This is the first of a two-part ‘Empty chairs: Christmas in isolation‘ series. You can find the second piece here: My Greatest Christmas Fear.

Sorry I wasn’t there when I said I would be.

I didn’t want to let you down; it’s my body; it’s not me.

Sorry, I had to leave early, I was having a great time.

I didn’t mean to disappear without saying goodbye.

You see, the landscape it changes, in the blink of an eye.

Yesterday’s nightmares could be tomorrow’s only high.

I might not call you back, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk.

It’s hard not to be anxious on days when you’re unable to walk.

And when you unwrap your presents and turn to the empty chair you see,

Please, I beg, this Christmas, don’t give up on me.

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Arthritis and Psoriasis Patient Advocate, Writer And Consultant. Owner Of The Pain Company.

I share my story of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis to raise awareness and specialise in pain, parenting (with disability) and the mental health impact of living with chronic illness. I write and campaign for leading charities and organisations. In addition, I provide patient experience consultancy for both charities and global healthcare companies.

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