Dis-motivation and other lifestyle messes

Discussion in 'Brainbent' started by Kay5, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    Okay, doing this here I guess because there's a fucktonne of stuff I'm not comfortable about going into detail with when venting on tumblr, because I don't want to bother my datemate with this any more than I do*, and because I guess it might be nice to talk to people who are dealing with similar things.

    This thread isn't going to be wholly a vent thread, if you're reading it then you're welcome to chip in with opinions and ideas and feedback and anything, but I do intend for it to mostly be some personal introspection of whatever the heck is going on in my head and in my life, so forgive me if I don't always reply.

    Also, yes, I know that dis-motivation isn't a real word, but hush, it sounds cool as a title.




    *I don't necessarily mean 'bother' in the negative way of 'I don't want to be a burden' (though there is still a thorn of anxiety/depression that's insisting that), it's more just... It's hard to talk with them about some of this stuff because it's going around my head 24/7 and I don't want my irritation at my brain and body to eclipse the rest of our life together.
     
  2. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    I saw a thing recently saying that there's no such thing as laziness, it's just a matter of being unmotivated.

    The point of this was so that 'laziness' couldn't just be dismissed. It's easy to brush aside lack of work or progress or anything by labelling the behaviour as 'lazy' and then leaving at that, because if a person is lazy then it's an inherent trait and can't really be fixed. But if a person is unmotivated... then that's something that can be worked on.

    I like this view of things.

    Mostly because the brain gremlins in my head have been starting to toss the word 'lazy' around a lot when it comes to my recent behaviours, and it.... it really upsets me. Brain gremlins do not deserve to be listened to, but sometimes it's hard not to notice their whispers, and all too often they strike a nerve.

    But if I'm not lazy, I'm just unmotivated, then I can find a way to fix things. I can find something to motivate me again.

    Can't I?

    Because then comes the question of distinguishing between lack of motivation, and lack of energy. The former can be fixed with new outlooks, new activities, new ideas, and finding the right rewards to keep yourself pushing forwards. The latter... is a much bigger issue.

    For clarification, the mental stuff I'm predominantly dealing with is depression and anxiety, stemming from an abusive mother, and it's a crock of bullshit that I've been dealing with for about 7-8 years now. In the past year I've made leaps and bounds towards recovery, thanks to the first psych in my life that was actually able to help me, and thanks to finally getting away from the city that reminded me of my trauma and moving to a completely different country.

    Problem is, since I've finally gotten out of survival, I-just-need-to-last-until-I-can-get-out-of-here mode, I've wound up with a whole bunch of physical problems flaring up like mad. Good news is I've finally got a diagnosis for all my tension headaches and joint problems that I've been dealing with for years. Bad news is there's no cure for being double-jointed so I'm just going to have to deal with the pain for the rest of my life. Oh joy.

    So... because my body has been spending all it's energy on just... healing... It means I've got bugger-all energy left to do anything else. And because I can't do anything, I've got no motivation to try doing anything. When the lack of energy was mostly a depression thing, I could push through it for the sake of outside obligations like uni or work, but I can't do that anymore.

    I can't get another job in retail, because I can't be on my feet for that many hours anymore, and I'm just not qualified for basically anything else. I'm working on doing an online software development course, and the people running it will set me up with job interviews and such after it's completed, but that's still months off yet, and without motivation/energy/brainpower, my studies have been slowly grinding to a halt.

    I'm exhausted and my insomnia's getting worse and my head constantly feels like it's filled with cotton wool and I can't think, I can't do anything, and it's infuriating!

    I want to be doing things, I know I do. I don't like just sitting around in bed all day, zoning out online and losing track of time. But I... I can't bring myself to do anything. And I don't know if that's physical or mental or what. I'm stuck here, stagnating, my life in stasis until I find a way to pull it together again, but I don't know where to start.

    (edited to fix some typos)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
    • Witnessed x 3
  3. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    I'm furious at the state of my body to the point that it mentally exhausts me too much to be furious anymore, and then I'm just left in this dull, empty, '0kay'-ness that I haven't really felt since the height of my depression. It's not quite the Null, the Null is a lot more of a gnawing, hidden-pain, emptiness-because-the-sadness/loneliness-is-too-much-to-handle sort of state, and I'm grateful that it's not the state I'm left in.

    But this dull exhaustion is horrible too.

    I hate, hate, hate being bed-ridden and brain-fogged, and I literally and metaphorically can't afford it! I have things to do! I have projects to work on! I have studies to get on with! I still have to figure out what sort of job I can get that won't wipe me out completely, and then work on actually getting that sort of job!

    But I have to accept that, in this state, I'm too exhausted to care about anything but dealing with each hour as it comes, and that excitement and passion and drive and exclamation points and italics tend to be either momentary or manufactured. And it sucks.

    I wanna type more but my hand is fucked up again and I really should be resting it.

    bluh...
     
  4. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    I feel useless
     
  5. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    This is all incredibly relatable, and I sincerely hope it gets better soon. Escaping only to have everything crash down on you is horrible.

    (you'd said ideas were welcome - if this is overstepping please let me know, and I'll remove the post or whatever you ask)

    I've gone through a couple of periods of my life where I was functionally bedridden due to fatigue (stemming from a mix of sources). I had people around me trying to encourage me to get up and do more things, but in terms of things I could do for myself to start slowly growing & gaining energy again...

    First, I made sure I was getting physical needs met. Having a stash of shelf-stable snacks in my bedside table made a world of difference, as did making sure I had some kind of beverage. Trying to remind myself to keep up on hygiene helped too.

    Second, I tried to make the space where I was resting nice. I picked my favorite blankets in pleasing color combinations. I'd open the window when there was a nice breeze, or just open blinds/curtains for sunshine & views of the sky. I'd put on nice music, or have little projects (I knit, draw, and write) stored in reach.

    Basically, I only recovered (very, annoyingly slowly) when I stopped trying to push myself the way I did when I was in the middle of disaster, and just made my rest as good & restful as possible. Of course your mileage may vary, different things work for different people, but if you keep getting stuck just miserable because you don't have the energy for anything, some of this stuff might help? I know it's super basic but it's hard to remember in recovery-fog.
     
  6. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    (Paladinkit, you're not overstepping, don't worry, honestly it's great to have someone reply)

    I'm pretty good in terms of getting physical needs sorted, I always have water on hand, and I'm the sort of person to have more showers than strictly necessary rather than less (hot water helps with my joint issues). Food is... a little bit more of an issue? I don't tend to feel hungry so forgetting to eat happens a lot. But since moving in with my datemate, I've gotten a lot better with that thanks to them getting me breakfast and me needing to make dinner for the both of us. Snack-wise, muesli bars are a lifesaver.

    As for the space around me... It's about as good as it can really get? Or as good as it can get when you've got two people and all their belongings in a single room because shared housing. Ah well.

    So yeah, I've got all the basics downpat, I've got a decent sleep schedule, I've done as many of the little things I can to make my life better (though it's good to go through the checklist sometimes, so thanks for going over it).

    I think a lot of my issues at the moment comes from the sort of things you listed as projects? Things like knitting/writing/drawing are all things I really, really enjoy, alongside cooking and playing my ukulele and going for walks. Problem is my joints don't let me do a bunch of that stuff a lot of the time...

    There's good days and bad days? But even on the good days I need to be careful with how much I do, else risk the next day turning into a bad one. Hurrah for tendinitis and wonky knees/hips :/

    It's all a horrendous mix of lack of energy and lack of ability and I feel like I'm stuck in a quagmire of bluh. I try to be patient and let myself heal, but it's difficult when I don't have things to distract myself with.

    May I ask how long it took for you to recover? And if there were any other sorts of things that helped you with just... getting better, physically and mentally?
     
  7. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    I'm glad I can be helpful! Also, (gentle) high five of solidarity on having fucky hands. I actually have some specific experience with that (my particular issues being tendinitis, nerve damage [primarily ulnar, some carpal tunnel] and early-onset arthritis, all affecting hands/arms/shoulders), so hopefully that helps too.

    It feels a bit disingenuous to present myself as having all the answers, because I'm definitely not "recovered" to "normal" and probably never will be. BUT I'm not bedbound anymore unless I'm having a health crisis usually precipitated by an outside force of some kind, and from my worst point (living in the abusive house, medical issues at a low) it's taken me three-ish years to be regularly social, cooking, running errands fairly consistently, doing my own laundry, that kind of thing.

    The biggest thing than increased my ability to do things with my hands was honestly a combo of physical therapy, occupational therapy, remembering to continue exercises from said therapies at home (I'm so bad at this), and living with people who try to help me maximise efficient use of hand spoons. I know that those aren't accessible to everyone :/ I know I'm INCREDIBLY lucky that my wife and sister are 100% committed to assisting me living with the level of physical fucked-up I am. I don't have a lot of great advice for how to ask for help from people around you, either, because for me it basically took my sister moving in and going "fuck this I'm not letting you struggle at things that hurt you. quit carrying that. let me open that" for me to start allowing help to happen. I can provide links to stretching resources for hands/arms/shoulders if you like (I have a lot), although being really slow and careful & preferably having somewhat medically educated supervision if at all possible can keep you from accidentally injuring something worse when your tendons aren't doing their jobs right.

    Distractions are super important, and it's literally one of the most frustrating things when you don't even have the physical capacity to access distractions. I started knitting as a way to gain hand strength, but I've had to do a lot of adaptation to keep knitting with my disabilities. Some knitting-related thoughts:
    • Do you have compression gloves? They sell them at craft stores, they help a lot when my tendons are angry. It is possible to accidentally over-do it when you're wearing the gloves, though, so don't go crazy and regret it later :/ (ask me how I know).
    • I find working at really large gauges generally easier, and switching between gauges/tension by juggling a couple different projects helpful. Same with using more elastic yarns/fibers (I love wool, and generally hate cotton, for this reason).
    • When I can't knit, I do knitting-related things. I spend a LOT of time browsing Ravelry, reading knitting books, etc. I actually taught myself how to spin to have an alternate fiber craft - it can also be hard on my hands, but less so. I've only used drop spindles so far, although I've heard support spindles can be even easier for people with physical/energy limitations. I know there's lots of knitting podcasts out there, although I don't know any to recommend (sorry).
    • I also got encouraged a lot to knit sitting on my front porch, just so I could get some outside time even if I wasn't up for walks.

    I will gladly share more, but I also just want to tell you that I promise you will make it out of the bluh quagmire. It feels impossible when you're in it, but you can. And even the tiniest efforts you can make give you more energy to get farther.
     
  8. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    *(gently) returns high-five*

    It's really a massive comfort to know that this advice/reassurance is coming from someone with similar problems to me. Mostly it's just been my datemate and some vague stuff from my dad so far, and... neither of them really know anything about this stuff. The supportiveness is nice? And it's certainly better than either of them putting any major expectations or pressure on me, but it's different from them having personal experience, so it's hard to talk to them sometimes, as I'm sure you'd know.

    But jeez, three years is... wow...

    Guess I've gotta get better with accepting my new normal. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I know what you mean about not really being able to recover back to the old normal though. Again, it's good to hear from someone who's been through this bs and has found ways to work around it and still do the things you enjoy. It helps me hold onto hope.

    Also I'd love those links for stretches and stuff, I can see which ones to work into the routines I already do while waiting for my specialist appointment to finally roll around (hurrah for ridiculous wait-lists \ o / ). And I really appreciate the knitting tips! I'll have to finish this finicky double-knitted vest with cotton yarn first, but I can start putting your advice into practice right after that XD

    Thank you for proving this possible to get though. It really, really means a lot, and I promise to do my best to remember all this when I'm having bad mental days.
     
  9. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    Three years is how long it's been (in a few weeks) since I moved out of the abusive house. Being able to do laundry is something I achieved in, like, the last week, but I've been cooking semi-regularly for a few months now, and have been being regularly social for almost a year. The first two recovery years after moving out were complicated - I'd stopped talking to my abuser, but still was putting a lot of energy into some other unhealthy relationships, and was also living in a subpar living situation and under a lot of financial stress. Your personal timeline may look a lot different.

    Accepting the normal of having so much fatigue/brainfog/etc is hard. But accepting it made me feel like I was actually healing (even if very slowly) rather than just cruising towards/deeper into burnout.

    Stretches!
    This set was specifically designed for knitters. I do these once or twice in the middle of a knitting session, and again at the end.
    This video is aimed at drummers, but has some REALLY nice stretches. Also it's just very, very soothing, at least for me - soft friendly German-accented voice walking you through stretches while standing by a sunlit tree with birdsong in the background. Good for when I'm very distressed about my hands emotionally as well as physically.
    I can also try to find a way to share my occupational therapy stretches, but right now they're only on a piece of paper, and I'd need to dig it out & get decent photographs of the diagrams.

    I'm really, sincerely glad that this helps! You can do this :)
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    Ooh, yep, I've already got the drummer video saved and memorised, I try and do those stretches every hour or two when my hands are Bad. The set for knitters looks really good though, so thanks! Don't worry too much about the occupational therapy stretches though, I suspect they're pretty personalised things and there are some stretches that might be good for you that would wreck my joints. Plus, you've already been an angel and I don't want you to worry about the bother.

    And yeah, time and situations work differently from everyone. I'm glad to hear that you managed to get free of your shitty situation(s). Also, laundry takes So Many Steps and is incredibly difficult, so I can understand why it's a recent step in your recovery.

    Thank you again for all your advice and help and everything. You have no idea how much it means to me and how much I've managed to just... calm my brain down thanks to talking with you. That's not to say it's gonna stay calmed down, but it's still a massive step in the right direction, so thanks.

    I wish you best of luck with your own recovery and laundry endeavours, and I hope you get to pet a cute animal of your choice today <3
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    BAD PAIN DAY
    BAD PAIN DAY
    BAD PAIN DAY


    uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.................................

    ignore me, my whole body is just Sore for No Reason and I am Extremely Grumpy because of it and need to Yell

    I am going to go lie in the bath for an hour or two to try and make myself feel better physically and emotionally

    I Dislike being this useless unable to do things, also stairs are the fucking worst
     
    • Witnessed x 2
  12. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    In a really bad brainspace today because of lack of sleep and a whole bunch of various stresses, mostly related to moving house in a few weeks time.

    It's the... dangerous sort of brainspace where I'm too wound up and my thoughts are rushing too fast and emotions aren't working right and everything in life seems too difficult or isn't going how it's meant to and I wind up with those sneaky little thoughts saying 'just give up, it'll be so much easier'

    And it really sucks because I'm so fucking close to having the better life I kept wishing for myself all those years when I was trying to escape Australia, and I am not letting my depression get to me again, not when I'm only four fucking weeks away from having my own apartment with my partner and being able to look for jobs again and get medical help for my joints and so many small happy good things that kept me going in some really bad times. I'm not letting those bad times creep up on me again. I banished them to the back of my brain once, I can fucking do it again.

    I'm bitter and angry and in tears because I'm meant to be better than this. And I am! I came up with a potential solution that'll hopefully solve so many of the little stresses that have kept popping up regarding the move! I am clever, and intelligent, and good at problem solving, and I can damn well work my way through this, and as much as I hate the rage and the sadness that seem to fill me up at the moment, at least it's better than the hollowness of not caring about anything but wanting it all to stop.

    I'm gonna power through this. I know I can, I've done it countless times before. It just sucks, and I'm upset, and I need to yell about it somewhere because my partner is at work today and I don't really want to be alone.

    I'll be okay. Probably gonna avoid the kitchen today because sharp things are a bad idea, but I'll find a way to be okay.
     
  13. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    i miss my dad....

    I'm almost 23 and I've been living apart from my family since I was 11 but I miss my dad

    he's far from perfect and there's plenty of things we disagree on but he's the only adult in my life that has consistently tried to do his best for me and these past 11 months have been the longest I've gone without seeing him and I miss him and it hurts
     
  14. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    Gonna post some positive stuff for once, because fuckit, the good things are just as (if not more) important than the bad

    Having a decently good day today. Still kinda tired and sore as always, but nothing to the point that it's actively hindering me from doing small day-to-day things. I managed to spend close to an hour doing my software development studies without having to force my way through a fucktonne of brain-fog, which! Is amazing! It's really rare for me to be able to consistently understand what I'm meant to be learning for more than about twenty minutes or so! Starting to get a bit head-fuzzy now, so time to take a break for a while, but I'm gonna leave the tab open and hopefully come back to it later.

    Also, got some good music as the background soundtrack of things at the moment. Louie Zong makes great chillout stuff, and it's nice to have some melodic noise to semi-listen to as I go about things, without it being busy enough that I can't concentrate on other things.

    Managed to get my datemate to watch Lucifer with me over the last few days as well, which is wonderful because they've already gotten so attached to the characters and their arcs, despite only half-listening-in over my shoulder, and it's fun to yell about the good sort of emotional pain that silly-but-fantasically-written TV dramas provide.

    A housemate said I could borrow their Switch for a while this afternoon so I can have a chance to actually play Breath of the Wild, which will be my first Zelda game siiiiinncceee.... meandering through the first half of my brother's copy of Ocarina of Time? I am... severely disconnected from a lot of nintendo stuff, mostly because I just never had any consoles as a kid, but I still love the idea of so many of their games.

    Oh! I've been going really well with eating lately! Over the past week I've managed three meals a day more often than not, and I think my body is starting to adjust to the fact that hunger is a thing it is allowed to feel again. It's a bit irritating when we don't have heaps of food in the house that doesn't involve a chunk of preparation? But I'm still going to take it as a good sign.

    For now... Gonna shower, catch up with some cartoons, and eat chocolate biscuits. I'm gonna do my best to make today a good one.
     
  15. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    Move happened, now in a different city and have spent the past week scurrying about mentally/physically/phone-calling-ly trying to get everything sorted, and gods, I'm....

    I'm fucking exhausted...

    I know this was to be expected after everything, and now the internet is finally connected (which was the Last Thing To Happen (other than finding a job)) I'm definitely ready to crash and crash hard, but it's

    fuck

    my chest feels so tight and I'm not sure if it's because of anxiety or if it's my body freaking out because I'm ignoring its other pain symptoms

    I don't even know what I've got to be anxious over anymore

    I'm good at job hunting, I'm good at interviews, I'm good at all that stuff, and I've got enough money to keep me going for a month or two, that's plenty of time for me

    My health isn't going great, yeah, but my new GP is an angel and referred me to a specialist straight away so I'm on the wait list for that and gods, I had so many damn walls up and preparations ready for when I walked into that office and it turned out I didn't need them and I was so damn relieved that I cried when I came out of there

    We've finally got a place of our own somewhere nice that actually feels like a city and I don't feel like I'm confined to a single room anymore

    I dunno why I feel like such shit right now but I hate it
     
  16. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    So, made some fun discoveries yesterday that I'm still sorta trying to process...

    Firstly, the earaches that I keep getting aren't actually infections or anything like that (which I am very happy about because it means I can have more baths), they're actually thanks to my jaw muscles going crazy because of my wonky joints. So... Hurrah for not having Yet Another thing wrong with me? But also, dear lord, how deep do my joint troubles go :/

    Secondly...
    I had a read through the legal definitions of a disability as classified in the UK, and I easily hit every checkbox. I have a physical impairment with substantial effects on my day-to-day life which I am likely going to be stuck with forever.
    And I...

    I really don't know how to fully process this?

    I mean, I know my body is a mess and that I have serious difficulty with a lot of seemingly normal tasks (e.g. have to have my showers sitting down half the time because I just Cannot Stand For That Long). I've been dealing with this for A While now, and frankly I hate it, but c'est la bee.

    But there's a massive difference between having the knowledge that I deal with fucked-up-joints and chronic pain on a daily basis, and knowing that I am Disabled™.

    And I don't fully know how to deal with it.

    I realise that my main mental stumbling block comes from the societal mindset of 'If you are Disabled, then there is something Wrong with you'. Which... Okay, from a word-by-word perspective is true, yes. There's plenty of things wrong with our bodies/minds, that's part of why we're disabled. But then again comes the difference between wrong and Wrong. Wrong inherently. Wrong morally. Wrong socially. Wrong Wrong Wrong. Wrong and valueless. Which is bullshit. But it's still lodged in my head like a tick. And it's saying that if I call myself disabled, then I'm also assigning (or letting society assign) these other negative values to myself as well. Which is Super Bullshit 64, but...

    yeah.......

    it's a mess..........

    it's a mess and I'm too sore and too tired to figure out how to handle this on my own, and I don't know who to talk to about any of it

    If there's anyone reading this thread, I could... really do with some advice, or even just a kind word or two here. I'm aware that I've got it a helluva lot better than a lot of people, and even just a helluva lot of people on these forums, but it's... I don't know. This whole thing has crossed over from the mostly-ignorable territory of 'just some joint pain' to 'This Is What You Are. No, You Don't Get A Say In The Matter. Yes, You'll Be Stuck Like This Forever.' and it's hitting me pretty fucking hard and I'm just lost.
     
    • Witnessed x 1
  17. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    ....in other news

    finally got an appointment with a rheumatologist

    it's not for another two and a half months, and I don't know if they'll even be much help, but it's a start
     
    • Winner x 1
  18. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    It's honestly very normal to experience something like grief when coming to terms with disability. It's hard, and we have to overcome a lot of internalized bullshit about what that means. I know there's a lot of good reading out there but I am too low on spoons for a link hunt at the moment - searching things like, um, disability advocacy, the social model of disability, and cripplepunk might come up with some good thoughtful/inspirational resources?

    I'm glad you have an appointment. I hope you have other good things going on too.
     
    • Like x 1
  19. Kay5

    Kay5 the most glorious spoon

    Sorry for not responding for ages, paladinkit, life has just been Life for ages and I didn't really have the spoons, I'm sure you know how it goes

    but I wanted to say thank you for responding to me so damn quickly the other week

    I still feel pretty damn alone with this whole thing, even with my partner trying to understand and learn, but gods... Knowing that there's at least one person reading this mess of a thread and who wants to help and support me? Even if spoons can be a rare resource for them too? It really helps, so thank you, seriously

    I've been watching a bunch of videos by Jessica Kellgren-Fozard on youtube, and reading a bunch of tumblr blogs run by disabled people, and trying to mentally address the internalised ableism stuck in my head by society/my parents, and I think I'm coming to terms with things? At least enough to be able to mentally refer to myself as disabled without flinching away from it. I think I've known this was coming? At least since I started taking an umbrella with me whenever I walk into town, even when it's clear, just in case I need something to lean on when I walk. Still, I am... really not good with needing to unexpectedly change my way of thinking, so bleh, this is gonna be difficult...

    ((also just gonna vent for a moment, because I told my dad about being disabled the other day and he kinda just turned it into a joke, and I swear I wanted to reach through my screen and punch him, I love him but ffs, dad, I can barely pick up a fork to feed myself some days, why the HELL would you think it's appropriate to make a joke about the plastic straw debacle????))
     
    • Witnessed x 1
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