Do you get easily overwhelmed?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Solstice, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    I tend to get overwhelmed when I have more than one important thing to do at a time. My good days are ones where I am able to do the basic things that help me feel well............some exercise, good food, meditation, some social contact. And maybe one other thing if I am lucky..........which usually involved doing something for my two teenage children.

    My husband and I belong to a gourmet food group. Each couple hosts it at their home once a year. Tomorrow is our day. Then Sunday is Easter, and now my daughter wants to have six of her 15 year old friends overnight. I love when she has her friends over. I also love our food group, and Easter, well, is a holiday. But all on the same weekend......with preparation that needs to be done for all of them, and I start to fall apart.

    I have been exceptionally fatigued lately, and just can't keep up with basic things like laundry and bills, etc.

    My husband is great......very helpful. He says, don't worry about it, I will take care of everything. Well, he would if he could. But, I don't want him to have to do everything.

    Sorry, to be going on here, but basically, I am just wondering if others here frequently get overwhelmed when "extra" things come up in your life? They are even pleasant things, but I find myself feeling as if I might not be able to do it all, and I guess that creates anxiety. And then I get ornery to those I love, and I hate to do that.

    Any comments or ideas would be welcome!!!

    Trying to find inner peace,

  2. Mrs. B

    Mrs. B New Member

    easily. Fortunately, as I begin to get more anxious and feel out of control my husband makes me take a breath and smile be telling me a joke or something. Then I make a list and prioritize and get things done 1 baby step at a time. Maybe all of those teenage girls would like to help with your easter dinner. Let them try out YOUR recipes under your supervision.

    Mrs. B
  3. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    and its not the issue whether its good stress or negative stress.
    it feels as if its too much going on for my brain to process and so it shuts down, which of course doesn't help.
    i cope well when theres just one thing going on and maybe even two things but after that its a meltdown.
    i reached my meltdown on wednesday and will have to see how long it takes my brain to begin to deal with everyday stuff again.
    before i was severely ill i meditated daily and now i find it less easy to meditate alone, but when i can afford it i do find a reiki session gets me back to that space more easily, and seems to ease me out of meltdown too.
    so i guess its stress, which if i remember correctly originally was a word with out a negative meaning which is how we think of stress now.
    Stress was a concept or theory to explain how we need stimulation to live, but too much is not so good.
    best wishes
  4. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    Yes, I think most of us here can relate to this phenomena. Many of us were at one time super achievers, able to multi task. I believe that due the Central Nervous System changes that take place, we can no longer "juggle" as we once could, and that fatigue, and other symptoms become elevated when we do make those attempts.

    In order to maintain an even keel in these DD's, I have changed my lifestyle and methods to avoid the disastrous results of overdoing. I have discovered when I overdo for a day or two, I will pay for it for a week, and then I am absolutely no help to anyone, but become a burden instead.

    I have learned to say no, with much more ease, that I am unable to do that at this time. I did initially feel quilty, but know I realize it gives me much more quality time with my family, and certainly keeps me in a healthier state.

    I also schedule with greater attention. I don't put to many tasks together. One thing at a time--with recoup time in between.

    Get those gals---rattling those pots and pans! What a great suggestion!

    Best wishes,
    [This Message was Edited on 04/18/2003]
  5. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Even on very best days it's one thing at a time.

    The other thing I have to do, when using the few brain cells I seem to have left, is to carry out one type of task, take a mind break, then do another task which requires completely different cognitive skills.

    Conversations and information processing really cause unpleasant brain symptoms, I find these the most distressing and isolating of all.

    I'm sure you will find many other message board users have the same difficulties, we each have to find the best way of adapting around this.


  6. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey New Member

    YES! i completely understand! It's really put a dent in my social life because i can never plan in advance. I might feel completely overwhelmed because of work one week and if I have plans during that week, i might have to call and say i can't make it. I used to hate when people do that to me, but i'm living around this DD.

    I had to quit my last job that required lots of multi-tasking cause it was way too stressful for me. my brain was on overload. But even when i don't have much to do, i get overwhelmed. I also have problems judging how much time it will take to accomplish something. So I might leave an hour early for a doctor appointment just so I won't be late. Or if I have a pile of papers at work, i might get stressed out because it looks like there is so much there, even if I'd get done with the stack after an hour into the day.
    glad to know there are others out there:)
  7. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    I have just read the article that Tarrim posted..........CFS article about adaptation ability. It has to do with the adrenal glands and how they are depleted and how then we are not able to deal with stress. That makes so much sense. And it seems to apply to what we are discussing here. I would recommend reading the article. It is long, but worthwhile.

    I too used to multi-task. I had two part time jobs that of course equaled more than one (and each of the jobs had multi tasks within them, as I was an elememtary school counselor and ; I used to do so many outdoor activities with my family and friends; and many interests. I look at my husband now and think, how can he do all he does, but then I remember the day that he used to get upset with me because I wouldn't sit down and take a break. I was always doing something. Well, we all know the story. I think the final straw for me was building a new home on top of everything else I was doing, having to move twice during the process of building. When we moved into our new home, I had to have gall bladder surgery, and I also believe that the outgassing from the fumes of the new home was very detrimental to me. After that period of time, my life has never been the same. (I had had many periods of not being able to work prior to that, but I used to be able to get back to a better plateau)

    I do try to stay involved, and always learning, but it is quite different in terms of what I can do. I am getting better at saying no and trying to schedule wisely, but sometimes like this weekend, I get caught in a "too busy" weekend.

    BTW, my daughter and her friends ended up going to another girls house for the night. So, that helps!! Although I do love to have them around, when I am up for it!

    I have also minimized my expectations for the weekend..........a very simple easter dinner.

    Thanks for your input everyone. I would like to hear from others as well.

  8. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Yes, I can get overwhelmed very easily these days, and the temper can come up in a flash too.

    If the dogs bark, the phone rings, and my husband says something to me all at the same time I could just scream and ignore everything!

    I am invited to my son's house for Easter, I started getting hair washed, nails done, clothes down to the panty hose out since last weekend! It is such a major thing to get myself together to go somewhere that I would just rather stay home.

    I, like someone else said, was one of those super over achievers, type A personality. But now I have to plan things down to the last detail and hope that I can carry it out when the time comes to do it. I do give myself a lot of time to do things, but I still get flustered when the time comes anyway.

    The worst is the household bookkeeping, I would rather dig a ditch (which I could not possibly do) then write out those checks, balance the checkbook, make a list for the grocery, call and order my vitamins etc! To think I was one time a bookkeeper!

    You are not alone, we all seem to have these problems.

    Shalom, Shirl
  9. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your comments. This problem of being overwhelmed is probably universal for us.

    I think right now I am in avoidance. As I am overwhelmed about what I have to do right now. And I just can't think. So, this is easier than what else I need to do! As Shirl said, I shut down when overwhelmed.

    Shril, you explain well how it is to deal with details. I find that paying bills and other details like that are the most difficult as well. I have to gear myself up to focus and block out everything else for that entire day. My husband will have to take responsibility for fixing dinner that day, or we order a pizza.

    In fact meals are always difficult for me. To many details there too. To figure out WHAT to fix, then, WHAT to buy, then the sequence of HOW to do it................Oh my, just too much most of the time.

    Do any of you ever worry that you have Alzheimers? I do. My father had it, and I fear that this is what is going on with me. Although I know the rest of you are experiencing this too, so maybe that is "all" it is.

    Is there anything that any of you take to help with this feeling of being overwhelmed? Or that helps you focus?

    Thanks again to all of you for responses. I appreciate it!!

    Peace to you all,

    and Namaste,

  10. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I get overwhelmed with A LOT less than has been mentioned above. I had trouble balancing my checkbook last night, and got very stressed out. I find that I have to live a simple, spartan lifestyle or I feel overwhelmed. I think I do a lot less than most of you folks, judging by the posts.

  11. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    even when my husband channel surfs with the remote control!! This is too stimulating for my senses and I have to close my eyes or I feel as if I'll fall!
    I can do one small baby step at a time and my husband has to remind me four or five times a day to take my meds. I've had my 8 and 9 year old granddaughters here with me for an entire week and I am stressed to the max now! They left about 15 minutes ago and, although they mean the WORLD to me and I am SO happy to have done this, I'm really glad the house is quiet now! The cats came out of hiding like the Munchkins did on the Wizard of Oz as soon as the girls left!!!! I just had so many things over-stimulating my brain for an entire week, and these girls are well-mannered and behave well!!!!!
    It takes me days to clean a house that I used to clean in a few hours! Going shopping is a major thing and I have to gather my shopping list, coupons, my FoodLion MVP card, my debit card and my purse. This is often too much for me!!!! LOL
    I think most of us will admit to having problems like this and being easily overwhelmed. It would be way too much for me to have all you've got this weekend~~bless your heart, I hope you have a few days to rest after it's all done!!
    Good luck!!
  12. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    no i would never worry that this is atlzimers, which i can't spell LOL !
    because i have met too many people with CFS who are exactly the same as i am [and lots of us on this board]

    i have accepted that i can no longer multi task like i used to and i have found acceptance to be the best space to start from. because that decreases my stress and then i don't need to scream as often or freak out as often.

    I have definately found the Reiki helps me to unwind and therefore again by relaxing i can cope with more happening at the same time.

    i do find it much easier to cope when i am by myself, other peoples noise and movements distract me and annoy me. as i am writing this my dear friend who has had a brain bleed and wants to stay with me for a time is moving about the room and it is really driving me crazy so much that i have forgotten the main point i was going to make i will return if i remember !!!!!


  13. leokat

    leokat New Member

    but things are not so bad for me these days cos I've seriously downscaled my life.

    I do often worry that I'm just not fitting enough in and that life is dull and boring. However,on the plus side I can enjoy the (very) little I do now. It is my aim to gradually increase my level of activity.

    When I look back there are so many instances in my life where I've been totally overwhelmed by situations. Jobs I've had to leave, friends I've let down because I can't face going out with them, stuff I ought to have done for and with my daughter. If I'd understood the nature of FM and cfs earlier I feel I'd have handled things differently.
  14. JadeFire

    JadeFire New Member

    I don't get overwhelmed by occasions and work, because even though I've been in a flare up for 3 and a half years, I'm still fortunate enough to be so young and childless. I can usually (and have to) push myself over the limit constantly, as just taking care of myself (showering, fixing meals, and light exercise) is a little too much. I've had to push myself way over that limit a lot though, but fortunate for me I'm a strong woman (not strong as in... strong emotionally, but strong strong lol). I end up even though sick doing loads of things that my mom can not do, or even my older brother. Starting the lawmower, lifting/moving things, etc. I just feel bad after doing it.

    The only thing you can do when you have so many responsibilities is obviously do them to the best of your ability. I have a few days like that packed together where I have to do loads of things and it makes me feel extremely bad for about a week after. I just spend the first day after being as lazy as possible. *laughs* Doing things I can do sitting! I just suggest that, take a nice break on Monday and hope not to have so many plans in one weekend again.

    Good luck!
  15. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    That's how I deal with my whole life. I keep envelopes (received from whoever) and make lists on the back (notepaper with NO cost). I then put the list in my purse and line out as I get things done. Unfortunately with this dd I sometimes forget where I put my list!

    The other thing is having as many bills as possible put on automatic draft. I only write about 6 checks a month.

    I also charge all purchases (within my budget) on one credit card; gas, groceries, etc. then write one check for numerous purchases.

    Physically I stop when feeling overwhelmed, sit, take a deep breath through my nose, hold, then blow out completely through my mouth - 3 times - slowly. This supposedly releases endorphines (?) in the brain that calm. (Also can help stave off the need for that next cigarette.) Then I grab for that envelope and start writing!
  16. kmelodyg

    kmelodyg New Member

    I absolutly hate my paic disorder. It keeps me from doing so many things that I want to do. I used to run a restaurant so I cannot go out to eat at restaurants without getting panicky. I watch everybody else around me to see if they are doing their job correctly. Also, I seem to have a big problem with eating in public. And also if I am in any type of classroom or conference setting. I had to drop out of college because of it. I used to go out alot with my friends to have a couple of drinks and go dancing. I cannot be in bars without freaking out either. And getting my hair done. That's a whole different story. The wrost though, is when I am driving. I feel like I could just get into an accident or something. It is so sad. I so badly want my life back. Even when I do have good mostly pain-free days, I am scared to go out. I think that I definatly have become agorophobic.

  17. Notonline

    Notonline New Member

    Everyday!! LOL! Hubby has learned to not talk to me while I am trying to cook...if he wants something that he can still chew!!

    Long ago I worked at a fast food place, and cooked and waited on customers at the same time, those days are long gone now.

    "Multi-tasking" means "Multi-catastrophes" in my case.
  18. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    you are not a bad mother. You obviously care about your family and have taken steps to show them.

    I do exactly what you are saying, buy the card........usually late, but even if it isn't, then can't find it for a long time, then can't find the stamps, then can't find the card again, then put the stamp on, then can't find the card again, then put is somewhere to mail it, then forget to mail it........................oh my gosh. people rarely get cards from me. I too feel alot of guilt about it, and fear that people don't know how much I really do care about them.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/20/2003]
  19. kaths

    kaths New Member

    This is finals week at the university where I teach, which would be manageable if my in-laws were not arriving tomorrow for my daughter's graduation on Saturday. My mother and sister get here Thursday night, and my other two daughters arrive Friday night. Thankfully, graduation is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, one of my better times of day.

    But I won't be going to lunch at the president's house with my daughter, who was named one of four outstanding seniors. Instead, my husband and father-in-law will accompany her. I'll be saving my energy for our family dinner (entourage of nine) at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Then there's church the next day. I'm thinking through shower schedules in the different bathrooms.

    When I started crying last Saturday because I'm so overwhelmed, my husband held me and said no one would expect anything of me and he would take care of meals. My training as a Southern woman (who has lived in Southern California for 20 years) makes me feel I'll be a bad hostess if I don't feed and entertain everyone.

    I needed to vent. Thanks for the outlet.

  20. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    My, you do have alot coming up this week. It seems so much more overwhelming too when we are thinking about it ahead of time, as opposed to how it is when it is actually happening.

    Such important times as graduations and family reunions are things we just don't want to miss, and I think we fear that we will. The anxiety does a number on us.

    Sounds like you have some great support and ideas in place. I bet you wish you could do it all, as I usually wish, but having your husband and father in law accompany your daughter is a great idea. Looking at the big picuture, your daughter may think it is very special to have them with her, and then you can save your energy. It is such a juggling act isn't it?

    And what a loving and supportive husband. I have one too, and what a blessing.

    Us type A's and those of us who feel we want to do everything to make things nice and just right, have a hard time letting go, even tho people want to help us out, as our husbands do. But, if you can let go of having to have everything perfect this week for your family, it will help. One thing that has helped me to let go to a great extent when I get overwhelmed, feeling that I won't be ready, or I have so much to do to get ready, is when my husband says "If they walked in the door right now, it would be fine." It is sort of like looking at the worse case senerio (the house in a mess and no food, etc.) and realizing I would make it through it, and that everyone would chip in to help.

    I have had times when my in-laws have visited and I couldn't imagine how I could possibly deal with anything extra. At those times, and as I ended up doing this past weekend, after I get over the idea that it has to be perfect, I start to whittle down or shave off what is not essential. Let go of this, give away some responsibilities, delegate things to others (My children helped me tremendously to get ready for our dinner this did my husband. I could not have done it if it wasn't a family effort.) And I let go of alot..........our Easter was minimal. Not the usual hoop-la in the morning..........not even a basket or anyting, the simplist dinner possible for just us, and I ended up sleeping most of the day.

    Is it possible that some of your visiting family can help with some things that need to be done? Are your relatives aware of your condition? Do they seem to understand? If so, they will probably be more willing to help, and to understand if you need to just go lie down for awhile.

    Anyway, I hope you will be feeling less overwhelmed as the week goes on. Hope you can take the breaks you need, and find time to breath deeply and forgive yourself for not being able to do all that you wish you could do.

    Our loved ones love us for who we are and your family will feel good just to be with you, no matter how much you DO.

    Congratulations to your daughter for her exceptional accomplishments! And to you and your husband also!



    BTW, What do you teach? Any chance that you could put the grades off for a week, under the circumstances of this week?
    [This Message was Edited on 04/21/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/21/2003]