Last Minute RSVP
Lately, it seems that there is always something going on. Someone is having a party, someone is getting married, and someone is graduating… There is just so much going on that you get invited to, and you’re excited you were invited and want to see everyone! But wait… what’s the weather going to be like? Is it going to be outside in the middle of summer? Do I have anything else planned around the same time where I might not have enough energy?
Always marking myself as "maybe"
It's like I don't want to say yes, but I don't want to say no... I feel like I’m always marking off ‘maybe’ on Facebook invites, or doing at the very last minute RSVP’s. I used to HATE it when people didn’t RSVP right away so I could have a head count, but now I’m that procrastinating person.
However, I’m not procrastinating just to procrastinate. I’m waiting so that I don’t over commit myself, or you count me in and I end up having to cancel. It’s almost like, what’s more embarrassing? Sending your RSVP last minute or saying YES right away, then having to cancel last minute? They’re both pretty equal I feel, on the embarrassment scale.
Avoiding plans during warmer months
I tend to be able to commit to things a bit easier when it’s not during the warmer months. Which is technically like 10 months out of the year for me in Texas, but you get the idea. Needless to say, the heat is draining for many people with MS. It takes a lot of energy out of us. You don't want to know how many times I’ve gone to a party and everyone was outside, but I kept going inside by myself from time-to-time. Someone would come inside for something and see me by myself and say, “Why are you hiding out in here for?” Oh I’m hiding all right, could be from the heat or from sensory overload, the list is long.
I'm trying to be considerate
However, I feel like I have to really plan out my schedule and make sure that I can actually commit to it. I don’t want to be mean and not answer your invite, and I don’t want to be that annoying person that waits until the last minute to tell you if I’m coming. I’m really honestly not doing it to be rude. I’m holding off to make sure that I can actually attend and not have to duck out early and be a party pooper.
So for those of you reading this that knows someone with MS or another chronic illness, don’t give up on them and don’t take it personally. We appreciate you thinking of us, and we don’t want you to stop inviting us. We just have to plan and plan and plan some more, and something still might happen to where we can’t make it the day before or day of.
Fatigue can wreck plans
MS can strongly relate to the saying, “Expect the unexpected”. There have even been times that I have looked forward to something coming up and planned for it. Decided to take a nap before the event, so that I was refreshed and ready… but slept through my alarm. WHOOPS, thanks a lot fatigue!!
I also need a lot of reminders, so I try to put all my ‘events’ in my calendar with LOTS of reminders, because I will forget thank so the dreaded cog-fog. Or I will get confused on the dates/times, etc. It’s like a never ending cycle of confusion and planning and forgetting… just to repeat the cycle multiple times. Oh I also have to remember my ball and chain of things I MIGHT need while leaving the house.
Please don't take it personally
The bottom line that I’m getting at, is don’t take it personally for our lack of immediately accepting an invite. We know it’s annoying not to have a head count, and we’re trying our best to give you one. It’s stressful trying to juggle everything in the first place. It can also be very emotional for us to deal with... we didn't always have to be this way. It can be upsetting and depressing at times.
Now, if we don’t show up to something we were invited to and you later find out we were sitting on our butts at home scrolling through Facebook, that was also NOT by choice but most likely because we tried to go and our MS decided to put it’s foot down and tell us no.
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?