Been feeling extremely out of it for a bit.
Birthday was relaxed and spent watching kittens run into any hidey hole they could find, or invent.
However, the three cards with vouchers/cheques from my family stressed me out majorly as I had requested no contact.
The hives flared the next day, and continued to get progressively worse throughout the week, enough so that my face and lips swelled and I could hardly see out of my left eye (made worse by a cystic pimple on the outside edge :-\).
This was the worse flare I have had in the entire three months of hives suffering. On Thursday of last week, I stopped procrastinating and wrote a letter to each of them and returned the cheques/vouchers, again requesting no contact for the time being.
Walking home from the shops was painful due to the very bad swelling - people were looking at me quite strangely as my hands were also all swollen and blotchy. Bought some plants on the way home, and took it slowly. However, I bent down when I got home and felt many things in my calves 'burst', similar to how blisters burst. Most of the hives swellings turned immediately blood red (under the skin), and rather freaked me out.
I didn't go to the end of year work function as I felt shocking, but instead took a cool bath with corn flour, baking soda, soothing herbs and oils, and rested. Hives started to go down the next day, leaving the terrible blood-red marks. A few days later, hives seem to be back to pre-birthday levels (quite good!) and the marks have faded - I think they were a bruise or something, probably caused by the skin not being able to stretch safely over such drastic swelling.
This has certainly showed me that the hives are stress related - specifically, familial stress.