Loosey goose needs help to structure time

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hopeful4, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    In my former life, over 6 yrs ago, like most of us, I had a schedule and got things done: work, family, even fun.

    I'm going through Lyme treatment, so far not feeling awful, just tolerating increased brain fog, fatigue, queasy, achey.

    I'm entering year 6 of this illness and unable to work, and in a definate rut. Home most of the time, able to cook several times a week, do laundry and dishes, cannot drive, shopping is now very difficult.

    I've come to believe that I cannot make commitments for worry that I won't be able to follow through. This has extended from commitments to others, like meeting for lunch, to commitments to myself, like daily walking and yoga.

    Yes, I am depressed. Just got a RX for Lexapro, but need to find out more about it first, and check on cost.

    Back to the schedule. I'd like to put together a schedule, even if tentative, for the week to include things I would enjoy doing, a little exercise, and getting help with cleaning.

    Does anyone have any tips or advice on this? How to get through the inertia and fatigue? How to still get the basics done like showering and dressing and food prep?

    You're all such a wealth of knowledge and understanding!! Don't know what I'd do without all of you.


  2. cosmoo

    cosmoo New Member

    Dear hopeful,
    I applaud your desire to want to change things, it's the first step! So here are a few things tht have worked for me. I formerly was an A++ personality with a list and tiime obsession, have had to throw that all out the window and start over.
    For a year I was also afraid to make a commitment to anything cause I never knew how I would feel by the time the event occured.
    But finally two things happened that changed that-1) I got mad, I wanted to have a life again
    2) I learned to ask "what's the worst that can happen if I commit?" I mean if I schuelded a lunch with a freind and that felt really lousy that day what where my options? Well I could call and cancel, a true friend will understand, or if I still wanted company but did not feel up to going out I would ask them to stop by a place and pick us up some lunch or have them come over and we could have a "fancy" lunch of canned soup and crackers-Ha! HA!. Most often if I would just go on it turned out to be the best thing , which brings me to another point on commitment.
    We usually commit to going to Dr, apt. ect.. and go whether we feel like it or not knowing that the end result will be good. Consider some of these other things that you want to do the same way. For example exercise - even on a day when your brain is trying to rationalize it's way out of a 20 minute walk, you are busy putting on your tennis shoes and telling yourself this is worth it and I will feel better as a result. Don't give your brain to mych time to think about this stuff!
    I used to make daily lists but that didn't work anymore because I did not have the energy to accomplish everything the way I used to . Now I make a weekly list. For example- this week- go to dry cleaners
    walk 3 days (T, TH, ST)
    make 3 phone calls about help for cleaning house
    make a stew and freeze it
    This took a bit of refining also when I realized I was rolling over a lot of things onto the next weeks schuelde -obviously to many things on the list !

    Also consider dealines ie.) instead of saying shower at 8:30, breakfast at 9:00, put down AM grooming and breakfast by 10am. That gives you a deadline by which it must be done but room to accomplish it at any pace or order you feel like. Again with deadlines consider it similiar to commitment. The taxes are due on April 15th, the "groomed" me is due by 10am.

    I actually could go on and on, like I haven't already about this but I think you get the idea and hopefully some of it will be helpful.
    Sadly we all realize we are "not the same" anymore but I do believe where there is a will there is a way, it sometimes just takes us more creativity to figure out how to accomplish it.
    Take care
  3. atiledsner

    atiledsner New Member

  4. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Thank you Stormy and Cosmoo for your helpful, creative ideas, and atiledsner for the bumpin'!

    Right now, my lists have lists, literally. Sometimes I write something down on a piece of paper so I won't forget about it, then the pieces of paper add up, and it's confusing. I bought a small spiral notebook and try to keep things consolidated there, but...well...just gotta keep trying.

    The 15 minutes with the timer is definately something I can do, or 10 minutes on some days. I've done that in the past, and it does help. Yes, I play "beat the clock" too, and turning on the music helps.

    The 15 minutes, which I first heard of from the Flylady, really does work. It helps to break up a large, looming, impossible task, into little steps.

    Cosmoo, yes, I've thought about that I do commit to Dr. appts., even if I don't feel like it. So applying that to social or fun events is definately a possibility. It's shifting the mind, it's thinking about something in a different way...isn't that what cognitive behavioral therapy is about?

    Deadlines, too, yes, I really need those, it's just that they scare me, and stress me. But I can try to keep it small and doable.

    Thanks for the help and encouragement!!
  5. MKlady

    MKlady New Member

    Great topic and terrific replies. I've been flat on my butt for a month after starting anti-virals and have accomplished almost nothing except TV.

    Somewhat better this weekend - went out yesterday for a bit and I'm sitting up most of the day now. I can read again. But it doesn't look likes it's going to get much better than that real soon, either.

    I'm going to adapt some of these suggestions and see if I can get some structure back in my life, too. I stopped committing to stuff last summer when I realized how unpredictable I am, but I can still do 5-10 minutes of "something" at a time. Tnanks for this!!
    [This Message was Edited on 01/22/2006]
  6. petesdragon

    petesdragon New Member

    A friend told me to buy a little notebook that fit in my pocket every day along with a pencil. With sticky notes I made four tabs: Grocery list, Other places I need to go, little projects bugging me and big projects bugging me. I added one more: books I have read. I kept buying the same books over and over. I never know if I've read a book or watched a movie until I'm half-way through it. LOL
  7. cosmoo

    cosmoo New Member

    To all,
    Yes, dear Hopeful alas you nailed me! I did not even realize how much I had changed till you responded "sounds like cognitive behavioral therapy" I have been working with a psychologist , doing cbt for the past 2 years. Guess it's finally becoming a part of me. I really liked your idea about using a small notebook. I have lists all over the house and enough post it notes to hold the walls up-Ha! Ha!
    You are right keep the deadlines small and simple.

    Grg1988 Loved the idea of putting one fun thing on the list to. I just don't do this enough! Thanks

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