop talking about COVID-19, and I got emotional over all it was taking away from everyone. I’m proud of my resolve–that I excused myself from the table and went into the living room before I started sobbing. Tom and my mom came and sat with me, and my mom gave me a present to open–a necklace with a diamond pendant that had belonged to my grandmother. The diamond reminds me of a star. As you can imagine, that made me feel much better.
So, I had a good Christmas. And I felt blessed for this year and the future. Even if I get stressed out, which I will during the holidays, I will never again take time spent with my family for granted. Family is too precious.