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This Cat Is Miserable, but…

… he felt better after he vomited.

My poor, dear “scarf and barf” cat’s life and behavior is like a metaphor for my own struggles. I feel fine, I feel crappy, I mentally vomit, I recover.

This past week apathy was not my biggest problem. I had two huge new stressful encounters with my siblings that laid me low. Puddle height. I continued to use my new Apathy Toolkit to remind myself of all of the positive self-care strategies I have, but I did not pressure myself. I had to do some serious recovering, and I understood that, accepted it, and focused on processing what happened.

I am struggling with depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia symptoms right now that are worse than my apathy problem, so I have no choice but to focus on them. I am actually doing pretty well combatting my apathy , and am about to go run some errands. Hugs to everyone in this group. Try very hard to talk about your apathy here. It will help.

#apathy #Depression #Anxiety #Fibromyalgia #toolkit

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Grit, Determination, and Sharpie Markers

Yesterday I was recovered from the Horrible Cat Vomit Storm of October 2021 and did well with my new checklist, but without the enthusiasm of Day One. Today I woke up so sore everything hurt, which was exhausting. I still got about half of my checklist items finished. All I cared about was getting rid of the pain. It was a 6 for me—so distracting it was hard to think. Plus my brother stressed me out by dropping clues that he plans to go looking abroad for his fake online boyfriend who I already proved is a scammer. He doesn’t care.

So anyway, yeah. That really cranks up my depression/anxiety/fibromyalgia discomforts. And there’s even more stress that I just swallow daily, so my nest makes a lot of very compelling arguments for why that’s where I should be. I definitely self-medicate with apathy.

But my wanting to break the apathy habit is also for me and my well-being, demmit. I have made my nest the center of my life now for three years!! I have been healing from trauma, sure, but I need more than this for myself. I have more that I want to do, so I am struggling through whatever it takes to reclaim my life—for ME! I don’t want to lose the ability to choose someday.

I just have to keep trying as hard as it takes to make this Apathy Toolkit work better than helping me be productive only every other day. The Daily Checklist needs adjustments. Honestly, trying to shower every single day feels a bit out of reach for me right now. Heh. Just trying to keep it real for the good of the group. I figure that if I force myself to be honest for you then I’ll know I’m not just fooling myself.

I revived an old habit of writing notes to myself in sharpie on my bathroom mirror (It easily comes off with rubbing alcohol or other non-abrasive solvent cleaner.) The picture I posted of it had to be on an angle so you could see the words. First a big red heart that my face appears inside when I stand in front of the sink. Near the bottom it says, “Don’t let apathy own you.” At the top is this: “Have you… -Brushed your teeth -Brushed your hair -Washed your face …today?”

Tell me about your apathy.

#apathy #Depression #lowenergy #Productivity #Success #crash #Fibromyalgia #ChronicDepression #Anxiety #tired #Caffeine #lighttherapy #DepressionSymptoms #DepressionNaps #MajorDepression #SeasonalDepression #Lazy #notlazy #nope #Emptiness #FibroFog #LifeLessons #LifelimitingIllness #getthingsdone #toolkit #apathetic #BipolarDisorder

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Apathy Toolkit - 6 (end)

PET AND DEPENDENT CARE: We tend to put their needs first, and if that is you, then this is an easy check mark win! I added it to the list because if I do not check these things every day, I feel terribly guilty. Save everyone from that. My life actually revolves around caring for my husband, who has lost the ability to steer his thinking. He cannot be left alone and needs me to think about all of his potential needs and fill them. I struggle horribly with it and have another whole list just for him. It’s exhausting. These things are easier to remember when they are written down and then you don’t have to stress about whether you remembered everything.

STRAIGHTEN KITCHEN BEFORE BED: This might seem like a no-brained to some of you but in the past few years I have developed a bad habit of letting dishes sit in the sink soaking. Evenings are when my pain seems highest and when I am most tired. It is such a bummer to wake up and have to deal with dirty dishes from the night before. So I put this one on my list in hopes I will be better about it. There are probably other similar things that you would benefit from getting done before then end of the day. Figure out what those are and love yourself better by investing in creating a more peaceful environment for your mornings.

Well that’s my list and I will start using it tomorrow. Your list can have just a few items if that will help you have a more successful start towards overcoming apathy. Be kind to yourself! 😃🌻🌞

#apathy #Depression #Fibromyalgia #Anxiety #toolkit

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Apathy Toolkit - 5

You may have noticed in the picture of my list that some items have a check mark and some have an X. I write down an X on items I skipped for any reason. You might prefer to just leave the box blank. But I recommend that you do what you can when you start this or if you have a really apathetic day and to just shake it off and try again tomorrow. It’s a tool for motivation, not a law. Use it to help you make forward motion of any kind, even if you only have one check mark per day for awhile. You will still feel good about it when you eventually manage to check off two item. This is about celebrating successes, not berating yourself for things you are not able to do. Only you know your starting place and appropriate pace. If you wish you could stretch and just manage to hang down by your waist for a minute or if you just get down on the floor then get back up again, CLAIM YOUR WIN! A check mark cues your brain to reward you with a little shot of endorphins that will help you. You deserve it!

CALL A LOVED-ONE: People struggling with any kind of heath issue plus apathy tend to isolate themselves. The pandemic didn’t help either. We tend to think we are just fine being a hermit, but it’s a slippery slope. My youngest son gave me a powerful gift of love a few months ago when he started calling me during his commute home from work. It’s a 15-20 minute drive. Sometimes we run out of things to talk about, and sometimes he continues the call an hour when he gets home. The connection has been so affirming for us both. I also made a commitment to call my brother everyday, who is struggling with many health problems. It makes a difference in our lives knowing that call can be counted on. Try to find someone to connect with this way. I have also started having regular correspondence with friends I met on The Mighty. Just connect with someone every day if you can, even if it is with different people each time.

ENCOURAGE 1+ PERSON ON THE MIGHTY: in addition to connecting with someone you know regularly, make it a daily habit to find at least one post on the mighty that you can respond to with even just a few words of encouragement. It is powerfully uplifting to help someone else, especially if you can relate to what they are experiencing. Uplifting to both the receiver and the giver.

PLAN TOMORROW’S FOOD: One thing that will trigger a downward spiral for me is if I am hungry and cannot figure out what to eat, or if I am missing ingredients for what I want to make. I will go spend money I don’t really have at a restaurant or head out to the store hungry and buy all of the wrong things because I AM HUNGRY! Try to systematically prevent yourself from this common error. It might take awhile to get into the habit of asking yourself what you can expect to eat tomorrow for each meal or whatever your eating pattern is. Investing in yourself in small ways like this is powerful self-care.

#apathy #Depression #Fibromyalgia #toolkit

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Apathy Toolkit - 2

2. MY FUZZY PINK SUPPORT LLAMA SOCKS. I use colorful socks to cheer myself up, which usually is enough to get me off my butt and started on my day. For the past few days they did cheer me and I got up and brushed my teeth but then I settled back into my nest again. That’s a tiny bit of progress, but I wanted more so I decided I had better create a tool that would provide me with more reliable leverage against my strong desire to do nothing. So…
3. MY NEW DAILY CHECKLIST. Without this physical list, I would just float through my day without much mindfulness. I already know what I need to do to outsmart apathy, but I need this checklist to provide a little accountability to myself to get these things accomplished. I know that there is power in having to check things off, especially for me. If I see at the end of the day that I did a poor job with this list, I will experience regret. That is the leverage I hope to gain with this tool. I put it together very thoughtfully to maximize my chances that I can use it to outsmart myself into avoiding my usual bad apathetic habits, so I will break it down to help you understand how to adapt the idea for your own needs.

APPEARANCE: This whiteboard is too big to ignore at 23”x17”. I used cheerful colors and leaned it up against my closet door. It is in my way specifically so I cannot ignore it. Let me explain what the items listed are all about.

SCOPE and PURPOSE: I created a guideline for tasks I consider to be the MINIMUM of what I should accomplish on any given day, according to my own standards. Think of it as a “maintenance” task list that is strategically designed to prompt me to more consistently do enough self-care to help me create enough daily energy to accomplish a few things that would give me a building sense of satisfaction. The main focus here is actually my well-being more than much actual work because this is my diving board to help me break dysfunctional habits and pull myself beyond my apathy. The purpose is to develop momentum to help increase my chances of success throughout the week. After I have had success using this tool for a few weeks I will turn my attention to the bigger picture, set some goals, and talk about new tools and systems for giving apathy a rude gesture and try to reclaim my overall functionality. Whew!

ORDER OF LIST ITEMS: The order I used for these tasks matters a lot. I know how easy it is for me to feel discouraged and return to the warmth and comfort of my “nest” where I like to hide in avoidance mode. I also know that it is natural to start any checklist at the top.
My first several items are to help me transition from nighttime sleepy mode to awake and alert daytime mode. I am famous for dragging my feet in the morning because I am at home all day without any deadlines unless there is an appointment scheduled.

#apathy #Depression #Fibromyalgia #toolkit

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Apathy Toolkit - 1

Hi! My week started out well, but then a new stressor completely shut me down for the past three days, so I had an “oh h3ll no!” moment of determination and decided to review my apathy toolkit for additional assistance. (In another lifetime I was an organized person with graduate school training to help others be organized and effective. I’m more of a banana slug now.) I realized that I was being haphazard and ineffectually wishful with my anti-apathy efforts and needed to create some actual tools that I knew would be effective.
All I had in my present toolkit for apathy were three things: a mental list of self-care therapies I can use when my depression/anxiety and fibromyalgia pain is so high that I cannot function at all and need to “punt,” half of a box of tissues, and the Invitation to Freedom video in which Mooji helps me strip away all of the nonsense noise in my mind and reconnect my Core Self or “Is-ness” with the Universe. I will describe my emergency self-care list another day. Please feel free to try the video yourself sometime at It is a wonderfully powerful tool for quieting the mind and finding restful peace in the present; however, for me doing this meditation by itself only contributes to my apathy problem because I just want to prolong the meditation and keep enjoying how good it feels. It underscores the Truth that nothing but that connection matters and we should focus on enjoying the present, which just makes me want to ignore any practical obligations I have and keep meditating. I remained happily apathetic until I discovered an important statement that I put up on my wall to look at first thing every morning.

I have to warn you that this is a very long post in multiple sections to get around the character limit. Please don’t let it overwhelm you. You can just skim it or read it in phases. Here we go with my new tools:

1. WALL SIGN: I made and hung an important sign on my bedroom wall next to my appointment calendar that reminds me why it is not enough for me to use meditation like a stoner to stay blissed out all of the time. The quote from Buddha says in bright pink marker, “Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” Aha! With that directive I could now carry my meditation buzz with me into action in the present simply by remaining focused on my priorities of Today. Brilliant. Whenever I think about something new that I need to get done in the future, like have my car serviced, I put it on a Master To Do List so I don’t have to keep holding that reminder in my head. Then I promptly ignore the whole list for as long as I feel like it without concern that I am forgetting anything important. If a task has a deadline I record it on my calendar. That frees me, to remain focused on the priorities of Today. (I will talk more about the Master To Do List tool another time.)
#apathy #Depression #toolkit #Fibromyalgia


Using my #MentalHealth toolkit tonight

I'm having a rough time tonight. My mind is going crazy and I'm scared s******s about ending up in the dark dark place I have been before.

I am trying to remind myself that my situation now is different to then. In fact I just wrote this sentence in my journal:
"I can't promise you I won't go there, but I can promise I will use EVERY tool in my toolkit to prevent it."
One of those tools is reaching out to my community for support.

So please share with me, what tools are in your toolkit when your mental health is heading towards the bottom of a deep dark pit? How do you refocus and gain perspective? How do you fall asleep when your mind is torturing you?

And hats off to for telling me to reach out to people. Because without that encouragement I wouldn't be sat here writing this. It is truly one of the best tools in my toolkit 💜

#axialSpondyloarthritis #IBS #Anxiety #Depression #MentalHealth #toolkit


So Happy with The Mighty's Suggestion

Just saw "Mad Libs" suggested in The Mighty's Toolkit for Uncertain Times. Looking at the space alone made me laugh. I'm dying to see what silliness I create with my friends. Still trying to decide if I share that silliness in a video for The Mighty.

#toolsformentalhealth #toolkit #LaughOutLoudAid #Laugh #COVID19 #Friends