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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Getting My Haunted Back On, Fibro-Friendly Style

Vintage Halloween Postcard      NashImage by riptheskull via Flickr


Aah, Halloween, the beginning of the holiday season. Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays pre-fibromyalgia. In the weeks before the big night, I spent lots of time focused on decorating the house, picking out a costume guaranteed to scare the trick-or-treaters and getting treat bags ready for the flocks of neighborhood children. After all, I lived in one of the few neighborhoods that still had lots of foot traffic on Halloween. It's the perfect neighborhood for trick-or-treating with houses close together and flat terrain.

For the first three years post-fibromyalgia, I stopped doing Halloween. One neighbor came over to my house the next day and asked me if I was O.K. She was worried when she didn't see me participating and handing out Halloween candy. You see, my Halloween extravaganza stood out on the block and scared some kids so badly they wouldn't come to my door. My secret: the super creepy Halloween soundtrack I bought at (of all places) my local Hallmark store.

For three years, I turned the porch light out and hid in the bedroom watching TV with my cats.

Then I decided to start learning how to live my best life despite fibromyalgia. For the second year in a row, I am doing Halloween again, fibro-friendly style. That means I have a crew of ghouls helping me out, most notably my hubby, my best friend Cyndie and, in the inaugural year, my sister Romi. Decorating the house is a team effort, with time spent directing the action from a chair instead of doing everything myself. On the big night, it means splitting the scaring and candy dispensing duties with my team---so now I need two or three costumes instead of one. Then we all celebrate with a group clean-up and pizza party.

In some respects, I can't believe I didn't make Halloween a group activity beforehand. It is much more fun to share it with my friends! I am also learning how to delegate and let other people be in the lead sometimes, which is hard for me and my "If you want it done right, you've got to do it yourself." outlook. But this is all a part of making activities fibro-friendly and doable. I can do it all myself and wind up with lights out hiding in the bedroom or share it with my ghouls and feel like I am part of the action and part of the neighborhood celebration once again.

Apparently I set a good example. Since I brought my Halloween display back, this year we have a record eight houses decorated already ... plus one in the adjacent block. I believe that is a neighborhood record.

Here is my house getting its haunted on (10/23: I am aware that there are issues with the photos loaded from Photobucket and I apologize if you can not see them.):




And thanks to all my ghouls who make this possible! Love you!
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