Question about Apathy

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Yucca13, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    I have been wondering if others are afflicted often with what I call 'apathy'? It usually affects me more when I have things to do that are out of the ordinary, like things related to Christmas. There are times that it is so hard to get out of bed because I just don't feel like doing anything. It isn't because my pain level is higher, it is more mental.

    I have thoughts that tend to kind of paralyze me regarding doing the things that need to be done, whether it is wrapping Christmas presents, writing some Christmas cards, baking, etc. I wake up with a terrible feeling of anxiety and I have a difficult time trying to pinpoint the cause. I get anxious about going away from home for a few days at Christmas and even feel weird because I don't have lot of Christmas spirit even though it isn't from lack of trying to find it! I worry that our gifts are ok and lots of other stupid things. I know that It is just plain ridiculous to worry about things, but it is like it is out of my control.

    I suppose part of it because I miss my late son so much at Christmastime. This will the the third Christmas without him. He wasn't with us during the holiday often (he lived in Maui) but I still find myself remembering the good times when he was here.

    I wish I could control my thoughts more. Yesterday, I managed to wrap some packages. I still need to go out and get a few other things for my husband's nephew's family. They don't have much and we enjoy giving them "a little Christmas joy." I often feel nervous about going out although I recently joined a very nice gym nearby and went three times last week and used the recumbent bike and a few machines. I am trying to fight the negative feelings with kicking up some endorphins!

    I think that people who have large, loving families are particularly blessed. I have a great husband and a loving daughter and her family, so I am blessed also.

    Anyone have any good ideas for helping to eliminate these kind of disturbing feelings? What do you do to cheer yourself up? Thanks, Val
  2. GeminiMoon

    GeminiMoon Member

    Dear Yucca13: After many years of struggling each Christmas, I now accept that it is a tough time and have given myself permission to feel this way. It doesn't mean you are not grateful for the blessings in your life. But you have also had tremendous loss and it is perfectly normal to get the blues. I have a very hard time with the blues at this time due to loss of loved ones also and all the holiday hustle & bustle simply makes it worse. I live in IL so sunlight is very limited here.
    Here is what I do that helps me:
    - I started 1 mg of Melatonin each evening. Now, I can get out of bed!
    - I take the Bach Flower Essence "Mustard". A few drops under the tongue each hour until I start feeling better. You can get this online or at a health food store
    - I no longer decorate for the holidays; too much work with the Fibro/CFS
    - Buy a few nice things for myself
    - Help the needy; cheers me up every time!
    - Yoga & breathing exercises
    - You may wish to see a doctor. Antidepressant's may not be for everyone, but they have sure helped me.

    Please keep us posted here. We are all in this together.
  3. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Yesterday, I posted on the depr board about this very subject.

    I am forever in the state of feeling overwhelmed, not just during the holidays. I always seem to blow things out of proportion while dreading every single thing that I need to do!

    I get overwhelmed and a lot of the time I get frustrated and just give up. I always figure it's related to the Depr that I have along w the FM/CFS. I drive myself crazy doing this, but can't seem to figure out how to make myself escape this vicious cycle.

    I just got home from 3 hrs of Xmas shopping and I am soooo exhausted. So now it's rest time...then eventually this wk I have to wrap everything. We are then making an 8 hr drive up to my in laws for a few days. All of this is so stressful for me.

    Bah Humbug, I'll be soooo glad when it's January!

    [This Message was Edited on 12/20/2010]
  4. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    Thanks so much for the suggestions that might help improve mood. I read about the Bach Flower Essence you suggested and the description of it sounds perfect: Brightens and uplifts spirits. I have some Melatonin (that I haven't been using) that is only 3 mcg so I guess I would need to take quite a bit more to have some effect.

    I actually took Effexor for years until I felt a bit "dumbed down" mentally. Someone told me that can be a side effect of it. I have some Wellbutrin that was prescribed by a neurologist when I went to him to talk about migraines. It might be time to start taking them and see if they give me a boost. I know the Effexor contributed to raising my blood pressure. I didn't read that as a side effect of Wellbutrin. I hope not.

    I decided not to put up our tree this year because it will just be the two of us and I, frankly, just didn't have the ambition to get everything out. We bought a few new Christmas decorations at a craft's fair and I have a couple of our other favorites around.

    Been looking for a good beginner's yoga video that I can do. I bought one but it is too advanced for me.

    I know that there are others who have a difficult time over the holidays. My heart goes out to them.

    Thank you for the suggestions and for reminding me that we are all in this together!
  5. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    as far as the anxiety goes, is it because you have too much to do?

    if so, one thing that helped me with that is just trying to get one thing on my to-do list done each "good" day........compared to how productive I used to be that is nothing, but I found that even one thing helped me to feel a little less overwhelmed and sometimes one thing led to doing one more thing (that is about my limit even on the best days or I will crash big time...or more likely I won't be able to get more done regardless - just not healthy enough)

    in order to do one thing and let the rest go until another "good" day, though, I have had to really plan and prioritize........I have an ongoing list and often re-prioritize what really needs to be done so that the stuff that doesn't absolutely have to get done can be let slide if need be...and I plan in a TON of rest days.......basically I have the things that have to get done regularly scheduled (with a lot of flexibility) and then if anything whatsoever has to be added to that schedule, I make it the only thing for the week (or two or three, as the case may be) that is added

    I have to really force myself to stick to that becasue on rare days where I feel like I might be able to do more than one or at most two things, I know that I will wind up paying for it for a long time if I actually do more

    not sure if this is making sense, so here's an exp: a "normal" week for me might require going to the grocery store and doing laundry.....those are the priorities (and even laundry can wait if it has to).....I plan days to do each and give leeway, so if I can't get groceries Mon, I still have Tues and Wed open to do that......if I have to add a Drs appt or cleaning or pretty much anything else, I figure that the laundry might need to wait, and I also do not plan any extras (another Drs appt, etc) for at least a couple of weeks

    I realize that some things simply can't wait and having a family may also make that sort of scheduling harder, but having someone else around could make it easier to share responsibilities, too, and so to actually be more flexible with scheduling

    sorry for the lenghty reply - not sure if it helped but I am really foggy rt now
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    And organize, organize, organize. This "apathy" goes with the territory of our illnesses. Much of the time, we do well just keeping up with ordinary chores. If we have extra things we need to do, we can become easily overwhelmed to the point that we can't do anything. The good news is that we can control a lot of what is on our plates. We do not need to feel guilty if we can't do all the things we used to do, especially at holidays. In fact, we shouldn't be doing all those things. We have to learn to carefully pick 'n choose.

    One shirnk told me that when one has a fatiguing illness, one has to become well organized, almost to the point of being anal. This, in itself, can be daunting. I've not completely mastered it but I do make an effort to keep my home and schedule organized. I still use a daytimer as I did when I use to work with appointments. I check the daytimer every week to see what I have on the schedule--mostly doctor appts. I also put them into my phone's calendar and set an alarm an hour before the event.

    I have a cute little pig hook for my keys by the front door and I have made a habit of hanging them there every time I come home. I keep my purse cleaned out and in the same place in the condo. It's amazing how much these little things help.

    The problem for us is that we cannot keep to a schedule because some days, we can't do much of anything. Things get behind. If we have a flare which keeps us down and out, a lot can get behind. When that happens, I go into "survival mode." I check the mail for anything which needs attending to, like bills. I chuck the rest until I'm up to dealing with it. A big basket is good for this but it can't be neglected forever.

    My kids and I have everything we need, and then some. We don't need more stuff. So, we make donations in each other's names at Christmas. It keeps things simple and easy and it makes Christmas more meaningful. Of course, I buy things for my grandson or send the money to my daughter to buy things from "Grandma." I don't bake or decorate unless the mood hits me and I'm feeling really good. Last year, I decorated; this year, I only put out a couple of things.

    Basically, I've learned to live a life of peace and gratitude and not one of angst. This isn't easy. It's taken years and years and therapy to get here. I'm like Goldilocks: My life is juuuuust right. When I get behind, I feel like life is too big. I try to keep it just right for me. It is easier for me bacause I'm single with grown kids. I can do pretty much as I wish.


    Love, Mikie