Withdrawing from life

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Withdrawing from life

Postby pseudotumor » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:54 pm

So this evening I officially withdrew from online summer school because with headaches, nausea, ataxia, and a general feeling of being unwell, I feel i'd fall behind. 2 weeks ago I had to tell a volunteer coordinator that i'm too unbalanced and shakey to do surgury assistance anymore without sticking a needle somewhere I shouldn't. I'm on the right path and seeing Dr.Oro at the chiari center but in the mean time I just feel so helpless and crappy all the time. I walked to the grocery store with my husband today (like 7 blocks away from home), and half-way back I felt like I was going to pass out, my head hurt so bad I was almost crying, and I just sat on the side of the road while he walked home to get the car and drive me home 3 blocks. I feel sooo pathetic. Am I alone here or does everyone have months like this?
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Re: Withdrawing from life

Postby karenb » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:32 am

Hi there,

I can't speak for others, but I sure have a lot of times like that.

I think the worst was before I knew what I had, when I was limping about on my cane, going from doctor to doctor trying to find answers and always coming up empty. That was so discouraging.

I feel pretty crappy a lot of the time. I find that it helps if I can be with other people and get my attention focused on something other than myself - I find that I get energized when I do that. Of course, I come home and am exhausted, but at least it's a good kind of exhausted...

There are a lot of times I feel like just withdrawing from life. I hate it that a lot of people don't even see me because of my wheelchair. I hate that I am no longer able to participate in activities I love just because of my physical limitations (hasn't anyone out there heard of ADA?).

Sorry... I'm venting... but know that you're not alone!

((((gentle hugs))))

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Re: Withdrawing from life

Postby phyrehawke » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:09 pm

I haven't posted in awhile, but this one struck a cord with me. I am so tired lately and have felt out of sorts and grumpy for literally months now. I know what depression is like, and this is not the same. But if I really thought antidepressants would fix it, I'd take 'em in a heartbeat. It's more like after years of dealing with this health stuff and trying to maintain something that vaguely resembles having a life...I'm just weary of it all finally, burnt out. I honestly believe there is no easy fix. Although my NL would probably say it would help if I took more daytime meds. He said this day would come, and it has something to do with my stubborn natural daytime pain control leaves my brain short on seratonin, so it is like depression, but not because my body isn't making enough seratonin...my body is using it to control pain because that takes priority over feeling cheery. Or at least that's the way I understand it. It's been a few years since I got that particular talk. He said back then that it can help to do a lot of stuff you love (favorite music, crafts, movies, etc) because it boosts endorphin & seratonin production. Finally, I have some time to seriously try that theory out...if I can just gather enough energy! lol I do feel emotionally better on the days I give in and take the daytime meds like I'm supposed to, and speaking of that I should go take some.
I was feeling pretty good there for awhile and was even thinking of trying a college class again, but the NL looked really hard at me and said "That sounds like a recipe for (refractory) migraines." He's right and I don't think that helped. I tend to do better when I have a big realistic goal I'm aiming for. Now I have to figure out some other distraction.

Over the past weekend I went to a huge outdoor camping event that my husband and I attend every year. I'm prepared, but helping my friends through the last minute rush to get their projects done is stressful and tiring. I overdid it physically, but not too bad. They need to start thinking ahead more, and relying on me less. I'm in a permanent leadership position and I knew I desperately needed to be able to relax and enjoy this event, but it wasn't happening. I ended up being requested to fix/moderate one stressful situation after another, and of course I didn't say no. Out of 5 days I had 3 fun hours. I forget...why do I do this?? I finally recommended, after 4 years with no rules, that my little camp adopt just a few reasonable rules to maximize fairness and that didn't go over very well. I'm telling myself that if the passive folks don't like the more aggressive folks taking advantage of their time and sabotaging their fun. well then...that's their problem and if they don't like it they can sort it out. Or not. I don't care anymore. In years past I would've done something about it out of principle. Now I'm just too physically and emotionally exhausted to deal with everybody else's BS. It's "not me" but maybe it's (unfortunately) the new me. Now that I do have to deal with.
"A path of awakening would never suggest that we should be a passive and unwitting spectator of our own repeated disasters, but should turn the power of our attention to untangle the web of complexity." Christina Feldman
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Re: Withdrawing from life

Postby hikealaska » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:03 am

Hello Pseudotumor

I hope all goes well for you with Dr. Oro. When is the appointment? Historically CM/SM people start to feel mentally better when a treatment path has been laid before them. This will not help your physical limitations until you start to travel down that path. But, you will feel a little fortified after meeting with an expert.

I too have been in the position you described. Rather than withdrawing, maybe try to reframe the changes you have to make in a positive way. Instead of not going on the walks at all, accept that 14 blocks is too much at this time in your life and take walks that are only 5 blocks (you determine what works for you).

My life is full of reframing. I am at a different stage of treatment than you are. So, some of the references I make are just examples. You won't be able to do these exact things right now, but try to use the reframing tool to help you where you can.

I was an avid hiker. Now, I cannot carry a backpack and can only go on the mildest of hikes. I reframe this in my mind that it is good that I get to have the memories of all of those incredible hikes in Alaska that others can only dream about. Now I get to explore other loves that hiking would have kept me from. I do a lot of flower gardening now, something I love but never did due to time restraints when I was always hiking.

I was a golfer. Learned to golf when I was a little girl and always enjoyed it. I cannot swing a club now, nor will I ever be able to again. I have completely changed the way I look at that. Golf is an expensive sport. The money I used to spend on golf is now going to do other things with my family and being set aside for my retirement.

One thing I have learned is that I choose the people I become invested in very carefully now. I used to work so hard to please people. I was non confrontational in the weirdest settings. Now I am assertive. The woman at Starbucks makes my coffee wrong, I will give it back. I am never going to see her again. And if I do, I don't care if she thinks I am unreasonable. In all cases I will now be assertive for what my wants and my needs are. I am invested in my family and a few close friends. Otherwise, I don't care what people think. I don't want to be the one to tell you what you might not yet know, but you will lose friends. People that you once thought you could count on will fade. They won't be able to handle the new you. I don't think they do it because of you. I think they do it because too easily they can see what could happen to them and it is too painful emotionally to see themselves in you. So all of that will change who you are too. Decide if you are going to let the actions of others impact you. You can never choose what happens to you in life. You have to work hard at focusing on what your personal outcomes of those situations are.

Hope this helps you in some small way. Keep us posted on how you are doing.
"People don't get what they deserve. They just get what they get, and there's nothing any of us can do about it." - House
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Re: Withdrawing from life

Postby debh » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:38 am

ditto-i too emotionally and physically exhausted to deal with someone else's bull#####
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Re: Withdrawing from life

Postby karenb » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:49 am

Karen (aka hikealaska),

I think you described the "reframing" process really well. Thank you for taking the time to describe the process so thoughtfully.

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