Motivation ideas?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by hermitlady, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I'm sure I'm not the only one here who has trouble getting motivated to get things done. I may have a couple of days where I get myself up and moving, but of course most days are a struggle.

    I've tried making lists and setting small goals, but some days I just can't seem to do anything. I deal w the dreaded depression that becomes worse when the FM/CFS is bad. After 15+ yrs of this, you'd think I would learn to cope better. Some days I am just frozen and lifeless.

    Any ideas on how to deal w this. Some of you surely are up and about, getting things done. How do you do it? I haven't worked outside the home for the last 17 yrs, first as a SAHM, now because I'm too sick to get a job.

    I just want to feel like I'm living, being somewhat normal. Lately I've been thinking a lot about how I was before these dd took over my life. I want some of that back! Are my days of "living" over, or can I somehow overcome this dreadful feeling of being so stagnant?

    I've never had much self esteem, some of you have heard me beat myself up repeatedly. I guess I'm just hoping for some support again if anyone can help. I really feel that only those of us living w these issues can understand and give some helpful advice.

    As always, thank you...I don't feel like leaning on my family for ideas right now. Sometimes I feel like I'm on my own so to speak cuz nobody I know really knows how it feels to be so sick. They're supportive to a point, but nobody lives close to us. My dh is working long hrs getting our masonry business going, we're still in the first year but doing pretty well. My dh is a very self motivated, hard working man...wish I could be more like him sometimes.

    Love to you all......Hermit
  2. freida

    freida Active Member

    Such a difficult but important question.
    It might be that the depression is the reason why it is so hard to do some little thing, even if our illness makes it almost but not entirely impossible.

    Though of course, we hate to use our tiny bit of stamina, and then feel even sicker.

    Anyway, could you start by trying some very small action or activity, that is actually fun, or once was fun, to remind your self, maybe, what it felt like?
    And to change your frame of mind unconsciously.

    Maybe something you have not done in a long time, that you once liked, but is a complete change from your now usual routine.

    It's just the idea that came to me, when I read your post.

    I know there's no easy answer....just know that we are reading and listening and caring.


    [This Message was Edited on 03/18/2013]
  3. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    You are amazing, always here to help us.

    Over the wkend I bought some potting soil and got some pots together for transplanting the few houseplants i have. But that was as far as I got. No energy to carry the big bag of soil to the backyard from the garage. Ridiculous!

    I do little things and get so fatigued, to me it seems like I've done a lot (laundry, vac one room, stuff like that) but it never looks like I get anywhere. So frustrating.

    I used to get excited about future plans, projects and outings. NOw it's hard to regain any of that enthusiasm. It's strange, cuz at night when I lay in bed, I think of things I should do the next day and I feel somewhat hopeful. But when the next day comes, I'm lost again.

    Like now, it's afternoon and I'm still struggling to get myself in the shower and dressed. Just waste so much time procrastinating and feeling miserable. Had a couple of crying meltdowns today, trying to find the strength to push myself to do SOMETHING! OK, I'm going to shower right now, gotta get moving in some direction before the whole day is shot.
  4. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    little more to you but I have to go out and
    I'll finish this later....BUT, I think you take is it
    Prozac? I tried Prozac back in 1991 and it left
    me flat....the MD I was seeing at the time, actually
    a psychologist, said get off it, if it's doing nothing...

    Maybe that is a big issue if it is an A/D you take...

    Thyroid was my problem all along and I've talked about
    that for yrs here....yes so many here say their labs and MD tell
    them they are "NORMAL"...geeeezzz before labs docs wrote Armour
    when patients came in with their list of symptoms...

    Back then docs treated by patients' symptoms, today it is by
    their numbers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [This Message was Edited on 03/18/2013]
  5. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I've gone off of Prozac before several times, I've often wondered if it was turning me into a zombie. I only take 20mg now, but have been at higher doses. I definitely noticed an overall dullness when at 40mg.

    I've actually been thinking about quitting it lately, just to see if I "liven up" a bit. But, my depr is real and it can get really scary. I don't know anymore what's causing or helping my issues.

    My chiro muscle tested me last wk on a few things that I brought in. There was a negative reaction to Prozac and the D3 I've been taking for the last couple of yrs. He's given me Cataplex D by Std Process instead. Also, a couple of herbs I take for hot flashes and headaches which I know have helped me gave negative responses.

    Doc explained that sometimes a person will test negative to a substance that is helping one issue in your body, but it might be harming something else in your body at the same time. I'm still taking my herbs anyway. But maybe it's time to chuck the Proz for awhile.

    I'm already moderately depressed, so who knows. I'm having trouble w an ulcer that comes and's hard to eat or take many pills. Burning pain in my gut and nausea, no fun. Can't take anything for my pain but Tylenol and that's almost worthless at this point.

    I've done the Thyroid dance several times, synthetic and Armour...neither helped even at varied doses. I'm just so sensitive to anything I put in my body!

    Any info you share is always appreciated, you're one of the great constants around here. Hope you're doing well now that your new med seems to be helping. xo
  6. herennow

    herennow Member

    I have a small business I (kind of) do from home. As you can imagine, what I'm able to execute is important.

    And yet I went through years when I repeatedly made plans then didn't fulfill them. Over and over this happened; I felt bad and gave myself a battering. Was I lazy? Unmotivated? A poor time manager? I looked for all reasons. I bought products relating to motivation. I bought software that 'forced' good time management.

    In the end here's what I found.

    What's lacking is energy. There's no way to do certain things I have don't have energy. When I have energy I do em all with ease. Suddenly those other things I mentioned aren't a problem. When I don't have sufficient good health, I sit and procrastinate.

    With this understanding I began to assess which tasks I *could* do based on my true reality. True reality, as in my past track record with different tasks. These are examples of tasks that for me are energy intensive and I'm therefore likely to not complete.

    - Writing prose for business purposes eg documents, sales proposals, emails to clients
    - Editing important prose in documents or articles
    - Multi step projects - 4 steps or more

    The things above will sit in my intray for months or years or forever.

    On the other hand these are things I can do (with low energy).

    - Using complicated software possibly including stuff like graphic or video editing
    - Communicating with freelancers (NOT clients)

    I also accept that I will have ups and downs in energy. So I postpone work for the good days and do it then. Today is a good day and I did work that I'd been unable to do for the last week (I tried several times and failed - it's not an exact science or anything).

    It took me a long time to realize what I wrote here. I no longer beat myself up. I don't feel guilty. I am not lazy. I believe now that hard working people are first and foremost simply energetic people.

    So to summarize, for me, this dilemma is solved in 2 ways:

    1) Being less ambitious about what I want to achieve. I must use past behaviour as a guide. "I will write 30 articles next year" will lead to disappointment because it has in the past (**unless I feel better of course, but I don't0**)

    Instead possibly modify to "I will DICTATE 30 articles next year and see if I can cheaply hire a transcriber." THAT I WILL achieve, the first, no matter what, I probably won't.

    2) Postponing certain work for the more energetic days.


    One thing I've discovered with chronic fatigue is that positive thinking as taught by self help gurus is limited. Understanding my limits here and now is more useful.
  7. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    our lives are VERY different and our ages probably at least 20 yrs diff.....and I don't deal with cfs....

    BUT, last 2 yrs have been truly HORRIBLE...since hip surgery, pain pain pain....

    What I want to say is since on Anatabloc pain layers are
    removed and I feel a bit happier and springier most days....

    I have an OA knee and will NOT do any surgery, for
    I hobble and walk as best I can, no cane, that's good...

    But why not buy a 300 ct bottle at the store where one uses a gold card for best price and see if if could work for you. The store will take back bottle if returned in 30 days....for refund....

    Removing layers of low grade chronic inflammation can do wonders and it's doing some good for me in the 2+ months on Anatabloc.

    Think about this product went thru human clinical trials for Hashimoto's .. don't know if you've had the antibodie tests, many have Hashi and don't know it.
  8. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    I got a lot of support and help reading books about pacing and pain management.

    My favorites:

    Managing Pain Before it Manages You

    Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual

    They have lots of information, tips, and methods for coping with chronic pain, fatigue and various really frustrating conditions.
  9. gb66

    gb66 Active Member

    I feel like I've accomplished a great deal in a day anytime I can shower and shampoo in the same day or cook dinner with my husband's help. I'm not kidding.

    I've had this for 34 years and it doesn't get easier, I just adapt more. For the last 4 years I've had to use a wheelchair to go to the doctor. I never go anywhere else. My husband is my only support. Grown kids aren't involved, just living their own lives.

    I don't look back on how things used to be because I know they're not going to be that way again, but then healthy people can't go back either. No one can.

    I try to accept my situation, I do fairly well most of the time, but there are times, like when I'm being hit with another health problem, that I temporaily fall apart. I would be okay with things staying the same at this point. I just don't want to get any worse.

    I've had the CFS/FM complicated by osteoarthritis, IBS, pelvic prolapse (due to FM), brain cyst, ocular migraines, diabetes 2, high cholesterol and low thyroid. The last 5 have developed in the last few years.

    As for living somewhat normal, I don't think any of us feel like that after a few years with this. Just do the best YOU can, some days you'll do more than others. Don't put stesses on yourself to do certain things, just give yourself a break. That's what will make the difference in whether or not you get depressed about your life. (Not talking about clinical depression here). I think you're doing really well. GB66

  10. freida

    freida Active Member

    Hello, Hermit, and all of you,

    I am very glad you wrote in response, Hermit.

    and thank you for saying I am amzing. That was very sweet of you and makes me feel appreciated. Which is a good feeling.

    I appreciate you too, hermit!! :)

    I was glad to read what yo uwrote, and the other posters too!

    I feel we are tackling some important issues here, that I too struggle with. Very ill and disabled, AND sometimes depression.
    Both together, make it nearly impossible to do anything .

    They are both illnesses that validly limit what we can do.
    Not your fault. Too much self-blame there. You wouldn't be sick or depressed, if you could help it. It's no fun!!

    If you had energy and health, you would do more, but you don't.

    I agree so much with what hereandnow said.

    I personally must moderate my goals, and yes, lower my expectations of self.
    I suggest you try to as well,
    since you ARE ill, and depressed.
    And the stamina is just not going to be there, or the energy or motivation, to do a "normal task" the "normal way" or to do an entire task or multiple ones.

    So ANYtime you do one SMALL task, that IS huge and try to feel great about it!

    I believe that, since you are very ill, it isn't fair to yourself, to judge yourself on how much you do.

    Would you do that to anyone else?

    No wonder it is too daunting to even start, when you feel you have not accomplished much even after you Do a laundry, for example.
    I have to break that up a lot, if I do any at all.

    So, I learned to list VERY small steps, and PARTS of tasks,
    as my goals,
    each on seperate days.

    I then check it off, when I do each PART,
    as the Significant accomplishment, that it truly is,
    for a very ill disabled person, and one who sometimes fights depression.

    No way could I do what you tried to do, in one day.
    So I don't try to do that, now that I did try many times and found it is beyond my level.
    I can not vaccuum one entire room.
    If I tried to vaccuum at all, I would do NOTHING else, before or after, and I would rest between parts of the room.

    If I tried to do one whole room, I'd be so very sick, and hurting and weak,
    and so out of all stamina, that I would not be able to sit up the next day, or make it to the bathroom, or eat or chew. And I would crash both physically and mentally and emotionally.

    I agree with a lot of what gb66 said, as well.
    Accepting how things are, and that our bodies and poor health give us real limits, is important.

    I'm NOT lecturing. I really do have some of the same thoughts and trials and failures that you do, Hermit.

    When I can, I re-group, and decide to so something very small and do-able.
    Then I congratulate myself on it.

    It's a lot less than I wish I was doing, but it is much mmore than nothing, I tell myself repeatedly.

    What I mean, hermit, is getting a few plant pots ready for another day, is enough to do.
    OR getting some potting soil,
    OR preparing the items, so I can transplant ONE plant, the next day, not the same day.

    Be careful considering what to do about meds, hermit, since depression is real, and needs treatment.
    Is there something else you could sub in, if you drop the med?

    Also, I prioritize eating, and food prep, over any other tasks.

    Thanks to every one of you!!

    Your posts are helping me, and I hope they are helping hermit too.


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  11. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    taking grape seed extract say they feel more energy...I've been taking it so long, it's in my constitution...i feel some energy but my lower back OA is stiff and it's hard to do work stuff..

    My apt needs cleaning and I'm getting close to getting a cleaning crew in here....
  12. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Sorry I didn't get back sooner, but I had a scary crash yesterday evening after doing a few things around the house. I was trying to change the sheets on my bed and nearly fainted. I've been resting in bed all day, just wiped out still.

    This is what I'm talking about, I get myself up and just do a few little things, and BAM I'm flattened again. Feeling more depressed today, don't think this would be the right time to quit my Prozac....

    You all have written some priceless words here...I have read everyone of them, but don't have it in me to comment to each of you individually right now. Please keep me in your thoughts. And anymore info and ideas are always welcome. xoxo
  13. freida

    freida Active Member

    I am so sorry that you crashed again, as I would too,
    and that you felt the downward feelings and spiral of it all,
    the futility feelings of doing "just a few things"
    after huge and great effort,
    and then being so thouroughly poor afterwards, in body and in spirit.

    I sure do know how that feels.

    Hermit, I hope so much, that I did not sound too strong with my wordings, in my last post.
    Afterwards, I worried that I had come across too strong, when I truly just might have chosen poor wordings, since I myself am struggling so much.
    If I did sound too strong, I am truly sorry.
    I do NOT want to make anything harder on you!!

    I was only meaning to say, to try not to be so hard on yourself,
    which I know you've heard before,
    and I have too,
    and I have to remind myself again and again.

    And also, I was trying to just suggest ,to try to do much less, when you do things.
    Since it IS very very hard to change sheets on a bed.
    I find it extreme overdo.
    I could only do it, bit by bit, over hours.

    I mostly want you to know that I actually do understand what you've been writing.
    It is a very frustrating, and discourageing way to have to do things and to live.

    But your writing is helpful and describes it well.

    I was just trying to share my little ideas that help me, SOMEtimes.

    Hang in there, it's good to have you here,
    you ARE of value here!

    Your ideas are good too!

    Rest, and think of a much smaller thing you will try to do, some day,
    after you've recuped a tiny bit.

    Or do anything that has helped you in the past.
    It might help today.


    P.S. Hermit, I also understand that you have a particularly difficult and stressful situation, that you live with, so any TINY stride you make in doing anything that helps you to keep your head slightly okay,is excellent, and any small task you do is great. Your situation is a big challenge and would be for anyone, with the genetics of your family , and the children's conditions and actions, and your huz being away such long hours, and all, with your illnesses.....I do think you are doing well with those truly big challenges.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2013]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2013]
  14. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Please do not worry about what you wrote as being too strong worded...I didn't take it at all like that. You are always kind and helpful in your posts, never anything bad at all.

    I'll see how I feel today, just got back from taking kids from school and feel like going back to sleep! It's hard not to climb back in bed in the mornings after everyone is off to school and work. I love having the house empty and quiet!
  15. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Inflammation and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome...I did that last night and was amazed with the info on that one...

    So much has been talked about here on CFS and I don't recall hearing the word inflammation....maybe I missed it
    as I don't read everything here on CFS, but I have a concern since so many suffer with the fatigue.....inflammation is in
    everyone, often it's called "hidden" chronic inflammation.

    I've gotten pretty obsessed with the inflammation term and all the damage of it since I'm taking Anatabloc and getting the help I'm getting from it...
  16. freida

    freida Active Member

    Thank you, Hermitlady, for that feedback and response, and the reassurance.
    I appreciate it!!

    Taking them to school is a big activity and challenge with many steps that uses a LOT of stamina and energy.
    It certainly counts as the accomplishment, for the half-day , at LEAST,
    and on some days, the entire day!

    And they probably need to be picked up and interacted with, after that. Pure exhaustion.
    Congratulations on all that you do, Hermit!!

    And on correct prioritizing, since getting them there, is more important (for them and for you!)
    than if the house is tidy or a mess (like mine ;)

    Thanks for the input, jam. I am aware of that topic, don't know how much others are or not.
    Severe CFS is a complex, many-faceted illness, and not all identical either. Good idea of yours, to post seperately on it, for those who have not been considering its role in their problems.

    Hermit, thanks again for giving me the kind and supportive feedback.
    It helps me as well, in my own struggle.
    Helping our goal here. :)
    You're good at that, too.
    I like your honesty and many things you do, including that you post here , for all of us, and think of us, too. They all count and matter.

    (I assume you did see the P.S. I added to my post, maybe when you were writing yours?)

    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2013]