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Ice cream… with a fork

I just invented eating ice cream with a fork. Different. Mildly interesting. Completely unnecessary except that I enjoyed having an original idea and getting curious about it; also liked feeling experimental and playful. I am not afraid to be silly. Hear me moo!

Always reaching for more endorphins through play, humor, color, whimsy, art or music is one of my favorite strategies to ease my chronic pain. You’d think my arms would be longer. It was ridiculous to eat ice cream with a fork, like something a child would do. And yet it felt defiant in a satisfying and healthy way, too. I take my mental health very seriously.

Do yourself a favor and be more playful. Generously sample joy wherever you find it. It’s good for your health. Human adults tend to take themselves way too seriously, don’t you think? 🥳

#apathy #Anxiety #Depression #MajorDepressiveDisorder #MentalHealth #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Fibromyalgia #SleepApnea #CheerMeOn #ChronicFatigue #Addiction #ChronicFatigueSyndrome

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Just realized it

(65f)I’ve never really thought of this word before but apathy makes a lot of sense for my life. #apathy #Bipolar #c -PTSD #Anxiety #Depression #hemiplegic migraine #Peripheral neuropathy #eating disorders…

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Be Brave Enough to Be Yourself

So, peeps, I (58f) am approaching my first anniversary of finding out that I have Complex PTSD from layers and layers of a lifetime of trauma that contributed to my thinking I have a problem with apathy. It turns out that I have just been hiding in My Nest playing mindless games on my iPad because my subconscious came to the conclusion that the world is not a safe place for me and my sensitivities. That is what trauma will do to a person. And my subconscious is not wrong. But what should I do about it, give up?

Never. My therapist told me to experiment with feeling angry this week. I have had a lifetime of not allowing myself to feel angry because my traumas, the continuous evidence that my family did not value me, had me believing that I did not deserve to feel angry. My expression of anxiety has been hypo-arousal most of my life. I just shut down and avoid. That certainly LOOKS like apathy.

I was telling my therapist that my trauma recovery is taking too long. I want to feel whole and jump out of bed in the morning energized and psyched for my day. EMDR therapy has freed me from almost all of my triggers. I can now experience my trauma memories without freaking out or crashing, but there is a lot of lingering sadness and disappointment about what I experienced. And part of me just feels empty much of the time. Maybe I don’t remember how not to dissociate as a coping strategy. My therapist said something amazing. “It’s not your fault. None of it. Your struggles are real because of all of the trauma you experienced, all of the pain and fear. You never really expressed the anger you deserve to feel about your emotionally neglected childhood, your church trauma, your medical trauma, your employment trauma, your relationship trauma and all of the times you were treated unfairly. Maybe what you seek is on the other side of all of that anger.”

I think she is right! I am going to drive somewhere remote today and yell my head off and stomp my feet. It sounds silly, but I am going to try to express my anger to start the work to get past it. I have the rest of my life to live! Never give up on yourself. Find you and be fully you, whatever it takes. Find your peace. You deserve it. 🌟☀️🌻💛

#apathy #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Fibromyalgia #Depression #Anxiety #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #MentalHealth #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #EatingDisorders #Selfcare

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Sometimes I Am a “Sad Little Potato”

This resonated with me hard. I do not seem to have any control over whether or not I am having a “sad little potato” day. It happens at least half of the time and I am entirely weary of it, even though I do at least know well enough to be kind to myself when it happens. It’s exhausting.

When so many of your days are “sad little potato” days you often see yourself unable to follow through with plans you have made. That can be depressing. My best strategy for this is to try my hardest to focus on healthy and uplifting self-care on these days. Then they are not really wasted. Even sad little potatoes deserve to be treated well. Treat yourself well.

My inner sad little potato wants good things for your inner sad little potato. Virtual hugs freely offered, if welcome. 🥔 😃🌻☀️💛

#apathy #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #BipolarDisorder #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #Fibromyalgia #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder

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Do You Think This Is True?

I had been doing so much better with my energy and interest in pushing myself forward, but from Friday to now (Tuesday) I have been dragging horribly.

The previous week was unusually stressful even for my stressful life, as I announced to my husband’s family that I can no longer be his caregiver and need help finding him a care home. That’s technically “good” stress, I think, but it was still hard. Then my younger daughter-in-law visited for five days with her beau and that wiped me out even though they are both sweet people.

When your life is full of a situation that makes you anxious plus you have chronic illness, chronic pain, and are undergoing intense therapy for cPTSD, it is difficult to not be on an emotional roller coaster.

I don’t think I will have any real relief from what holds me down until I am no longer a 24/7 caregiver to someone who has no short-term memory, no ability to steer his brain and dementia. I have become so super-sensitized to his every little sound and cannot help but react. It isn’t much wonder that I want to hide in bed and lose my mind in games on my phone.

I “comprehend” why I need to hide in self-defense of my health, but cannot fix it until I can get my husband a new diagnosis to qualify for entry in a care home we have not yet found. That all takes time and energy that is hard for me to manage.

Please share your reaction to this quote and tell us how it relates to your situation.

#apathy #Depression #Anxiety #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #PTSD #PanicDisorder #Fibromyalgia #Selfcare #Caregiving #Dementia #ShorttermMemory

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So I reported recently that I have made great progress combating my apathy and depression by getting off meds known to have a side effect of apathy, and by finding out my brain was oxygen-starved from undiagnosed sleep apnea. But I still have fibromyalgia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), cPTSD, and I am still overspending myself as a 24/7 caregiver to my husband… so I still have daily struggles. I know that if I am not very careful, I could lose my progress and return to an unhealthy state where I am “frozen” hiding in my Nest all the time again.

Here are some things I have been doing to keep myself from slipping back into depression and inactivity.

- 30-minutes of sun lamp therapy within the first hour after waking (makes a huge difference for me regarding how alert I am and how energetic I feel)

- Taking a shower no less than every other day early in the day—even when I don’t want to (This is HUGE for me and I use it to mindfully transition from sleepy to awake by focusing on how wonderful the warm water feels on different parts of me.)

- Eating protein, fruits and vegetables for breakfast BEFORE having coffee, dairy, sugar or grains (I hard-boil eggs 18 at a time so they are easy to grab in the morning, and I put them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of basil/kale/cashew pesto from Trader Joe’s, with a small handful of raw almonds and a piece of fruit on the side. If I feel hungry later before lunch I have a small bowl of healthy grains, like meulsi. This helps a lot to provide energy

- Never skipping morning meds and trying to take meds at the same times every day to better regulate my body/brain chemistry.

- Less screen time and more looking out of the windows. I have my face in a screen a LOT as a way to escape, so I really need to ask myself what else I could be doing when I am tempted to scroll on my phone. So I look around the room to find one small task to do instead, like straightening or dusting—something that will help me move forward toward a happier, healthier life. On days this is especially difficult, I make deals with myself that I can justify some screen time after I accomplish a task.

There are lots more of these small habits that end up having a powerful positive impact on me over time. I have them on a note on my phone so I don’t forget any. Please share some of your strategies too.

#apathy #Anxiety #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #Depression #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Fibromyalgia #ChronicFatigue #SleepApnea #PTSD #BrainFog

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But Then My Apathy, Depression, and Half of My Pain Lifted…

WHAT A JOURNEY! I have been AWOL from here for five months! I have been pretty ill for most of that time. My doctor put me on two new meds in late September and it has taken me this long to get out from under such nasty side effects that I was literally debilitated. My doc wouldn’t hear me. All she saw was my weight.

I finally did some research on the drugs’ common side effects and took myself off of them, tapering the dose carefully to prevent shocking my body and reduce withdrawal symptoms. In addition, my doctor had encouraged me to taper off pregabalin (Lyrica) because it did not seem to be helping the way it used to and I believed I was suffering from side effects from this drug as well.

It turns out I was right on both counts!
Once off the first two meds, my anxiety and several other side effects vanished. But here is a celebration: when I got off the Pregabalin my apathy was gone! I mean that when I stuck to my routine of hiding in my nest, I found I no longer wanted to stay there. I sincerely wanted to get up and do things. I started organizing myself, cleaning, doing a LOT of healthy self-care. I started walking again.

I also finally got an appointment with a therapist after a six-month wait list. I felt at ease with her right away and shared my story. In our second session she told me I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and complex PTSD. What?!

After 57 years of suffering, she validated my traumas. She heard me and said I’m making sense and it looks clear to her that I have suffered. She wanted to discuss how we are going to rewire my feelings around the trauma. What?!

I let my tormentors (family members) know about the news that a professional had validated the trauma they caused and to please leave me alone while I heal. It felt like I put down all of my “baggage” and was free. Free of all of that self-doubt, free of confusion, of shame, of grief, free of depression, of guilt, and of even more of the physical pain I had grown used to.

It wasn’t my fault! I’m so happy it is amazing! I still get triggered, but I’m managing pretty well and will be starting EMDR therapy this week. And I still have chronic physical pain from fibromyalgia, but it is much easier to manage since I felt validated.

I also was diagnosed with sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine to make sure my brain gets sufficient oxygen all night long. This has done wonders for my brain fog, lack of energy and general sluggishness.

Do NOT go off any medication without discussing it with your doctor first. But DO look up it’s side effects and make a list of any that you experience… and think about asking for an alternative if you think those side effects are holding you down from living.

If trauma is what keeps you down, ask your doctor for trauma resources.

If you wake up tired, get a sleep study. You can do it remotely right from home. You deserve to breathe all night long.

Get the help you need and FEEL BETTER!

Drug Info: Drugs.com - Prescription Drug Information

#apathy #Depression #Anxiety #Fibromyalgia #GeneralAnxietyDisorder #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Caregiving #SideEffects

Drugs.com - Prescription Drug Information

Providing accurate, impartial information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs and OTC medications.
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I just learned that in students who are dealing with a low amount of challenge become apathetic but when skill is not applied they become anxious.

I'm apathetic. Day after day. I have reasons to live and I practice gratitude daily but I often lack motivation because I'm not being challenged and can't develop skill.

Does anyone else experience or are currently experiencing being stuck?

#apathy #anxious #challenge #Bipolar #euthymia

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Do you experience emotional numbness? What triggers it and how do you… feel about it?

I won’t sugarcoat things: This time of year can be rough.

From dredging up both good and bad memories to being pressured by society to feel renewed and excited for the new year while also setting goals that aren’t exactly self-esteem boosters, it’s easy to find ourselves overwhelmed by conflicting emotions. If you’re anything like me, this inner turmoil might lead you to feeling emotionally numb. In addition to this already stressful time of year, a couple of my loved ones are dealing with new health crises that have brought up emotions I’d rather not deal with at this time. While I’m usually a bit annoyed when I experience emotional numbness, I think I’m OK dealing with this round of numbness until my therapy appointment later this week.

Now I want to hear from you: Do you ever experience emotional numbness? What are your triggers? How do you, for lack of a better term, feel about feeling numb?

#CheckInWithMe #Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #letstalkdepression #apathy

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Covid-19 = Apathy Without Guilt

I was struggling with serious brain fog every morning for awhile there and trying to rage against it with no luck. Then I got Covid-19 and spent 11 days (so far) unable to do anything. I will do an at-home test again today to see if I am officially over it, but my energy level is as low as ever. The only good thing I can say about it is that since testing positive I can at least allow myself to be in a state of rest all day without feeling guilty about it.
I hope everyone out there is being kind to themselves!

#apathy #Depression #BipolarDepression #Anxiety #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #ChronicFatigue

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