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Am I Just Lazy?

Discussion in 'General' started by FlyLadyFan, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. FlyLadyFan

    FlyLadyFan Member

    I'm 4.5 years out from my trauma and 3.5 years out from my worst breakdown point, yet I barely function.

    I occasionally have a good day when I get done what I think most people do in half a day, or what I pre-trauma could do in half a day.

    I cannot work or do anything that has a "deadline" ... the pressure of even committing to be at, for example, my church Christmas dinner on a certain date is something I have to struggle with. But lately I have been managing to get my kids to their gym and skating lessons pretty well.

    But I cannot prepare meals regularly or get into any housekeeping routine at all. I only go to the grocery store about once a month because I keep trying to make a list but never do and then finally I go because we're desperate so I buy what's on sale and go home with no meal plans at all ... just a bunch of odd stuff.

    And I'm NOT trying to say I'm worse off than anyone else on this board .... but I read where many/most ?? of you work and/or go to school and seem to function out in the world somehow and maybe even at home. I don't function very well anywhere at all.

    Am I just sicker than I want to think I am and should stop feeling this constant guilt for never getting things done or organized and being unreliable and unable to commit because I know I probably won't follow through??

    Is it me in a rut of habit from ptsd?? Or is it actually ptsd?? I was never a slacker before my trauma.

    I know this sounds rambling and confused, but that's my current state. Sorry.


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  3. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    I don't know why some of us can work, while other can't. For me... I didn't have the choice. I had to work, so I did. I am grateful that I can. It's my escape. If I couldn't work... I don't know.

    You on the other hand, are where you are. You do what you can, when you can. Are you sicker than others???? I don't know. All I know is that all of us do what WE can at any given time, and leave the rest for later.

    All I can say is do what you can, when you can...Try to push yourself a little. It sometimes helps to get out of your comfort zone for a little bit. Feels crappy, but it does help.
  4. FlyLadyFan

    FlyLadyFan Member

    Thanks for replying.

    I guess I'm looking for a way to feel less guilty about how much I cannot/do not do. I think maybe the energy of the guilt-cycle in my mind adds to the robbing me of energy for actually doing things ... like a vicious circle. See what I mean?

    I do what I can, when I can, and THAT feels like I'm pushing myself. Just leaving my bedroom is leaving my comfort zone. Sometimes it helps, but if I keep it up for too long ... like having several "productive" days in a row ... there is a major price to pay by having several completely incapacitated days in order to "regroup".

    I'm so tired of this tiring treadmill of inactivity and guilt. But it's been a few years ... shouldn't I be doing better than this by now ... WILL I ever be doing better than this?? OMG! What if this is IT as far as recovery??



  5. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    We all have those days of please tell me this is not as good as it gets. Yes, I sit in amazement at how much others can do. They go do things. I cannot work, if I "had no choice" I would be living under a bridge, simple as that.

    A few very far and few between days I have made it to the store with my husband not leaving my side, and have even driven to the lake. One very long country road with no turns. I tried to pick my son up from school for a week, and I got too sick. MIL brings him home and hubby drops him off.

    I love to cook but sometimes I can't. Hubs picks up slack or we have easy to make meals. Emotional and mental turmoil can wear us out a great deal, it is not laziness.
  6. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    FLF, I can't speak for you specifically but I do know that some people have more severe symptoms than others. For me, I was diagnosed on the severest end of the scale in every category of diagnostic criteria. I have never been able to hold down a "normal" job for more than a few days. The only kind of work I have been capable of up to this point is something that I may do from my home with no pressure or deadlines. And right now I can't even do that. I can go for days being immobilized and unable to do much at all. In my case it's not a matter of laziness, I am simply too phobic to do certain things regularly; it takes too much emotional and physical energy. If I pushed myself too hard I would get very ill, very quickly. That's not to say I don't ever try to improve, but from previous bad experience I know to go slow and not push myself too hard.

    Even when I was living on my own (I live with my family now) and needed the money to live, I still could not work. It was definitely not a matter of choice for me. When I didn't have money, I ended up in a homeless shelter for a few weeks. There I was assisted to apply for welfare. Without the existence of welfare or disability I likely would have ended up on the streets.

    You aren't lazy. You wouldn't call yourself lazy if you had cancer and couldn't accomplish things. PTSD is an illness too, and it effects our abilities to accomplish everyday tasks. I understand the feeling of "is this as good as it gets" too. I get that every so often, I wish I could be better than I am and able to do some of the things others can.
  7. FlyLadyFan

    FlyLadyFan Member

    Thanks for replying, veiled and batgirl.

    Your posts actually make me feel a little better. Maybe I don't read enough of the forum to find where people mention they are years out from the trauma and still so incapacitated. I get the sense most people who are out of work are closer in time to the event(s) and in the earlier stages of "recovery". But I could be wrong because my swiss cheese memory doesn't hold onto who's doing what when.

    You made me feel not quite so alone. Thank you.


  8. splost76

    splost76 Sleep Management Editor

    I know how you feel, it took me quite some time a while back ago to do just about anything, and there are still times when this will come back to haunt me. Just a couple months ago, I had a sort of relapse and struggled majorly with just taking the trash out at night, ( I am terrified of darkness, not used to this still). So yes some of us do get out, but for some of this we either have to or through time have just learned how to manage with this.
  9. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack Well-Known Member

    I think you have emotional fatigue. Very real as you can see, and it will affect you physically and mentally.
  10. ruddy

    ruddy Active Member

    My personal experience is that the emotional fatigue is brought on by anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety makes it difficult to concentrate on what I need to do. Panic attacks drain me physically and emotionally to the point of being completely dysfunctional (useless) for a period of time afterward. I am able to work, but I don't think those who can't are lazy; I think they have more severe symptoms.
  11. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    As with all things, PTSD has a range of symptoms. Some people are mild, some moderate and some severe with PTSD. We will all vary within that range. I have the severe end. I have no choice but to not work. I was faced with starving to death and living in a paper box and I still had no choice there. It was not work or croak from the stress. This is not laziness. This is part of PTSD. Some of us just have no choice over the work thing.

    Don't beat yourself up over this. Learn what your limits are. You can not compare them to another person with PTSD as we all vary with our range and severity of symptoms and you will just beat yourself up over it.

  12. baileysemt

    baileysemt Active Member

    Flylady, one thing I have learned from my time here is that each of us is unique. Yes, there is a "scale" of symptoms that we might experience, but each of us is different in how the core problem (PTSD) will affect us.

    Think of it this way: will a single dress fit exactly the same way on two different women? No, of course not. It is the same dress, but their figures are different, so the fabric will pull in some places on one woman, and lay loose in spots on the other. PTSD is the same way. The parts that pull tightly on you, may lay loosely on someone else. It's still PTSD. It's just a question of how your brain and body "wears" it.

    You and I sound very similar. I am also not able to hold a job. I have tried and I end up just like becvan. Also, as described above, if I have a series of 2-3 really good/productive days (which are average by the pre-trauma standards, but I'm not that girl anymore) it just sucks the tar right outta me, and I need 5-6 days to rest and regroup. Literally 3 days of that is in bed, sheer exhaustion, sleeping, feeling like a dead weight, zero oomph, zero drive. The ceiling could cave in and I couldn't care less.

    But this is a step up from having NO productive days. What a great accomplishment that is -- another milestone achieved! Productive days! Wahoo!! I have been working hard to grab hold of those days when they arrive and RUN with them. Heaven only knows how long they'll last, how soon I will be forced back under my rock... :)

    As for this "I have no choice but to work" discussion... I don't think we are ever going to resolve this between us. Those who have found they are able to work, believe they do so because they have to. I understand that their perception of having "no choice" is what drives them through their hurdles. I perceive that as being able to... they have a capability to work through their demons (or set them aside, or whatever) and go to their job and do what they are paid to do. I think that is phenomenal and I am so glad for them that they have that strength and ability. They are so blessed!!!

    I have tried to do what they do. I have tried desperately. I too have bills to pay and no alternative but to pay them. That "inspiration" does not work to break down my "roadblocks" and make it possible for me to work. I wish it would!! Instead I go into terrible flashbacks and suffocating meltdowns. By day three working, I am a basket case, quivering, shaking, terrified, wadded up in a ball in bed, crying, charred people and gored-out house pets flying through my head... I can not work a traditional outside-the-home job.

    I am behind on my bills like nobody's business. I am lucky, the ONLY reason I haven't landed in the street on my butt is an exceedingly accommodating landlord. I am getting better able to cover my rent in a timely way (through part-time work at home) and as I get better, I know that I will be able to pay more and more bills. I'm doing all I can though, so some things are just falling further behind. If it comes to the point where the cut the electric then I guess I will have to move out. I know what I cannot do. I know what my limits are. I don't print the money myself; I can't just invent it and I am not superhuman enough to just bust right through my worst triggers.

    Everything you describe, flylady, are things I have felt or experienced. They are normal PTSD symptoms. Please do not feel weird or unusual. You are NOT lazy or incapable or any of those other malicious and UNDESERVED labels we are so fond of tagging on ourselves. You are a woman of good work ethic. You are a woman of good stature. You are putting your all into getting through this moment as best you can... and the next, and the next. You can only do your best. If you felt better, you would be up and bouncing around and loving it!!

    Maybe this will help. In NASCAR racing, in post-race interviews, the drivers will get out of their race cars and say things like, "we had a 15th place car today." A winning race car is a rarity. A race car is never perfect-handling all the time. Race cars always have problems. They chatter the front tires in some turns, they fishtail out of others, they come down too hard on the right tires at times and that makes the tires wear unevenly. The crews have to keep adjusting the dozens of levers and springs and things they can change, and the drivers have to keep adjusting their driving style to try to find where the car performs the best. But at the end of all of that, they might still only have a 15th place car.

    Sometimes we are only 15th place cars. Some days, we are a 30th place car. Some days we have to retire from the race early, in last place, pack the car in the semi and go home. (Those are the days we can't get out of bed, LOL)

    The point of this is to encourage you to embrace the best of what you've got. Some days are going to be great days, and other days are going to suck. This is PTSD. If you've only got a 20th place racecar, be happy if you can actually finish in 20th place with that car. 20th is way better than finishing last. :) And in that case, finishing 20th with that 20th place race car means that you achieved your full potential of what you were dealt -- which is awesome!!!! THAT is an accomplishment!

    And lest you think that I have all the answers for this or anything (NOT!) please rest assured that I will be back to re-read my own words when I am having a bad day. I totally lose sight of these things on bad days. That's not unusual either. Try to be patient with yourself. You will heal, but it is slow. And remember that not every win is a 1st place finish. Sometimes it is a matter of just accepting the capabilities of your car and doing what you can with it. :)

    For those who don't get into racing ........ sorry.

    :D Bailey
    becvan and permban0077 like this.
  13. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Damn, you could not put it better. Must be why I yanked moderation off you after that read, could not pull you out quick enough reading that. Wonderful posting and a good read for us used to being here. Welcome aboard, Bailey.
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